How to motivate your team to produce good work, even during a global pandemic

We all know what it’s like to dig deep on a Monday morning, trying to find the smallest bit of motivation to get out of bed and dress for work. When the Covid-19 pandemic hit, it sort of threw the world into a permanent “Monday morning” situation. Along with the increased levels of stress and anxiety it brought to agencies and businesses all over the globe, came an adjustment to remote working and a struggle amongst employees to find motivation to be innovative and creative. 

Research conducted in partnership with Microsoft and the Boston Consulting Group, involving 9,000 managers and employees from firms across 15 European countries, revealed that, “It’s a challenge to feel connected, confident and communicate effectively with the team, and we know from a lot of research that creativity and innovation largely happen through collaboration.” A healthy team culture is achieved when employees feel motivated to be creative and productive. 

But, how do you implement this type of work environment when employees are unable to get together in the office for a good, old-fashioned creative brainstorming session?

Fortunately there are a number of effective strategies you can implement within your teams now to ensure you can harness that collaborative mentality, and motivate your team to produce creative work, at a distance. 

Ensure an effective briefing process

According to Denise Blasevick, CEO of The S3 Agency, providing a clear creative brief, a day or two before an online brainstorming sessions, is key because it “allows people to digest the information, do research, and come armed with questions along with any potential thought starters that can start the brainstorm out with a burst of energy.”

Download a helpful Creative Brief Checklist

Use virtual whiteboards for collaboration

Traditional brainstorming whiteboards are found to actually limit creativity because often one individual is responsible for recording all thoughts, whereas virtual whiteboards allow everyone to contribute, show and record their ideas. Visual collaboration in a virtual space also means you can loop in other team members who may work in different country offices. You could even use this process to encourage healthy competition, circling the “winning ideas” on the virtual whiteboard and challenging your team to suggest better ideas.

Here are a few virtual whiteboards we recommend checking out: 

Source: https://www.innovationtraining.org/what-is-mural-and-how-to-use-mural-for-design-thinking/

Encourage individual work 

Grace Judson, a leadership consultant, advises that you provide your team with limited solo brainstorming time, using a ripple effect: The first team member starts and is given 5 minutes to write out their ideas. Once they are done, the second team member goes, either coming up with new ideas, or using the ideas of the previous team member as inspiration, still on the 5-minute clock. This continues until all team members have contributed and then the results are up for discussion. 

Equip your team with a helpful brainstorming activity sheet

For many, the best way to tackle those Monday morning blues is to grab hold of a big cup of coffee. And for us, giving our team tools to help get their creative juices flowing while working from home, is the equivalent to a shot of espresso. 

Which is why we’ve developed a free, downloadable, Idea Generation Workbook that you can share with your team today – either for them to complete alone or for you to work through it with them. 

This sheet offers a few out-of-the-box ideas for brainstorming effectively, as well as formal processes they can follow to keep them focused and motivated. Before long, your team will be producing such good work, and solving every problem thrown at them, you will have forgotten remote working was ever a struggle in the first place. 

Ready to see your team’s innovative thinking thrive? Get your free Idea Generation Workbook by completing the below form.

 

A Quick Guide for Keeping Your Firm Healthy in 2021

2020 was a big learning curve for businesses all around the world. Many engineering firms had to learn to adjust to remote working, while still maintaining a positive and motivational workplace culture, and implementing systems and processes to navigate the “new normal” way of working.

All of this change can have an impact on a firm’s organisational health, and so we decided to create a practical guide for your firm that can be a resource to;

  • Highlight the four key learnings that indicate a healthy engineering firm
  • Provide guidelines for maintaining optimal organisational health in the four areas
  • Share practical tools you can implement to improve your processes today
  • Help to equip your firm for any future unexpected challenges

Download the full guide by completing the form below.

Want to ensure your engineering firm is staying successful in a competitive SA market?

Silversoft is offering Engineering Consulting firms a free health check to determine how they compare to others in the industry in terms of the 4 key learnings from 2020.

This involves your completing a simple 10-minute survey, followed by a call with one of our experienced Account Managers. You will be provided with a concise report highlighting your firm’s strengths and areas of improvement in our new working environment as well as a mini-guide on how to implement improvements in the 4 key areas.

Take the health check survey

How Does Your Firm Stack Up?

AEC firms have most definitely had to either pivot or fold during a challenging 2020. From remote working, lack of travel, and client’s scaling down many firms have truly seen and experienced it all, and through the chaos, have persevered.

There are four main key learnings that have surfaced from the COVID pandemic, and there surely will be many more to come as we continue to navigate through the changed business landscape.

Here’s four key learnings that hold true for AEC firms:

1. Keep Up On Industry Trends
It is vital to keep a pulse on the industry within which your firm operates. Follow reliable external sources of information and be agile enough to adapt your KPIs based on performer benchmarks that you are following.

2. Work Smarter
Save time where possible. Identify areas in your organisation that are keeping your employees from working optimally, and ensure these are addressed.

3. Maintain a Team Culture
It is vital to maintain your culture, even when interacting with employees virtually. It protects your organisation’s identity, and helps to motivate employees.

4. Connect Your Remote Employees
Consider cloud solutions that create a safe and secure working environment for remote employees.

Compare your firm to others in the industry globally by downloading your A&E Industry Report Scorecard below:

What does the future hold for creative agencies worldwide?

Campaign and Deltek surveyed agency professionals across EMEA, North America and Asia-Pacific regions about everything from profitability and processes to what’s really giving them sleepless nights. In total, 670 agency professionals, from more than 30 countries participated, and the results are a global snapshot of the trends that are shaping the industry.

The key trends worldwide:

    • Many agencies have grown and diversified, but this is not necessarily translating to greater profit margins
    • Over-servicing and scope creep is the number one concern worldwide
    • Nearly half of all agencies want to improve their processes for finding & retaining the right talent
    • Opportunities to improve project management and client handling processes are being missed

How can you future proof your consultancy?

Consultancy is a client driven industry. As clients’ needs transition, consultancy offerings must transition with them.

Over the last 10 years, consultancies have seen their clients adapt their business models to respond to changes in legislation, or developments in technology and digital. The way consultancies respond to and manage these demands, whilst still maintaining margins and increasing profitability, can make all the difference.

Current and coming trends in the industry include:

    • A hybrid workforce
    • More transparent pricing structure
    • Bespoke assets and products

Grow your revenue, increase profitability, delight your clients.

Technology has created a generational divide between those that grew up with it and those that are adapting to it. For the former group, technology is a way of life and does not pose the psychological threat it does for older lawyers who grew up, and practiced without it. The legal profession is grappling with the realisation that technology and process are now just as important as legal expertise in the delivery of legal services.

In this white paper we explore the following key tech trends in legal:

    • Revenue Growth
    • Business Development
    • Risk Management Framework
    • Optimising Profits
    • Human Capital Management

Deltek’s Agency Solutions power project success by giving you better control, insight and visibility into agency operations, so your team can deliver more creative content on time and on budget.

Find out how to increase efficiency and productivity through;

    • CRM & Pipeline Management
    • Resourcing, Project Management & Collaboration
    • Proofing & Approvals
    • Finance & Accounting

The right resources can make or break a project. Each project requires the perfect balance of skill, experience and availability. Coupled with the uncertainty of a project-based pipeline, it’s crucial that you have knowledge of current bandwidth as well as what’s coming your way.

With greater visibility into upcoming projects and better insights from more accurate timesheet data, WorkBook gives you a clearer view of your resourcing needs now and in the future.



Are there unseen forces at work in your agency, undermining the good work put in by your team? Are these unseen forces leaving you in the dark about project status and leading you astray over costs? If so you are not alone.

Deltek research revealed that, on average, 7% of potential revenue is lost because agencies don’t have the insight they need into what people are working on and for how long; if time or money is being wasted; and if freelancers are being employed unnecessarily to pick up the imagined slack. So, what can be done to get your agency out of the dark and towards a more enlightened way of working?

Download the 4 Ways below



 

Win the War for Talent 

For years, there has been talk of a “war for talent.”

It’s a battle that continues to gain increased attention – especially since the recent recession created a significantly reduced workforce who was asked to do more with less. The result? Increasingly, an organization’s people and its support for them became a company’s most valuable attribute, providing opportunities for differentiation and a competitive edge.

This ebook offers guidance on managing talent throughout the employee lifecycle that will put your organization ahead of the competition.

Highlights of the book include:

  • Understand the concepts of an effective “people” strategy
  • Learn how you can use technology to acquire, develop, and retain top employees
  • Accelerate the human performance of your organization to the next level.

Download the eBook here: