In May 2016, the New York attorney general filed a lawsuit against Domino’s for underpaying workers at least $565,000 at 10 of its New York stores. The pizza chain urged franchisees to use its PULSE computer system — even though executives knew the system had been under-calculating gross wages for years. Long story short, Domino’s opted not to fix the flaw, instead labeling it a low-priority issue.
In doing so, Domino’s kept vital information from employees. Not only did employees lose hundreds of thousands of dollars, but Domino’s also lost employees’ trust.
Communicate Openly for Success
In today’s workforce, in which employees are motivated by company inclusivity and identifying with employer values, successful agencies are transparent with employees. They clearly define annual goals and aspirations with team members. With measurable milestones set, agencies must communicate regularly to ensure everyone stays informed, motivated, and excited about their work and the agency as a whole.
It’s not enough to distribute the company Kool-Aid; getting employees to drink it requires you to authentically express — face-to-face — why you believe in your agency and what end goals it will achieve. Passion and charisma are contagious. Help your team members understand what drives you, and they will enthusiastically commit.
Some issues like salaries are meant to be kept private, but others — like the financial state of your business — should be shared. When employees don’t have access to financial data, they miss out on critical facts like company profitability or loss, cash flow, and gross margin comparisons with direct competitors. Teams without this valuable information are limited, which can result in poor decision-making. Share your numbers with your employees to show that you trust and value them.
Building Loyalty Through Transparency
You want a team that will celebrate wins and learn from losses, so consider including these items in your next quarterly meeting:
• Share goal updates and milestones. When you set a goal, remain transparent with your team members, and keep them updated with accomplishments or setbacks. A well-informed team is a motivated team. This can improve company culture, build camaraderie, bolster the agency’s reputation, and even increase loyalty with employees and clients alike.
• Explore new business opportunities, wins, and losses. Let your team know about any new opportunities you’re pursuing, client wins, and business losses. Employees appreciate context and background leading into new projects. Even though it may be difficult, share bad news or performance missteps. Bad news should never be a surprise to anyone in your agency.
• Present good work and results for clients. Quarterly meetings are a great time to showcase the amazing work your team has produced and give credit where it’s due, which can be a great tool for learning best practices for future projects. Use the time to inspire, commend, and motivate.
• Acknowledge employees who are living the agency brand. Client service is No.1, so if you know of outstanding team members who continually go above and beyond, acknowledge and praise them for their hard work. They’re representing your company in a positive light, retaining current business, and winning new projects.
• Discuss any upcoming shifts or changes. No employee should be blindsided by changes internally, externally, or with clients. Be sure to include updates on process or role changes internally and anything client-related you believe your team should know about.
• Celebrate agency or employee service. This can include an employee’s 10th anniversary with your agency or a fifth anniversary with a loyal client. It can be a simple shout-out or a more formal gesture with a service pin. Whatever the case, celebrate what a huge win it is for your company to have such dedicated teammates and clients.
• Open up discussion for questions and feedback. It’s important to create an open forum for discussion and questions during your quarterly meeting. Listen intently to overarching or project-specific observations, and always encourage team members to share positive and negative feedback.
Be a passionate leader, and dedicate time to inclusive quarterly meetings in which you share successes and failures. In doing so, you’ll build loyal employees who see all the great aspects of the agency you’ve built together and feel like part of the family.
This article was written by Drew McLellan and was first published on MediaPost.