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Success Snippet #1 – A recipe for a happy team

February 3 2016 by Hannah Rushbrook

In the first of our series of interviews with successful Wow clients, we recently spoke to Jenny Kitchen, Director of Yoyo Design Ltd. Jenny shared with us Yoyo’s strategy to attract the best talent around and how to maintain a happy team with a working environment that they will love. Keep an eye out for more Success Snippets in 2016…

Yoyo Design is a multi award-winning creative agency, providing brand and digital strategy, design and web development to their clients. They “create things people love” and pride themselves on their outstanding customer service. Yoyo state that this is only possible with their amazing team who are passionate about what they do. Read on to find out what makes their team great and find inspiration for how you can achieve this too.

Happy employees equal happy clients!

The first step to a happy team

The secret to a great team starts with an interview; this may seem blindingly obvious, but, it’s all in how you interview the candidate. Yoyo have two stages to their interviews, the first being an informal meeting with the candidate. “This is really to get to know the person we are interviewing…we have been known to conduct these in a pub!” says Jenny.

This is the best way to get to know someone when you meet them for the first time, people are less likely to be themselves if they are in an environment where they feel under pressure. After this stage, Yoyo will invite the person back for a second interview where the candidate will demonstrate their knowledge through a presentation or creative/technical brief.

These two stages act as a way to get to know someone personally as well as to get an understanding of their overall knowledge. Make sure to design questions to find the right people for your business and the personality you want to portray to your clients.

The perfect ingredient? …Personality

What are you looking for in a team? You need to ask yourself what kind of environment do you want to create in your office, as ultimately this will come from the people in it. Yoyo aim to look for “personable” people who are ambitious, who care about the work they do and are hardworking for their clients. “Yoyo is known in the industry for always giving that extra 10%” states Jenny. This is down to the great team they have hired and trained, this is reflected around the office and in the work they complete for their clients.

Making sure you hire people who have the ethos and frame of mind that you want to create is important. If you come across a candidate who you think will fit well into your team, but who are not as experienced as another person, don’t let this affect their chance to join your team. “You can train people with the skills they need to do their job, but you cannot train people to have the correct personality to fit into a team.”  Jenny believes that someone who has the right attitude has a higher value than someone who has lots of experience and this can be gained throughout their time working for your company.

Add in some training

As mentioned above, training is something that can be provided by you to your employees. You do not necessarily need to recruit people who already have the skills, these they can learn.

At Yoyo, Jan Goulding looks after the “team experience” within the office. To form the environment where the team experience is at its best, every 6 months Jan will have a chat with each employee at Yoyo to discuss their training needs. The discussion includes the training that they have already undertaken and the training that they would like to do in order for them to develop in their roles. Training is essential for a happy team. Yoyo put aside a training budget for their employees and encourage them to hold internal workshops for each other, they cover topics such as how to run a project effectively and tips on presentation skills.

Sprinkle in some communication

Jenny also mentions that each month the team get together to have an all-company meeting, where everything from celebrating targets they have achieved to financial objectives is shared. Keeping your team in the loop about the company will give them a better understanding of where you want to take your business and their role in helping to make this happen, as well as keeping them motivated to work in an environment they care about.

Lastly, put some fun into the mix!

Jenny describes the Yoyo team, “We are a very close-knit team, everyone lives locally and are friends outside of work, we often go to the pub, cinema, etc after work.” For Yoyo, making sure that the team have fun at work is a way to maintain their productivity levels. “It is important to have regular breaks from your desk throughout the day.” Says Jenny, “that’s why we have toys around the office such as Yoyos! We encourage the team to take a little break every now and then to keep them refreshed.”

Yoyo want their employees to be creative in their thinking and approach to work so they introduced an “Inspiration Budget”. This is a budget of £250 per person each year to buy whatever they would like, as long as it inspires them. For example one team member had always wanted a GoPro to get into photography and film, so used the budget for this. Other ideas include dance classes, acting classes and even decks to practice their DJ skills!

“With over 25,000 agencies in the UK, the main differentiator between them are the people that work for them” Jenny explains “Your clients aren’t just buying your product, they are buying your team too.”

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