Every graphic and web design firm knows that when their employees are tired, creativity flat lines. And nothing, no nothing, can be more final to an art department then that. Because of this disease, it is ever so important to create, value and reinforce a healthy work environment.
Creativity is the first and for most driving force of this sector of marketing and graphic design. Without it, let’s face it; many people wouldn’t have a job. Anyone can be creative, but employees that can take that creativity and harness it into a full-blown marketing strategy, that not only shows to be effective but profitable as well, should be treasured.
As Mike Jannini, VP of Marriott International said, “Take great care of your employees and they will take great care of your customers.” While a different sector, the idea still applies. If your employees are happy and vibrant, they will exude that same enthusiasm into their work, clients and even their co-workers.
Many companies have taken different directions in solving this growing problem. Google, known for breaking the norm, offers it’s employees free meals, shuttle buses, in-house doctors, 24-hour gym, massage service, and dry cleaning to more than 12,000 employees. Starbucks also took a risk in offering insurance and 401k benefits to their part time employees. Many of those same employees made the switch from part time to full time and even became managers as well. While many of these benefits would work in a graphic and web design time there are a few more benefits that could prove to be invaluable.
A graphic design firm is faced with impossible deadlines, grueling hours and the inordinate task of mind reading the thoughts and expectations of their clients. Any web designer out there can attest to this. Our clients never really know what they want. And even when they do… in the end they really didn’t. Because of the strain of these tasks in is important for design firms to do the following.
* On a weekly basis, (Mondays – as nasty as they may be – to start the week on the right foot) have meetings, which would provide clarity on the week’s goals and expectations.
* On a regular basis, mold your employee into the best employee by giving feedback about performance updates and by pointing them in the right direction.
* Whenever necessary, provide employees the resources and framework within which the employee can improve their skill set. The technology playing field updates on a day-to-day basis making it most important to keep employees up to date. For your benefit and theirs. Why not require web seminars that would only take a couple hours from their workday.
* As an employee grows and improves reward them with anything from vacation days or even bonuses. What better motivation then money? Graphic design employees are constantly working in their mind anyway. Who knows, they could possible have an epiphany on some beach off in Montego, that could be the selling deal to a top client.
* The most important is to compensate them what they are worth. Design firms that nickel and dime their employees will find themselves nickel and dimmed as well. Assure them that they are better protected at your company. Offer them incentives where the hours they work between 45 and 50 hours a week are returned back to them in the form of paid time off. Make sure their health plan truly meets their needs. Many of these incentive give will give you more and cost you less.
In the end, there is no reason for a graphic and web design firm to flat line. Ask your employees what they want from work and whether they are getting it. With these suggestions, with the constant monitoring of employee satisfaction, handling employee complains and problems, you can achieve high motivation and positive moral. Together a team can create, value and reinforce a healthy work environment.