Finding Success by Promoting Success

Or, the best decisions you haven’t made.

Many agencies cry out that they want to be known as ‘thinkers, outside of the box’ or that they ‘do things differently’ when in fact, they try to output those philosophies, tools and techniques but still run the inside of the walls like the old days…you know the ones, the days before smart phones, laptops and GPS.

That’s stupid. There, I said it.

But you know? The ones who are truly doing really great stuff and who are really getting recognized for it are running the business of production differently and the result is incredible, recognized work.

You see, the life of a small to medium sized agency, depending on what eyes are looking at it, is measured by the number of successful assets it produces and the financial gain those digital assets create.

So, what of the personal gains and achieved goals of each team member? How, then, does one harness that to collectively take the business beyond expectations?

If you ask the ‘bean counters’ they might say, “Yeah, so? Pay me!”

There is, however, a line between both employee and bean counter that can greatly overlap in order to satisfy both on an exponential level. Growth is good for all. Quite simply, if one is extraordinarily happy (employee), the other is too (bean counter) because many more ‘beans’ come in the door.


Sure, an agency can be financially and professionally successful, but what if the quality of work improved alongside increased productivity? This almost seems like a no-brainer. Yes, 2 +2 does equal 4.

A well-motivated, happy team naturally produces more and keeps a level of quality (or better) on par with what made the agency successful in the first place.


An old-school way of motivating people was to encourage mass productivity through a system of monetary reward.

Naturally, if your work-force is grossly underpaid, monetary rewards are helpful, but not always. For example, if your work force is ‘grossly’ (as used in the previous sentence for effect) underpaid and you add a little, you’ll get little response.

Maybe you’ll witness a short burst of increased productivity, but when reality sets in, it’s back to where it was. The wait time in between increases for the employee is now being further dependent on additional productivity. This is unbalanced and not truly promoting success.

A new school of motivating people must first be aware that it’s just that: A NEW SCHOOL. Relying on old-school, stock motivators in an ever-increasingly stressful and difficult-to-navigate world is doing the reverse of the intention, no matter how genuine.


First, compensate fairly against competitive as well as average wages per position.

Second, understand that atop a competitive wage is a vast wealth of inexpensive motivators that will help build a better, stronger individual and team.


  • Reward employees with modified schedules.

Allow different, flexible working hours. A 9 to 5 day is silliness to a digital agency.  If a digital agency is encouraging digital solutions to its clients, shouldn’t the employees be encouraged to complete tasks using digital technologies that are practically     accessible anywhere?

  • Encourage task completion not simply filling a time gap. This is a ‘book-end’ work day that feels confining. Confine someone and you’ll see decreased motivation, naturally.

Reward task completion. Better yet, reward early task completion.Offer additional time-off as a reward for additional productivity above and beyond expected task completion.

  • Use positive encouragement and praise as much as possible while being genuine. The bean counters aren’t stupid, and neither are the employees.
  • Encourage digital time-away.

Many who work in digital agencies are tech and gadget freaks, but when encouraged to take time away from it by an employer, the employee feels a sense of praise as she/he is subtly told that their job was well done and they can unplug. Plus, new perspective is gained through unplugging

  • Encourage Life.

Based on the above mention of ‘task completion’, allow employees to experience life events outside of work whenever possible while focusing on task completion as the output required, not the time bookends.

  • Allow 360 Degree Reviews.

Employees create the income for the business so why not hear their say, anonymously? Employees face review, by why not management? You’d be surprised how much more productivity and improvement comes out of the business as a whole while 360 Degree Reviews are enacted.

  • Lead By Example.

This is top down, no one skipped. There is no wiggle room for blatant hypocrisy in a small to medium sized business where everyone is visible. Nothing like practically destroying all of the above headway than when this little bugger rears its ugly head.

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