Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Morale II.

I've been steadily employed in the advertising business since the early years of the Reagan administration and since that time have worked, not counting freelance, at a dozen agencies. Over the years I've spent a fair amount of time thinking about what makes some agencies successful and other agencies simply suc.

Some anonymous dickweed posted a comment on my post yesterday entitled "Morale." He seems to think that the only alternative to being treated like shit at an agency is--his words-- to "quit."

This notion--which affects all of America, not just the advertising industry is rampant today. It's the idea that little things that show people they matter are not cost-effective. That showing people consideration for the hard-work they do is somehow a sign of corporate weakness. That treating people with dignity and respect is anti-competitive.

Experience tells me the opposite is true. Agencies that call someone personally when they're instrumental in winning a piece of business tend to be agencies that produce great work and retain great people. Agencies that show that they care, which can be reflected in hundreds of different ways, are often agencies that do the best work.

In short, penny-pinching is costly.

Most agencies and the holding companies that rule them with an iron spreadsheet, don't realize this truest of truisms.

They think you can bludgeon people into some sort of anesthetized morale.

They think morale is when everyone believes "they're just lucky to have a job."


Anonymous said...

George, advertising is a broken industry. Today, people don't dream of doing great ads, they dream of holding on to a nice fat paycheck. Those people who do award winning work are often just lucky to be in the right place at the right time. And there are very few of them. It's also wrong for someone who spends a good part of his life complaining about advertising to insult someone else who complains about advertising.

Anonymous said...

Unlike you George, I've spent just about my entire ad career in the middle ranks of agency hierarchies. Believe me, there's no better employee motivator than potential unemployment. This is particularly true in advertising, where the vast majority of you creative directors are exactly like Mitt Romney in your love of firing people--especially those people who challenge you.