The effective use of project management tools can have a positive influence on an agency’s culture and growth by improving processes, saving time, and providing structure, which in turn affects productivity and employee morale. As renowned Harvard Business School professor Michael Porter said, “continuity of strategic direction and continuous improvement in how you do things are absolutely consistent with each other. In fact, they’re mutually reinforcing.” The key phrase here is “continuous improvement,” something agencies should always be focused on. Lack of iteration or change can lead to stagnancy, which means employees may lose interest or not feel challenged; and therefore, a lack of progress for the agency. On the other hand, an environment open to change fosters growth and inspires employees.

Below I will discuss a few tools agencies can implement that will help employees, and in turn, foster a positive work culture.

Teamwork Streamlines Agency Processes

Teamwork is a great tool to coordinate and guide an agency’s processes. The primary features of Teamwork include time tracking, task distribution, and workload planning. Teamwork can be used throughout an agency, but the account team should rely on it most heavily. Teamwork can create projects by client and assign tasks and subtasks within each project to team members. Each task can then be given a time estimate of how long they have to complete it and a due date. An account manager can view the bandwidth of team members in the Workload Planner, then assign tasks accordingly. When workload can be assessed prior to assigning a new task everyone can be more comfortable with their projects. However, this should not be relied upon at the sacrifice of communication between colleagues because things can change quickly.

Small Improvements Enhances Agency Morale

Small Improvements is a performance management tool that can be used across all industries. This tool offers a structured format for documenting employee objectives, reviews, check-ins, peer feedback, and praise. Every team in an agency, or any organization, can benefit from incorporating Small Improvements into their performance review process. The formalized process can be set up to match your company’s review cadence and is customizable to the topics you want to discuss. This provides structure and can help employees feel a bit more comfortable going into reviews with their superiors – as the information can be shared ahead of any meetings – alleviating any anxiety employees may have. Level-headed and calm employees will be more equipped to communicate more openly and honestly about concerns or feel at ease asking questions. In turn, when an employee has had a tough week, and they receive unexpected praise from a colleague, it can positively change their whole mood and the way they approach their work, clients, and coworkers.

Sprout Social Manages Online Presence

The organic social media team can benefit from tools like Sprout Social to manage their client’s online presence. This tool offers the ability to manage multiple social media channels for multiple clients within one platform. The social media content calendar can also be shared via the platform with other people, teams, or with the client for approval. In addition, Sprout has in-depth reporting and analytics capabilities including individual profile performance, overall platform performance, competitor performance, and more, as well as social listening which provides valuable insights into what people are saying about your clients online. Depending on the specific needs of your social media clients, Sprout may not have enough flexibility or the necessary integrations with certain platforms so agencies should always assess a variety of tools before selecting.

Google Campaign Manager Benefits Media Teams

Google Campaign Manager (GCM) is an ad-serving tool that media teams rely on heavily across multiple mediums. Programmatic, social, and search ads, as well as ads placed on print or broadcast publisher websites, can all be trafficked and tracked through GCM. This process keeps everything in a centralized location, allows for easier standardized reporting across platforms, and serves as a quality assurance checks against metrics provided by vendor partners. At times though, this can lead to over servicing, and unnecessary hours spent, particularly for smaller or lower-budget clients, so the decision to use GCM should always be reviewed against the needs and budget of the account.

Culture Is Key and Tools Can Help

Having tools and systems in place can enhance your agency’s culture and foster growth. Issues or inefficiencies should be analyzed and assessed before they become larger issues that impact employee morale and the overall health of the agency. How an employee feels on a day-to-day basis will have the greatest impact on their work, self-esteem, and overall happiness which in turn builds a stronger team. If they have the proper tools to do their job, the company culture will be stronger than ever.