Learning is a lifelong activity. New positions, even new projects, require a certain amount of education. Focusing on education without hands-on experience is a HUGE missed opportunity.
Cross-training has many advantages. One of the best advantages is the ability to shift employee roles in times of expansion, vacancies, or for a specific project. Cross-education is great for building employee morale and retention. The ability to work on different projects or learn a new aspect of a company helps to break up monotony, while increasing one’s self-worth and value within the company.
Task forces, shadowing, and special projects are all great opportunities to cross-educate. Determining what employees need to know for a specific project or position creates a road-map for learning allowing that learning to occur while working on the assignment. Pairing up employees from different departments for learning increases accountability. It also helps foster working relationships between colleagues.
Conferences and classroom learning still have merit and are especially effective when shared with the entire organization. Whenever an employee or department attends a professional development event outside of the office, have them lead a seminar on the content of that event when they return. Organizations can also bring the classroom learning right to the office implementing concepts in real time.
The key to any learning culture is to embrace different learning styles. Some employees learn best by hearing information, others by seeing or reading information, and some learn best through writing or physical manipulation. Professional development options can include online videos or articles, face-to-face training, and hands-on experiences. Depending upon the industry, all three of these options can be achieved for each training experience.
Promoting a learning-based culture will yield more engaged, productive, and satisfied employees.
It is helpful to gather input from “the trenches”. Asking employees to share their insight can shed light onto how team members view their jobs, managers, and the company. This can be done one-on-one, in groups, or by sending out a company wide questionnaire. The key is to include everyone, not just the individuals who may provide the answers that you want to hear. Again, do not penalize them for being open and honest with you if you want the best, most candid information from them.
If no clear solution can be determined after reviewing all the information, it might be time to call in reinforcements. The unbiased opinion and advice of a management consultant or recruiter may be the best option. They can look over policies, procedures, and data without emotional or psychological attachment and help craft an unbiased plan for improvement.
Remember attracting and retaining the best talent is a challenge for all industries. Today’s market even more so.
I speak with scores of job seekers and those seeking to fill critical positions and a central theme is emerging. It’s not major complaint and the culprit is elusive.
During a 360 conversation, while reflecting on what each person does outside of work, more likely than not, there’s a momentary pause that that opens the flood gates to a brief conversation about working too many frantic hours, striving to maintain a personal level of extraordinary customer service and having to depend of a host of others to answer a growing list of highly technical questions or provide solutions to unique problems. And, those folks tasked with providing answers are “over-worked” too! These top of mind comments precede the answer of what each person does outside of work and, reveal plenty about what’s destroying that too important work-life equilibrium.
Just wondering if the industry is nearing a black-hole sucking the life out of what was once new and fun? And, would love to hear how you’re dealing with or have resolved that exhausted feeling.
The December 4th issue of the New York Times carried an article by Patrick Gillooly in the Sunday Business section entitled “Why You Need Social Media” Mr. Gillooly puts forth the proposition that a well executed social media strategy is critical for career advancement. Full disclosure: he is Director of Digital Communications and Social Media for the career site Monster and he openly admits his bias.
Reading this article made me question my own preconceived notions. As a recruiter, I live and die by LinkedIn. I use Facebook for keeping up with an array of non-business friends and relatives across the country. So when I think this is a common practice in the business world, I am extrapolating from a sample of one. And don’t get me started on Twitter.
I think Mr. Gillooly makes a good point when he says that excluding yourself from social media means you may not be staying on top of the opinions and workings of people who can have a very dramatic impact on your life and career. By embracing social media, we can create career opportunities from simply expanding our networks, improving our knowledge and exposing ourselves to jobs we may not have otherwise considered.
Recently, I spoke to a class of college seniors about how they should approach getting their first “real” job. For some reason there’s not a college or university in our country that teaches this. So the level of attention and engagement is unusually high, especially among students paying for their own education. My presentation includes tips on resume writing, interview preparation and techniques, how to use LinkedIn/Social Media and anything else the students want to talk about.
In the most recent discussion the topic that seemed to get the most attention was, “What to Wear for an Interview”. My advice is always the same: wear big boy and big girl clothes. Just because you’re interviewing for a position at an ad agency where people come to work in jeans and tee shirts, that’s not how to dress for the interview. I explained dressing well doesn’t necessarily mean dressing like one is interviewing for a job on Wall Street.
Have some style. Andre Agassi said it best. “Image is Everything”.
So, I’m curious. For any of you agency types who might read this, I’d like to hear your opinion. Also, mention what YOU wore the last time you interviewed.
John T. Molloy’s book, Dress For Success, (1975) popularized the concept of “power dressing”. How does one dress for success in 2016?
A couple of weeks back, an already-signed-offer-letter-candidate went radio silent for 10 days before finally fessing-up to taking a counter offer. It happens but research shows the majority of people taking counter offers stick around for less than 12 months (they have already told their boss once that they are very willing to explore other opportunities so the boss understands where their priorities are). Knowing this, a lot of companies have a policy against making counter offers.
Most candidates, who take counter offers, immediately alert and offer an explanation to the hiring manager if, for no other reason, because they understand the value of reputation. As we in the media business learned early on, be careful of the toes you step on as you climb to the top; they may well be connected to the butt you’ll have to kiss on the way down!
Just this week a referral candidate pitched hard the reasons why any ad agency, publisher or company would benefit from the candidate’s skills, experience and leadership. After sharing the job description with a great agency ready to fill a key position a day later I receive a note from the candidate stating contact with an ad agency “may” have already been made. Turns out TWO applications had been submitted online – one just THREE DAYS before our initial conversation! Are you kidding me?
Let’s set aside all the proverbial excuses either of these individuals could use and get real.
Character is defined as, “the mental and moral qualities distinctive to an individual”.
Everyone expect sociopaths have character. For those who don’t think character counts – you’re wrong. There’s consequences and you won’t like the outcome. It’s not too late to build character so step up now.
Congratulations Roger Tremblay, Mary Henry Humanitarian Award Recipient!
Roger Tremblay is a Detroit, Michigan native who graduated from Michigan State University with a BA and MA in Advertising and is a recipient of the University’s Alumni Service Award. He has held sales and management positions with The Wall Street Journal, Southern Living, Texas Monthly, Chicago Magazine, Houston Metropolitan and Media Networks. He is the co-founder, along with Joe Kelly, of Kelly/Tremblay & Co, which was one of the nation’s largest independent media sales firms. He was a Senior Partner at Allen Austin Global Executive search before starting PointClear Search with Dave Manchee.
Roger, in addition to many years of service to DREAM Fund, is a director of the Michigan State University of Alumni Association, both internationally and locally here in DFW. Roger also serves as a mentor for graduate students at MSU. He has given countless volunteer hours in both leadership and volunteer positions for AAF Dallas and initiated and created the first AIME Award in Dallas/Fort Worth.
Roger, most deserving of this recognition, will be presented with the award at the AWM Awards of Excellence Gala on April 7th.
One reoccurring conundrum in the recruiting world occurs when market facts contradict client’s beliefs. It’s happening with growing frequency as the flow of information floods decision-making. The downside is suspect information that may not be valid in real time.
PointClear Search Principal and Founder, Roger Tremblay, continually reminds us of a simple truth well illustrated above, “Tell the client what the need to hear not what they want to hear”.
It’s not always a comfortable conversation but, at the end of the day, it’s always the right conversation. And, it always builds trust and confidence.
For decades Madison Avenue, when discussing the agency business, has lamented the fact that its chief assets ride down the elevator every night. Creatives talking about creative folks is the likely reference however, today it applies across account services and media.
So with programmatic firmly entrenched in the ad biz can agency management and shareholders take some comfort knowing their programmatic black box is not only staying put but, is grinding away 24/7?
What will the ad business look like in 2 years? How about in 2020? Will the programmatic box algorithm’s and digital bits befriend the elevator’s pedestrian operating system?