Top tips for nurturing talent in PR

Consumer PR Agency

We’re getting ready to welcome a new pup to the spottydog pack as part of our plans to recruit a new digital marketing executive and one of the big benefits of joining us is our commitment to nurturing talent.  A consumer PR agency alike, spottydog is definitely a place for talent to grow and thrive.

It’s a topic spottydog team member Maddy McCrann-Smith spoke passionately about at a recent PRCA Midlands Nurturing Talent event and so we thought we’d share our approach to getting the best out of people and making the most of their talents.

Blowing my own trumpet for a moment, in my career within a couple of years I’ve moved from entry level executive to a management role. This can also be said for many of our great team here, Katie Bregazzi, Matt Suddaby, Isla Williams and Maddy McCrann-Smith to name just a few who’ve progressed rapidly since being with the company, and that’s why we boast above average team retention rates.

This sort of progression isn’t unusual. In part it’s thanks to the way spottydog really thinks about how to get the best out of its employees, allowing them to flourish in their roles, which results in this accelerated development.

So, using this experience to guide us, here are some considerations businesses can take when thinking about getting the best out of their workers:

#1 Put an emphasis on training and development

Offering the opportunity for employees to develop their skills is important, it’s what makes people better at what they do. There are many ways you can unlock an employee’s potential through training, whether that’s through internally or externally run sessions, with each providing excellent benefits.

When considering training options, ensure that any courses will actually improve a team member’s skills, address any knowledge gaps and ultimately help them develop and reach the next step in their career. Training doesn’t have to be done for training’s sake. Tailoring a training plan to fit an individual is an excellent way for them to develop.

#2 Give employees a chance to prove themselves

With any new employee or young talent, you’ll always want to ease them into things, and give them a chance to get used to their surroundings and the topics they’re covering.

While it can be tempting to simply give fresh talent the menial tasks (daily reporting, admin, and the jobs managers don’t normally have time to do), this can quickly turn them off, stunt their growth and demotivate them even, especially if they’re an ambitious individual.

Yes, it is important that they know the basics, that goes without saying, but you need to serve them the chance to prove themselves. Providing ample opportunities for them to take on a bit of extra responsibility, maybe by leading part of a project or inputting into a client meeting can help to unlock potential and keep an employee engaged.

#3 Value their contribution

It may seem an obvious point to make, but if you’ve ever sat in on any management or psychology-based training sessions, trainers will always emphasise this point: Making sure an employee feels their contributions are valued is vital.

This can be achieved in so many ways, all of which are so simple. It could be in a one-to-one with a line manager, a shout out in a team meeting when they achieve some great results, a manager asking for their feedback on a creative idea, or even requesting they contribute to an important task.

#4 Involvement in decision-making processes

Asking for feedback and not working in silos are always recommended practices, especially when you’re surrounded by great employees. Maybe the next time you’re working on a project, instead of going to that person you always seek out for input, you could ask another member of the team instead?

When you’re surrounded by heaps of talented individuals it would be crazy not to make the most of them and giving an opportunity to someone who wouldn’t normally be involved in major decision-making might unlock a skill set which was previously undiscovered. This doesn’t mean that a fresh graduate will decide on the company’s strategy for the next 12 months, far from it. It’s more about giving talented individuals the chance to help out with the planning stages of an important task, rather than just setting them the task. This helps them to engage with the process, ultimately helping to provide better results at its conclusion.

#5 Consider an individual’s motivation

Finding out what motivates someone, and what gets them up in the morning, is an incredibly useful tool to increase productivity. The reality is there are very few jobs out there where someone will absolutely adore every element.

There will always be bits they don’t enjoy, but if it’s clear what that employee’s motivations are then their workloads can be adapted to fit this, allowing them to take on the tasks which they’re thrive on and are motivated by – ultimately helping them to become more engaged in their work.

#6 Invest in Professional Learning & Development programmes

Our industry memberships of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) and PRCA are critical to the development of our future talent.  Through these we can access high quality learning and training opportunities that can be tailored to our team member’s specific needs.  For an investment of around £200 per year we can facilitate a whole year of learning and development.  Which means we have some change left over in our staff welfare budget for social activities and soft benefits that keep our team engaged.

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