At the beginning of 2020, during our annual Speak Week (a week-long, in-person gathering of our full team), Speak’s founder and CEO, Jacob Savage, challenged us to focus on three things in the coming year: craft, cause, and community.
As all businesses and organizations have had to pivot their operations and core functions since March, our focus on those topics is more important than ever. As Speak’s HR Director, I wanted to showcase how we’re pressing into these three ideas and how your business can as well.
We are committed to honing our craft. It’s not just limited to our creative teams. All of our team members are committed to being both a learner and a trainer. We are developing a full-featured agency training system with resources and courses for every role and team. This is allowing us to capture the knowledge that lives in our heads or is locked up with one or two people on a team. This looks like everything from outlining best practices to noting all the things that make us work great as a team. But we aren’t leaving it to knowledge alone. Knowledge is part of the equation, but learning is key to the training solution. We don’t know if we’ve learned unless we test it, practice it, or measure it in some form. Knowledge is passive, but learning is active. For anyone to hone their craft they must be actively learning.
As we are developing this system, we are taking the time to discover the unique career development path each employee is on. We start with the things they are best at and then look at where we can expand secondary skills that will allow them to help themselves and their teams grow. Utilizing this time to evaluate our operations will help us keep our team agile as the economy fluctuates in a post-pandemic world.
Learning is best when it is consistent. It could be something as simple as taking an element from a current work project and zeroing in on what can be done better. It’s asking questions like: how can I push this to the next level? How can I save time on this part of the process? How can I get better at communicating or presenting ideas?
Learning happens in the tension, and right now there is plenty of tension in our world. Don’t miss the opportunities to see what the pandemic response has exposed. Where were you not ready to respond quickly to the crisis? Businesses are learning those lessons but at the team level, your employees likely have things they could take stock of as well. Take the time to talk through these and put an action plan together for your individual employees as well as the team at large. Additionally, don’t let the idea that training is expensive stop you from pushing your team to train, grow, and hone their craft. Using the expertise your team already has is the best place to get started.
Speak has always been fortunate to have meaningful partnerships. It is important for us to connect with our partners’ why and reflect that in our work for them.
However, living out our cause goes behind just our partners’ why. Each of our team members is challenged to understand why they do what they do. We spend a lot of time at work and that time should be enjoyable. Understanding our individual why is huge in creating an environment of enjoyable work. Why do you keep the books? Why do you provide customer service? Why do you write content for websites? We’ve been using this time to reflect.
Even if your answer is only because it’s my job — there’s an underlying cause that’s worthy there. We work to care for our families. We work to share our gifts and talents with the world. We work to be the person we were created to be. As times are uncertain and changing daily, don’t lose sight of your cause for your clients or for yourself.
Community — common unity. It sounds redundant, but we often need to repeat things to really get it.
Community is the uniting of people around common ideas. While we have several other common themes, the heart of what makes us great is our team. Together we are better. We don’t want to ever take that for granted.
Remote working has long been a part of the fabric and perks of working at Speak. With a portion of our staff working from their home offices 100% of the time, we’ve leveraged technology to keep our team connected as we work with clients and on projects. Even beyond the work schedule, we use that same technology to keep connected as co-workers and friends. It’s important to fight the isolation that can often come with working from home and work to keep morale high.
We upped the ante on this at the beginning of the year and even focused on our workplaces to be centers of community and not just online. The pandemic response has slowed those efforts of the in-person community but it hasn’t stopped our commitment to it.
The pandemic response is giving us an opportunity for everyone to see the importance of being together not just virtually, but also in person.
By now you have read countless blogs and articles on how to ride the waves of this pandemic storm. There are great complexities still to be worked out as we approach a post-pandemic economy. The waters won’t always be as rough as they are now. While we navigate those waters, let’s keep on doing what we do best.
COVID-19 hasn’t changed that focus for us and it doesn’t have to change for your small business either. There are key factors that have made your business a success — what you do, why you do it, and who you do it with. It’s all about your craft, cause, and community.
Looking to put more craft, cause or community into your online presence? We’ll help you bring the culture that you’ve created in the office to your audience online. Drop us a line and let’s explore what’s possible.
Get In Touch