The employer-employee relationship is a two-way street. Just as employees know they have certain rights, privileges and benefits, employers also have a right to expect certain things of their employees. An advertising agency policies and procedures manual should spell out those general expectations for employees, dovetailing with the agency mission and vision statements. Here are some examples.
Effort – Each employee should arrive every day prepared to put forth the best effort possible … whether they are distracted or not, whether they feel like being there or not. Effort can mean the difference between average creative and great creative, or between making a deadline or missing it. Clients will notice the difference.
Creativity and/or ingenuity – All agency employees are hired for their creative ability, and for their interest in using creative approaches to support client business goals. We understand that not everyone is creative every day, and even prolific creators have non-creative days… but realize that working in an agency is a creative team effort. Bring your best game!
Loyalty – In the office and in the community, agency employees should strive to grow the business by publicly supporting the agency and the agency’s work. You never know where the next great client will come from. Be the agency’s advocate and cheerleader.
Problem-solving – As in any business, problems will arise. Agency workers should be focused on resolving creative and internal issues and making the work “work better.”
Teamwork – Each employee needs to be able to work well with others, even under stressful circumstances when there may be differences of opinion. Disparagement and disrespect of co-workers will not be tolerated, as this undermines the creative environment and endangers creative productivity. Employees need to find ways to find agreement. The work and the process take priority.
Efficiency – Our time is the client’s time as well. Each agency employee should strive to use their working time wisely, and within the parameters budgeted for each job. Employees should also record time promptly and accurately each day, to help the agency bill efficiently and be more profitable.
Positive outlook – We aim for a “can do” attitude when working with client personnel as well as agency co-workers. It’s okay to be serious and cautious—after all, some client requests are just not feasible—but it’s not okay to be negative or dismissive. Instead of saying “no can do,” stay focused on how to deliver a solution. A healthy sense of humor and perspective helps to defuse tense situations.
Attention to detail – There is no other way to operate in this business. With so many moving parts and so much input for each job, agency employees need to work carefully to ensure mistakes do not slip through the cracks. When in doubt, check the work!
Integrity – Be honest and principled with your clients, co-workers and subordinates. You’ll all be happier, more sane, and agency life will be less… complicated.
Treat the client’s business as your own – Because it is your own. Your agency’s efforts on the client’s behalf can result in your client’s success and growth… and bottom-line growth for the agency. It’s the only way to work.