Christine Pietryla Wetzler

Owner, Pietryla PR & Marketing

PR Consultant

Fractional CMO

Featured Writer

Christine Pietryla Wetzler

Owner, Pietryla PR & Marketing

PR Consultant

Fractional CMO

Featured Writer

New Post

What Post-Covid Agency Success Looks Like With A Remote Workforce

What Post-Covid Agency Success Looks Like With A Remote Workforce

To make the best decisions as the owner of an agency, especially those regarding finances, you need a strong business model—a blueprint for growth that describes the value your company provides, how you plan to deliver it to customers, and the way this system will feed the bottom line. As such, your business model is something that can and should change as the business changes along with the world around it. Brands still need agency support. According to Forbes, a survey of 2,814 global business leaders demonstrated that 39% of U.S. respondents had a crisis management plan in place that they found “very relevant” during the pandemic.

Your business, like every other, couldn’t ignore the issues Covid-19 presented. Going forward in a post-pandemic world where remote work is now the norm, business modeling promises to be even trickier. To succeed in the coming year, you need to develop a solid framework for turning a profit. For some ideas about what success might look like for agencies in the coming year and ways to leverage these insights as you review and revive your business model, check out the advice from members of Forbes Agency Council below.

Forbes Agency Council members explore what post-Covid agency success looks like with a remote workforce. PHOTOS COURTESY OF THE INDIVIDUAL MEMBERS. (NOT PICTURED: CANDICE GEORGIADIS)

1. Leaning Into New Cultural And Work Norms

Success looks like leaning into and embracing the new cultural and work norms that have upended what we consider “standard work practices.” This means the implementation of hybrid work models, increased focus on mental/behavioral health and wellness resources, a higher degree of employee autonomy and a commitment to investing in a “new normal” to increase the happiness and health of everyone. – Josh Perlstein, Response Media

2. Building A Complete Virtual Workspace

With remote working becoming the norm, agencies are striving to build strong virtual teams and workspaces. There’s no doubt it’s a big challenge, as managing employees virtually is a daunting task. Nevertheless, with existing technologies, companies will eventually create digital workspaces, though some work still needs to be done. – Candice Georgiadis, Digital Agency, Inc

3. Leveraging Top Talent Globally And Creating Cultural Alignment

Leveraging the best talent globally and creating cultural alignment with core values will create the most powerful advantage for agencies. The biggest key will be hiring for cultural fit and ensuring there are no major disconnects among the team members. Success will include culture management as a core function within the agency, with key performance indicators for team happiness, engagement and ambassadorship. – Zamir Javer, Jumpfactor

4. Being Open To Change

Constant communication with your team—via surveys, discussion groups and emails—is key. Needs and concerns before, during and post-Covid all look different. For example, we always had a flexible, “adult” policy for vacation, but full-time work from home led to too little time being taken off for rest. So we added in required monthly days off, no meetings on Friday afternoons and biweekly meditation times. – Lon Otremba, Bidtellect

5. Allowing For Flexibility With Accountability

No agency should dictate when and where a person “checks in” for work anymore. That time has passed, though some agencies will learn the lesson from their team retention in the months to come. Instead, allow for overt flexibility with extreme accountability. Accountability requires excellent communication and consistency so that team members can trust and depend on one another wherever they are located. – Beck Bamberger, BAM

6. Giving Employees Autonomy And A Living Wage

For agencies to have success in a post-Covid world, agency leadership should be looking for ways to retain talent by developing a model that gives employees autonomy and tools for self-mastery while also clearly defining what it means to pay a living wage. – Jonathan Hanson, Unconquered

7. Embracing Transparency, Trust And Technology

A successful model in today’s digital workplace requires embracing three things: transparency, trust and technology. Whether you are remote-first, office-first or hybrid, you must arm teams with the technology needed to work as a distributed group, trust they are executing in their new, unique daily constructs of “working hours” and be transparent about both employee and company performance. – Lindsey Groepper, BLASTmedia

8. Using Your Resources To Hire The Best Person For The Job

The pandemic and its challenges highlighted the need for certain skills and the redundancy of others, and we saw many talented people become consultants. I’m hoping both agencies and clients have a better sense of what is actually needed to get the best result instead of following traditional paths that lead to wasted time and money. Use those resources to get the best person for the job. – Christine Wetzler, Pietryla PR & Marketing

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9. Thinking About Employee Retention Strategies

Success is often seen from the perspective of customer retention, which is linked to employee retention. It is an employee’s market right now with more jobs available than can be filled. Think about employee retention strategies, such as offering work-from-home options, flex time and professional development opportunities. If you lose key players, success will be in jeopardy, as they may take that key account with them. – Lori Paikin, NaviStone®

10. Sourcing Qualified Workers Wherever They Are

As agency owners, we’re constantly looking for arbitrage opportunities on human capital. In fact, our core product is this ability to fill skill gaps in the companies we service. Removal of local geographical requirements means more qualified workers and—importantly—at the right price for agencies to source and leverage toward accomplishing client goals. – Bobby Steinbach, MeanPug Digital

11. Having Systems For Feedback, Accountability And Camaraderie

The secret to running a successful team remotely is having clear expectations, standardized procedures and systems for feedback, accountability and camaraderie. We often have work Zoom calls where people quietly work on their projects, but other team members are there and can be asked questions if needed. – Brian Meert, AdvertiseMint

12. Bringing On New Team Members To Build Your Organization

Structure plays an important role in a remote workforce. After nearly two years of remote work, agencies generally have established solid communication between workers, so the next step is to bring on new team members to build your team’s organization. – Hannah Trivette, NUVEW Web Solutions

13. Being Inclusive To Support A More Culturally Diverse Staff

Inclusivity is the key for businesses to thrive in a remote-centric, post-Covid world. Why? Because now businesses can and need to attract talent nationwide (or even worldwide), as they are not limited to local talent. This also means, however, that agencies need to embrace and support a more culturally diverse staff, as people from different regions, backgrounds and perspectives join the team. – April Margulies, Trust Relations

14. Preparing For Local Events With A Globally Distributed Staff

In-person events are the promise of a post-Covid world, and we know from our network that people can’t wait to reconnect in real life, whether it’s at trade shows, festivals or showroom events with after-parties. Agencies that master the challenge of preparing for local events with a now globally distributed, remote staff will be successful in the post-pandemic era of catching up on experiences. – Melanie Marten, The Coup


This article originally appeared on Forbes.

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