How do communications agencies build collegiality and cooperation among their staff members?

[An agency should be] created with the belief that [it] would grow in direct proportion to clients' success.

[An agency should be] created with the belief that [it] would grow in direct proportion to clients' success. At Qorvis, we decided that we would not measure time, instead focusing on being successful with the work we had, not simply busy with a lot of work.

Eliminating time sheets and bureaucracy and organizing by client team, rather than skill area, means no practice groups, profit centers, or silos. Without the pressure of billable hours and who gets credit for them, attention is focused on one thing: success of the client team. The best way to achieve that is by maximizing each other's knowledge, contacts, and skills. With this model, collegiality is the heart of the client team and the company itself.

You can reward collegiality in a variety of ways, and measure it through regular client and staff surveys and performance reviews. You can make it the focus of quarterly all-hands meetings, weekly client service calls, and coaching sessions.

Karen Vahouny is a partner at Qorvis Communications.

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