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True collaboration happens when each team member stays in their own lane. According to research done by the Harvard Business Review (as noted in an article by Project Risk Leader), clearly defining people’s roles and responsibilities matters more when determining a team’s success. When working on a plan for each of our clients or even on our own internal materials, we all have our place to take and it’s crucial that we each focus on what our individual jobs are to get things done.

By concentrating on what we’re individually responsible for, we avoid redundancy and doing excess work. This saves time and money.  According to a recent survey done by Zapier, people spend approximately four to five hours a day on core job functions. That won’t cut it when there are deadlines to make and projects to complete. There is only so much time in the day and in our industry, you can’t waste a minute of it.

With tasks assigned, teams set, and targets to hit, we ensure that everything gets done in a timely manner. This works especially well when those assigned to a task are experts in their field. While we ensure that cross training happens in our office, so that there is always coverage, we still consider the lead person in each department, whether that be a digital specialist, social media specialist, OOH specialist, etc. as the one taking charge on their share of the project we are working on.

Focusing on specific assignments lowers the risk of missing important tasks. We’ve all worked with someone who feels they need to jump in on a task that wasn’t theirs to begin with and inevitably they end up not getting their own work done. By keeping focused on each of our jobs and goals, we eliminate delays and missed opportunities in our own work.

It’s also good to point out that moving into someone else’s lane and stepping on their toes can create unhealthy competition between colleagues. No team works well when there are people on it that feel angry or frustrated. A study was done by Oxford University’s Saïd Business School that showed that workers are 13% more productive when happy. Teams that work well together are made up of happy employees. Happy employees are pleased with their jobs and in turn produce better work.

Having each member of the A3 Media team focus on their department, allows us to get more done in less time, bring additional attention to details, and work smarter not harder. After nearly 30 years, we pride ourselves on being a well-oiled machine. That doesn’t happen by chance.

Our teams work as individual spokes in the wheel. Each person has his or her own responsibilities and understands what to focus on to keep things rolling. We’ve even taken classes and received certifications in our own various fields of expertise. Whether it be business development and client relations, to various levels of media planning for TV, radio, OOH, digital and so on, to trafficking and accounting, we are all growing and moving in the same forward direction. And with that, we guarantee our focus is on what’s most important to our clients… their media goals and campaign success.

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Employees heading up and down stairs showing replacement

Today in an age of large masses of people coming and going from job to job or retiring, it’s hard on those of us who remain in place just trying to do our jobs.

There has been a lot of turnover lately, people leaving jobs, moving to other positions, many companies are understaffed and the staff they do have in many cases are pulling double duty. This is happening in most every sector. The overall turnover rate for 2021 from the Bureau of Labor Statistics was 57%. Their used to be a time that job hopping was NOT something you wanted on your resume or something you ever wanted to see reviewing an applicant. Times sure have changed!

Fortunately, we are not one of those companies experiencing these problems of in and out. However, we are feeling the effects of this new norm. We work very closely with our outside vendors (some now for decades) and over the last 6 months, it seems we are getting notified weekly of an Account Executive change. 

This constant changing of the guard affects us in many ways, everything from getting reports to receiving our invoices in a timely manner. We have deadlines and are responsible for gathering and submitting campaign data back to our clients. On top of these obvious items there are numerous details about how we do business, intricacies on each one of our buys. Through time, we have developed a nice working relationship with our Account Executives, and they know our procedures and the level of detail we require prior to clearing invoices. We have a signed written agreement with all AE’s that is called “The Procedure letter” that has in detail how we work and what will be required prior to payment. I had previously discussed this letter in detail, so, we’ll stick to the topic.

When a change occurs, there is obviously a learning curve. These new employees need to learn their new roll, get acquainted with everyone as well as the clients they just inherited. They might need to take some training courses and learn their companies’ procedures. All of this could take weeks and, in some cases, months. It takes time to build the right team, even when we all don’t work for the same companies. In many cases, the person coming in and taking over our account is not really focused on our buy and more likely trying to get acclimated.

Shouldn’t we have in place a better system when an important cog is missing? I only think we have two choices; we develop a new position called the “understudy” to help keep up with the everyday details or we all start to cross train people. Here at A3 Media this is always on our mind as we continue to grow and service our current clients. We always need to have a backup for every job mainly due to our workloads change almost daily. We have systems in place and communicate internally about every detail on our buys with all members of our team to ensure that if someone is busy working on another project, someone can step in and take care of our most important asset, our clients.