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24 May 2016

Being Your Best

Written by: Victoria Bentall, Associate Director at Edelman

Culture, Employee Engagement, Technology

How do you be the very best comms person you can for your client? How do you come up with the most creative ideas, but still have a bit of a life to go with it? After all, that bit of a life is what makes you the interesting person you are.

Here at Edelman, the team of technology industry specialists have been looking into it. In the past two years we’ve made changes which are reaping rewards in team attitude, ideas and the way we engage our clients.

We don’t have slides or a climbing wall in our office, but we do have a huge amount we’re very proud of.

It wasn’t about starting afresh. It was fine tuning to make the best of an already pretty awesome group of people.

It all started with a little book called Techisms. The book is a user manual for working life in our team, a core framework for the way we do things and the way we think that shapes our team spirit and helps guide our everyday decision making.

We’re no longer chained to our desks. We operate a hot-desking policy, it encourages collaboration and enables us to sit with the people we’re working with that day. We’re all actively encouraged to work remotely at least once a week whether from home, client offices or somewhere that inspires us that morning. Creativity is on the rise, sharing is on the rise and so too is client insight. We’re definitely not the first, and we won’t be the last, but these small steps start to make a difference.

Now onto email, how much time do you spend on it every day? We’ve cut between half and three quarters of our internal email and all down to using other collaboration tools. No longer does our day start with twenty emails blaming the Victoria Line for the office being empty until 9.30. Now it starts with the best content, campaigns and articles that our team want to share, and it is all in one place. We can always search the channel about London Underground’s latest trials if we need to know where someone is.

We’re actively encouraged to use new tools. The team are constantly looking, suggesting and sometimes learning that it just won’t work. Some have become staples, others have fallen by the way side, but we fail fast and we use that to make a more informed choice the next time. Every one of our team has access to a Mindfulness programme; we use external organisations such as RADA and The School of Life for our training and love team evenings out at events such as the recent Big Bang Data exhibition at Somerset House. We celebrate greatness.

We have brought in a no internal meeting policy before 10 and after 4. We don’t need to come in until 10 if we have plans, alternatively we get in early and leave early, as I do to collect my children. Though for others it is often a later start to get in their gym fix first thing.

These are small steps, but they are making a big difference.

What is the point?

The point is that it gets the best from all of us for our clients. Edelman recognises our lives are important, we feel valued and consequently we work more effectively and have time to nurture our creativity. We go beyond what is expected and we’re seriously curious. We get the time to do the stuff that makes us tick inside and outside work. It is producing great client outcomes and a fun environment to work in.

Ten years ago I joined an industry stalwart, today I work for that same company but it is one with the hunger of a start-up.

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