After a very difficult year in 2020, the creative sector is due for a rebound. In a recent survey, The Drum found that 60% of marketing agencies forecasted a bounce back in revenues in 2021. This resilient market is optimistic about the future and with the expected growth, new recruitment will simultaneously grow at the same pace. 

Remote-working adoption

Like many other industries, creative and marketing agencies have adopted the new remote working format, with the entire workforce working predominately from home for the past year. As the upheaval out of the offices took place immediately, rather than a gradual phased approach, new strategies, processes and procedures were introduced overnight, which for many companies has left long-term implications on their culture. 

A company’s values, vision and overall culture is something that involves a lot of thought and decision-making and involves even more time to properly integrate into the company and become something that is adopted by every employee. For some companies, it can become taken for granted, and the beliefs and practices that unpin how people work together run like a well-oiled machine. 

But when unforeseen circumstances, such as those doled out by the pandemic create a tidal wave of disruption in your business culture, are your staff being left adrift? And once you start to see a bounce back this year, what happens when you begin to add more employees into the pool? 

Identifying culture erosion 

Whilst culture erosion can have major impacts on a business, signs that the culture is degrading can often be subtle. One indicator to look out for in any firm is reduced productivity as it demonstrates that employees may be losing concentration, having external distractions or even losing motivation. Agencies need to look out for missed deadlines or a lower quality of work being produced. Another indicator is staff burnout, which could be shown in feelings of energy depletion or reduced professional efficacy. Another sign is the decline in social collaboration and teamwork which is vital to maintaining a strong culture among employees. 

Addressing erosion before recruiting new staff

Culture is holistic and involves every facet of the business and guides the actions and interactions in the workplace. Companies want employees that will be loyal for long periods of time and behave in line with their values. To do so, they need to be able to sustain their culture even when employees are working from home. 

It is vital for those agencies experiencing some form of cultural erosion to address the situation before it stems into a much bigger issue. One way to tackle culture issues is to develop a thorough employee handbook. An employee handbook will allow agencies to explain company policies and demonstrate official processes but if developed right can do so much more. 

A central part of onboarding new employees is integrating them with existing teams, a process that heavily depends on familiarising new recruits with the company’s culture and a handbook is a tool that can be used to provide guidance if a section is devoted to the topic. It should include company and team values, communication etiquette and common goals or visions. A carefully drafted handbook will ensure all those new employees brought in during this boom are not losing out on key parts just because they are based from home. 

Agencies may find that there have been changes made to their original values and processes because of the new way of working and that is only natural. Handbooks should never be static; they should constantly evolve with your company and it is important to refresh and make the most out of this amazing resource. 

Our specialism

We develop comprehensive employee handbooks that will enable firms to create and maintain strong cultures that represent their values and are ingrained into each employee’s behaviour. From drafting, implementing and reviewing employment handbooks, we will assist you through every step to make sure it is fit for purpose and embraces those new additions to the team into your thriving and adaptative culture. 

Click here to drop us a message to chat further about implementing a Staff Handbook or any other issues you may have.