Something is missing in advertising today: training.
It used to be the basic foundation of how agencies operated. It provided direction to all. Unfortunately, there is no training anymore. Nada. Zero. Here are your business cards, here is your cube or office, there is a client meeting next week and you are going to present. Here is the company T-shirt. That’s all, yeah. Often nothing more. I hear this all the time. Today, there are CYA employee handbooks and very little institutionalized training; I don’t think many agencies even know what the curriculum would be.
Today’s agency training course is called Figure It Out Yourself.
In order to allow growth to occur, training needs to be the foundation of your agency’s culture. Your agency has very smart people looking for some paths they can run down. They are looking for reassurance. Everybody needs a little direction, a little confirmation, and a little reinforcement.
I live a life surrounded by Millennials, Generation Y’s, whatever you want to call them. I don’t talk much; I just listen to what they have to say, and their words tell a lot.
I listened to one frustrated soul who really didn’t know what he was tasked with at work. He felt uncertain, and that causes anxiety. Things were changing in the industry. He shared that he wanted to understand more about what he needed to do. The supervisor responded with, “what do you need to know?” How can youth know what is behind the curtain when they never pulled the levers on the other side?
Today in the agency business, many layers are missing. There are only generals and privates. The mentoring layers are gone. Many senior people focus on looking up to protect their jobs versus training down.
I talked to another young person the other day. She got a call from another agency asking her to interview, and asked for my advice. She said she really liked her current agency. Somebody had actually trained her recently, merely for an hour, which to her was a lot better than the place she had worked at previously. Only one hour. A lunchtime training session. And these places still wonder why when they lose so many of their employees.
When I was a puppy, I received training frequently. Somehow, I felt that agency management referred to the idea that training was a responsibility that companies needed to do. It was not an option, but a formula necessary for success. If you don’t train your people, well, why are you the boss?
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