The Importance of Process in the Workplace
By Allie Gamble
All agencies need to establish and stick to certain processes in order to be successful.
Since I can remember, I have always been someone that craves process in life. If there was not order and a plan as a child, I would sometimes get upset.
As I went through school, the process of my weekly schedule was comfortable to me. I didn’t enjoy change. And now, as I navigate my career, I have learned that my love for process and structure will never go away, but also, that it’s very important.
However, I was recently told I have a “process addiction”…
Not everything in life needs a rhyme or reason, but in order to be a successful company, there must be process, it must be understood, and it must be followed.
Since my first day at Pinckney in 2015, I started to watch, learn, and understand the processes of the agency.
I loved them. They made sense.
The trouble was, as time went by and job roles, clients, and employees changed, so did the processes.
There was even a point where there were too many process and we would joke with one another about anyone that said “the process.” It was just a term no one liked for a bit.
As I sit here now, three years later, I know from experience and observation that process is key. I have also learned a few important processes that any agency should have in place in order to be successful.
(And trust me, getting everyone on board with these processes will be no easy task, because there are sure to be some like me, that hate change, but when it’s in the best interest of the company and employees, it’s worth it.)
Pro tip: If it’s a big change, get other employees input. If they have to follow the new process, they will be happier if they are included in the planning process.
Here are a few of the many processes and a helpful tips to keep in mind when things aren’t going so smoothly:
Establish a firm employee on-boarding process.
In my opinion, without a process here, no other processes will work. This is the process to teach the process. Have I said process enough yet?
New employees need proper guidance and training to become successful, you can’t expect them to walk in the door and magically read your mind. Take the first 90 days to teach the new employee the ins and outs of the agency, all about your clients, and get them up to speed on any tools and terminology they will need to know to be successful in their position.
Train your team to onboard clients, and make sure it is done the same way each time.
Every client should get an equally awesome experience during their first few months
working with your agency. Obviously not all clients will be the same therefore all on-boarding process should not be the same, but on-boarding guidelines should be put in place for each type of client. For example, our process is a little different for an inbound client focused on content versus a digital content focused on PPC advertising and SEO.
Sales can’t sell without a plan.
Whether you have one internal business development person or many, it’s important to be organized and professional throughout the process. This is the first impression perspective clients will have with your company, so it must be a good one. Creating template sales decks, conversation questions, and sales collateral that can be customized for each client will save your company time in the long run and help the business development team provide an equally great experience for each perspective client they are working with.
Help your creative team stay creative.
The right brained people and the left brained people think very differently and because of that, the creatives probably aren’t going to be too concerned with process. However, to be efficient as an agency and make sure the team is producing the best work possible, having a process for creative briefs, revisions, proofing work, and approvals is very important. On the creative side, the creative team needs to have a process to organize and delegate work throughout their department.
Develop a concern or problem escalation process.
This may come as a no brainer or something that doesn’t need an elaborate process, but depending on the management structure of the company, it is important that all employees understand who they can go to when they have concerns, and that they feel comfortable doing so. Explaining this process or structure to new employees is vital during the on-boarding process.
A scope of work is meaningless if it doesn’t make sense.
While this is an extension of the sales process, I find the process of creating scope of work documents so important that is deserves its own line. The plan and strategy that goes into creating a scope of work for a client is essential to setting the client and the agency up for success. The scope of work should outline the retainer or project deliverables on a monthly or even weekly basis and this should serve as a high level roadmap to meeting the clients goals. That being said, a lot of work needs to go into the backend of the scope of work creation to make sure the timeline and strategy mirrors the clients goals and the agency’s process and timelines for deliverables.
While I could go on for days suggesting processes and outlining the importance for each, these six are what I currently believe to be the most important to aid in achieving success for clients and the internal agency team.
Want more agency tips? Check out our Social Media Handbook for the best ways to prospect and engage your leads today!