How to improve team decision-making
When you own an agency or you’re responsible for the delivery of a project, it’s tempting to take control of everything. It can be hard to step away and let others make key decisions, despite how much you crave it. But if you don’t, you’ll cause a bottleneck. You’ll also demotivate your team and they’ll get used to not making decisions, which is a very difficult trend to reverse.
But equally, you have to trust your team in order to confidently allow them to make decisions without being micro-managed. So what’s the solution?
We caught up with key members of Birmingham-based, advertising agency, Clevercherry and a London-based digital marketing agency to discuss how they empower their team to not only make decisions but to make the right decisions.
Clevercherry doubled in size in just two years. Throughout this period, they were very careful to retain their culture, the same culture they had when they were just five employees. Founder Ian Allen said:
I believe that culture is the key in our industry. Now we're running with it at full speed. In two words, we're talking about Openness and Empowerment.
Lots of agencies discuss team empowerment but in practice, this can be the hardest value to implement. To genuinely empower individuals, can be nerve-wracking as managers need to really step away. If an agency has grown from a small number of employees this can be tough. And for the team to feel empowerment and not overwhelmed, they need to be confident in their decisions.
Managing Director, Nigel Wilson shares how he implemented Synergist and what this has done for decision-making and empowerment:
"We no longer have to rely on gut instinct and experience alone. It's there in black & white. Synergist gives me the reports I need."
It's educating the team. They make better decisions now. It promotes self-education. Team members are much more aware now of what costs go into a job. It means that even though we're benefiting today, next year we'll benefit even more."
"You've got to think fast today. An account manager asks you about some costings. With the history of previous jobs in front of you, you can say 'Here's what happened before.' It makes decision-making easier and more transparent."
Synergist has helped us be more scalable. People are more empowered now. Decisions that used to drop relentlessly into my lap every day are now taking place with no fuss. That's a payoff that keeps on paying.
The oter agency we want to spotlight grew from a ‘tiny’ search-only agency into a 30-strong marketing agency.
Their Finance Director shares how she used an over-servicing problem as an opportunity to empower the team to put things right themselves and increase their commercial awareness to fix the problem for good.
Synergist showed us we had been heavily over-servicing. We had to reassure our team that we needed to know these things. It’s not a reflection on them. We just need the facts to make informed decisions. The information empowers the team, and Synergist is here to help them. They get that now. Smarter client conversations take place today.
“When young graduates join us and work on small clients, the data now lets them be strategic. They understand the money side of things right away. It’s such good career experience for when they are promoted to handling larger clients. It’s also helped with fine-tuning targets. It’s removed all the debates and emotions – it’s all factual now. We discuss the benchmarks with each department. We can see when a department has earned extra hours of specialist time. They can allocate it how they need. That’s very empowering.”
If you’d like to know more about how Synergist can help your agency, then there are a few ways you can get in touch. You can drop us a note, book yourself a 15-minute one-to-one demo or you can give our implementation partners the agency works a call on 01455 553246. We’d love to see if we can help.