At both Silverbean and AGY47, we recruit on attitude rather than aptitude. It’s at times like this when that really pays off.
Our people are outstanding at pulling together. My job as CEO is to ensure I create the environment where they are safe and supported first, and then provide what they need to do what they do best.
We moved to fully flexible working arrangements some time ago and that was already working very well for us – so the logistics of enforced period of home based working was very easy for us to handle. We’ve also put a lot of effort in to helping our people understand their personality preferences as part of our Agency Development Programmes. This means my senior team know where their introverts and extroverts are and can build the support needed to suit everyone in the challenging environment we find ourselves in now.
We are mindful of every penny we are spending like any other business. What I have done, though, is made sure we have the right tools in place. I have invested in new software that enables the whole company to come together remotely and seamlessly. My teams have strong friendships running through them and I am very mindful of the emotional needs I have to look after through keeping everyone connected.
Health and wellbeing is so important. We already had the very best private medical provision in place for all our people and their families and an outstanding employee assistance programme, which gives everyone access to the personal support they may need. However, it’s the ‘people’ piece that is so important right now and my senior team lead by example. They care deeply about their teams and keep in touch with individuals and the wider team regularly, whilst still feeding information to me so I can make decisions as circumstance dictates in real time. It’s this human touch that is so important; people need to feel connected, safe and looked after.
On the client side, we are in touch with every client personally. Our message to all is ‘how can we help’. We have the very best digital marketing brains here and they want to get involved with our clients; it’s why our client retention is so high. We’ve also built the tools that will help our clients most when we come out the other side. The trading environment will be different then and we are pro-actively preparing their digital marketing channels to enable clients to move quickly into recovery once this is over.
Neil Robbins – CEO