Monday 23 April 2018

'Working culture is massively important in keeping your people happy and motivated...'

Pat Stephenson founder, Boys and Girls

You've got to trust your gut, says Pat Stephenson
You've got to trust your gut, says Pat Stephenson

Pat Stephenson

'The number one thing I wish I knew is that you often know the right answer - but are just not listening to it.

"It sounds cryptic and mystical but it isn't. What I mean is to trust your gut, trust your instincts. When your gut is telling you something is not quite right listen to it.

"That guy or girl you are thinking of hiring - who has a great CV, comes recommended and seems spot on -but for some reason you're not comfortable with? You rational brain is telling you: 'It's grand. You've a hole to fill and it needs to be filled, so fill it'. Too many times I've ignored a warning signal from my gut.

"The same goes with pitching for a prospective client. Especially when we were starting out we'd work so hard to convince ourselves that a prospective client was a right fit. To ignore bad chemistry and their actual ambition not matching our own - you're so desperate to build your business that you convince yourself it will all be okay.

"All the time our instincts would be telling us something was wrong. And in nearly every instance ignoring that feeling proved costly.

"The other thing that I kind of knew but didn't realise is the value of good working culture, chemistry and interpersonal relationships.

"Working culture is so stratospherically important in keeping people - staff and clients - happy and motivated. Little personal touches can make a big difference. For staff, things like giving people a day off for their birthday, having food for breakfast and lunch, putting money into social events or allowing them to develop personal projects using agency resources are little demonstrations of appreciation for the work they do and that genuinely means a lot.

"This ethos spills over to clients as well. We're firm believers in marking clients' achievements, successes and landmarks - especially given how hand-in-glove we work with them. Little things like sending over celebratory doughnuts to say 'well done' are clear demonstrations that we're thinking about them and that we genuinely care.

"I'd always put some value in these things, but in the last few years I've seen how incredibly important they are.

"It's only within a transparent and open working relationship between agency and client, with clear joint aims and ambitions, that great creative work can be made."

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