Posted by David Oates 3 years, 4 months ago

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As a member of a small agency, one of the things that I value most about our company is its openness. Employees are not only enabled, but encouraged, to share their thoughts and provide feedback on processes, tools and client strategies. A close knit working environment allows everyone a voice to be heard. It empowers team members to feel like valuable assets who can make contributions, as well as play a role in shaping a company.

However, you don’t have to work at a small agency in order to have a voice or make recommendations. Regardless of size, employees should speak up about any changes they feel would be beneficial and can do so by taking the following approach.

1) Conduct Research
Before proposing any kind of change, it’s essential to conduct your research. What are you looking to implement? Has the agency done something similar in the past? If so, what were the results? What are the pros and cons of what you’re suggesting? Like any public relations plan, start by doing your homework and perform an analysis. When you propose your idea to management, you should anticipate and be prepared to answer their questions. The more information you provide demonstrates that you put a lot of thought into the idea and executives are more likely to give your proposal serious consideration.

2) Communicate Effectively
After conducting the research, it’s time to determine the best way to communicate the proposed change. If the company holds weekly meetings, this might be a good time to introduce your recommendation. If it’s a sensitive topic, consider scheduling a one-on-one meeting with your supervisor to discuss the approach. If the change is something minor, it could be as simple as sending an email. It’s important to keep in mind who you’re pitching the idea to and their preferred method of communication. In addition, if you’re looking to change a process that’s been in place for a while that another team member implemented, be considerate with your comments. Lastly, when you communicate the proposed idea, don’t speak based on emotion, but focus on the facts.

For instance, our company subscribed to Paper.li and posted daily tweets. I didn’t believe the service was providing real value for us and after reviewing the analytics that included statistics on our followers and page views, our company opted to discontinue the service per my recommendation. Having evidence will surely strengthen your case.

3) Take Initiative
If you’re going to propose a change, you should be willing to play a role in its implementation. In a small agency, employees are likely busy handling various tasks for clients and don’t have the bandwidth to take on additional tasks. Volunteer to take the lead on the initiative and execute on what you propose.

Companies appreciate when employees are proactive and offer suggestions to make the agency more efficient. If you come across a process or tool that can be improved, do your research and consider the best approach to share your idea with management. Just keep in mind that you’ll likely be the person responsible for seeing it through.

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