The business value of ‘me time’

10th October 2017

Dogs in the office, flexible working hours and popcorn on demand… okay, so Pod culture may not be representative of every business - but these little ways we have of making our working week happier demonstrate an ambition that will be recognised by many organisations: a desire to continually value and invest in our people.

Here, Pod founder Jodie tells us why she thinks investing in the members of your team is particularly important right now, and explores some of the things you can do to help your people - and your business - thrive.

We are all individuals [Or something less Monty Python]

“Some of the ways in which we develop our team’s professional skills, and ensure well-being and morale stays high, won’t fit the culture in your own organisation - but whatever approach you take, it’s important to recognise, reward and nurture the talent in your team.

Finding great people can be hard, and keeping them even harder. My Pod co-founder Jen and I really believe that taking a less formal approach to our day-to-day office life has made Pod what it is today: a happy, successful, award-winning team. Flexible working and unlimited annual leave work for us because each member of the Pod Team takes their responsibilities (to our clients and each other) seriously. It’s very much a win-win situation.

Alongside these little day-to-day perks of being a Podster, we also invest in our team’s professional development and encourage them to build skills and confidence by sharing knowledge and attending external and internal training courses, industry events and seminars. The path this professional development takes is led by them. We want to help them find out what aspect of their job they are most passionate about and become an expert in the things they enjoy. Our team is then able to bring that passion and those skills to work with them every day.  In any marketing, PR or creative agency, your people are your greatest asset. It just makes sense to help them find their true potential.

An ever-changing industry

As is the case across many sectors right now, the industry we work in never stands still for very long. With every new digital innovation or marketing trend comes a raft of new industry jargon and a new set of goalposts. Marketing professionals, and the businesses that rely on them, can’t afford to be complacent. Keeping your people informed and up to date is the best way to stay ahead of the competition and future-proof your business as a whole.

Our advice to businesses who might not have much of a training budget would be to make sure training is targeted, relevant, and thoroughly enjoyable. Regional courses can often offer much better value than London-based training and if immediately applicable skills are more important than formal certification, why not look at ways to develop internal training programmes? Here at Pod, we often work with clients to develop PR refresher courses and brand workshops that meet very specific needs for their business. The fact that it’s completely tailored makes it more valuable, and by keeping the tone light and the sessions interesting, we make sure people leave feeling prepped and ready rather than tired and bogged down! As well as training the individuals we meet, we always try to equip them with easy ways to share information within their organisation. After all, what good are marketing messages if your sales people don’t understand them? Whilst internal marketing materials can partially achieve this, sometimes a conversation does the job just as well.

More than just a workplace

Workplace – and the workforces that fill them – are evolving: becoming increasingly fluid with the rise of mobile, flexible and agile working practices. In this new working world, recognising the individual personalities in your team and bringing them together as friends as well as co-workers, becomes even more important. Anything that makes them feel like a valued individual and a member of an important group, rather than a faceless worker in a disconnected machine, will give them a reason to stay with your business and give it their best. Job satisfaction has important knock-on effects for productivity and customer experience. After all, and whatever else changes, people still buy from people.

So, give your customers wonderful people to deal with and your people the support, training and recognition they deserve – your business will be sure to reap the benefits!

Like the sound of our PR refresher courses? If something similar would suit you, get in touch. We’d be happy to chat through your requirements.

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