Why it’s OK to challenge
This month we’ve been reflecting on what causes stress and how, together, we can best support one another.
Some of us have taken the opportunity to blog about our experiences and why, working in the creative sector, can be stressful. But we also all agree that it’s changing – we’re getting better as an industry in managing work-related stress and understanding the triggers that cause it.
Working in the creative sector is hugely rewarding and, for many, an extremely satisfying and fulfilling career. Seeing ideas and imagination brought to life, and that wonderful sense of achievement and pride in delivering gripping campaigns that connect with people is incredibly exhilarating. Yes, the creative industry can be challenging, frenetic, and stressful, but it can be a lot of fun too.
As an agency, we identify that work-related stress often starts at the top and feeds down the work chain’. Let me give an example.
A CEO of a company makes a request to their marketing director to deliver a piece of communication with short notice. The marketing director forwards the request to their marketing team – invariably some time will have lapsed so, inadvertently, pressure is now mounting. The marketing team push that pressure further forward when briefing their agency – again some time will have lapsed, adding even more pressure. As the agency, we share and absorb that pressure. We are the end of the chain.
All service industries aim to please. As a customer-focused agency, we tend to put the needs of our clients first. But if we are to reduce work-related stress, we sometimes have to push back.
When faced with a stressful work situation – be it a deadline or work demand – we should all feel comfortable to challenge with reason, to ask for help, request a bit more time, and to have respectful, adult-to-adult, conversations.
I like to think that we have created the right environment for both our people and our clients to have these conversations.
We have on occasion had to ask for more time, and you know what, we usually get it – even an extra day or two can make a big difference. There have also been times when we’ve listened to why the deadline cannot be extended, and we respect that, and our client respects that we respect that.
A partnership-approach with intelligent, respectful, client relationships help. As does having the right agency mindset that encourages and empowers our people. Here at Gosling, this is guided by our agency principles and delivery framework which drives the right values and behaviours, and which aims to support our people while delivering on the promises we make our clients.
For us, the key to managing stress in the workplace is talking, being open about it, and supporting and effectively managing everyone along the work chain.
In our view, it’s OK to challenge!
Client Services Director
Joss is the Client Services Director at Gosling. He oversees and helps in maintaining our partnerships with our amazing clients as well as helping to manage multiple projects.