02 Mar 2021 by David

The 5 Key Steps To Maintaining A Great Agency Culture

The last 12 months has completely decimated the live event agency environment as all of us the event industry struggle to negotiate the new landscape that’s been forced upon us by COVID-19.

Many agency owners are looking to transition skills, reposition their businesses, re-structure and batten down the financial hatches in anticipation of the lifting of restrictions and some kind of a return of the industry that we all know and love.

One thing is certain though – the industry will never be the same again.

Whilst all this turmoil continues, it’s remarkably easy for agency leaders to lose sight of the things that made their businesses successful in the first place.  In my experience a successful agency is built around a great culture and common purpose.  Get that right and pretty much everything else becomes a whole lot easier.

The challenge at the moment is that teams are not getting together regularly, if at all and we all know that zoom and the like, useful as they are, cannot replace the value of a great team meeting, brainstorming session or an informal chat in the kitchen between friends.

Forward looking leaders don’t let the current challenging situation impact on their agency culture.  In fact, they use it to emphasise and build their internal values and the general vibe in their teams.

Why is this important?

  1. The landscape in which you operate may be changing but the personality, USP and values of your agency haven’t. Your people are the conduit through which the agency energy, commitment and general vibe flows to clients.  Continue to get that right and clients will notice.
  2. Maintaining a great culture will help you retain key staff through challenging times as well as making your agency attractive to new talent when things improve. And it will improve.
  3. A great culture ensures commitment and emotional buy-in with your team. No doubt your people are being asked to transition skills, work long hours in pressured environments and often operate in isolation. Showing your appreciation will go a long way.
  4. The current situation is incredibly unsettling for a lot of people. There’s uncertainty, isolation and many people are worried about their mid to long term prospects – will they have a job in three months’ time for example.  Some consideration of and commitment to the mental health of your people will go a long way.  It’s also the right thing to do!
  5. The current market situation is in fact a great leveller – think of it as the safety car in F1 – everyone lines up close together ready for the race to start again. Any advances your agency can make while the market is depressed will reap incremental rewards as the race restarts and the pack spreads out again.

So what are your next steps?

Find out how your people feel about how your culture has been impacted over the last 12 months or so – perhaps perform a culture audit.  Your goal is to discover what your people value most, support that and guide it in a way that is aligned with your longer-term business objectives

If the engine of your culture bus is already running, congratulations you’re one step closer to creating an extraordinary workplace.

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