Why adtechs must drive teams with engagement, not pressure

Image by StartupStockPhotos from Pixabay

Holding onto good staff is important for any business, it is almost certain to improve the bottom line and has untold benefits for a brand.

This applies equally to the adtech sector, which is now facing the uncertainty of a dimmed global economic outlook.

And while some firms may feel tempted to put more pressure on staff to perform and deliver against the tide of an economic downturn, Gosia Adamczyk, Director of HR at Verve Group, argues that they instead should be looking towards engaging their employees…

Gosia-Adamczyk-verve-group
Gosia Adamczyk, Verve Group

Global tech layoffs made headlines in 2022, with a reported 150,000 workers affected. Made worse by ongoing economic uncertainty, this set a mixed picture for the industry, impacting employees’ motivation and sense of stability.

In London, the UK’s tech hub, average annual productivity growth comes in at 0.2%, lower than the 0.3% registered elsewhere in the country.

This knock to productivity is down to a number of factors, but one of those is employees who are increasingly disengaged from the organisations they work for.

A new study reveals only 1 in 5 global employees are engaged at work, which, unchecked, could lead to quiet quitting and high staff turnover.

The findings highlight how inspiring motivation among teams and protecting staff wellbeing should be a top priority for ad tech businesses.

Organisations need to focus on actionable steps that boost employee engagement and foster productivity and performance, to ensure business longevity. After all, a company is nothing without its people.

Staff-engagement-Image by congerdesign from Pixabay
Quiet quitting: Adtechs should be engaging employees.

Investing in talent will breathe new life into the business

Reports show that 70% of employees would consider leaving their current job to work for an organisation known for investing in employee development.

In a sector where change driven by tech and consumer behaviour is the status quo, upskilling is an ongoing requirement, so leaders must ensure their teams have access to learning initiatives.

For example, the IAB Europe provides a comprehensive training programme that aims to help marketers keep up with the fast-changing industry, including certifications that support their future careers.

Supporting staff with diversifying their skill sets leads not only to heightened productivity, but also job satisfaction.

This is further supported by companies with strong learning cultures where retention rates rise by 30-50%.

Yet, professional development is not the only contributing factor to employee satisfaction. Work-life balance also presents invaluable benefits, with one-third of UK workers viewing it as the most important factor when deciding whether to accept a job offer or stay in their current position.

Workshops that teach staff skills on improving their quality of work-life balance could prove a fruitful investment for businesses.

Alongside offering flexibility and hybrid working models, ad tech businesses can support staff on topics such as setting healthy boundaries, tackling stress, and managing time effectively.

This could include turning off notifications outside of work hours or setting time aside to take breaks throughout the day to decompress.

This all works to empower employees to choose an approach that helps them maintain a healthy work-life balance, essential for avoiding burnout and maintaining motivation.

Individual reassurance leads to collective engagement

Instability has become somewhat normalised: for businesses due to economic challenges  and for employees due to lack of employment security. Leaders must therefore take on the role of providing reassurance.

Team members will likely have their own individual concerns and perspectives that need addressing, from job security, to the future of their projects or the impact hiring freezes could have on their workload.

These are all valid  concerns that need dealing with.

To answer potentially difficult questions, managers need training. It’s important they can handle delicate situations and navigate these conversations with tact and understanding.

Worryingly, 59% of managers who oversee one to two employees claim to have no training at all, while 41% of those overseeing three to five employees claim the same.

staff-training-Image by David Mark from Pixabay
Endurance: Training is vital to help managers engage teams.

Recognising staff needs and ensuring they feel heard and supported is paramount for sustaining employee engagement.

In fact, staff are twice as likely to be actively disengaged if they are ignored by their manager, contrasting to nearly eight in ten that state being recognised motivates them.

In ordinary circumstances, recognition would mean celebrating achievements and the value team members bring to the business.

However, continued uncertainty means it will be all the more meaningful for leaders to not only recognise the specific challenges and concerns that employees are contending with, but help overcome them as well.

Leaders are the custodians of your company values

The way team leaders communicate with their teams can influence how long staff stay with a company.

In fact, one in ten businesses have lost employees because of communication issues, emphasising the importance of keeping staff connected.

This disconnect goes beyond how general work duties are communicated, and deals more with how company culture is demonstrated.

Cases like this exchange between Elon Musk and an employee or the virtue-signalling from Brewdog exemplify how poor leadership communication ends up reflecting negatively on the business.

Elon-musk-Image by Tumisu from Pixabay
Musk NOT: World leading brands can find themsselves in hot water for how they treat their employees

Embodying company values is the clearest and most effective way for leaders to communicate them to staff.

Everything from their working behaviours and how they interact with colleagues to the way they respond to success and failure impacts their teams.

For instance, if a business values ongoing professional development and education, leaders must proactively enrol in relevant courses or seek a mentor that can support their growth.

Setting one rule for staff and another for leaders is the fastest way to create disconnects between the two. Leading by example is essential for keeping employees engaged with the business and its values.

Amid uncertainty, ad tech businesses must take action to reassure their staff and continue driving team performance and productivity.

Delivering relevant education for employees and initiatives that protect their wellbeing is crucial to supporting their professional development.

By recognising their successes and helping them overcome challenges in the workplace, businesses are engaging employees in a highly positive way.

They can solidify these efforts within the culture by offering team leaders tailored training on how to demonstrate company values and communicate with concerned staff.

At a time when employees are already feeling the pressure outside of their work lives, supporting them in their careers makes business sense.