One of the (many!) wonderful things about Franco is how we prioritize professional development. The attitude of being hungry to learn and grow in our skills/areas of expertise is a trait Franco team members inherently possess – which is why agency leadership encourages team members to build in time for professional development opportunities – ranging from attending events to obtaining certifications and accreditations.
In 2020, we’re laser focused on the growth and development of our people (current and future team members). Our team is always a top priority, but we have a very specific vision of how we’re going to amp things up on the people front this year. We want to elevate our already impeccable (if I do say so myself) service strengths AND enhance leadership abilities.
Here are some things we’ve accomplished and other efforts on the horizon:
- Annually, our leadership and emerging leader teams come together to reflect on the year prior and look forward to the year ahead. We set goals for our teams and the company and reflect on leadership. At January’s offsite leadership retreat, we had a fantastic guest speaker and Franco alum Janet Tyler, president of True Depth. Here are my top takeaways from Janet:
- “Reset your zero” – never forget the importance of stepping back and taking a moment for reflection. Whether it’s at the beginning of the day or before/after a project, take time to think about goals/lessons learned. Reflection is powerful.
- Find the “why” – understanding personal goals and motivations is crucial to evolving into the leader you want to be…and the one your team needs you to be.
- Our leaders offered everyone in the company $20 to purchase a book OR audible subscription, so long as it’s motivated by professional development, to continue learning outside of the office. I’m buying The Productivity Project and am looking forward to learning how to be more productive at work!
- We host regular “To Be Franc” gatherings that allow us to grow our skills and knowledge about everything from the latest tools and resources we’re utilizing, to communication styles, to emotional intelligence and more. To kick off 2020, digital marketing expert and professor Ken Burbary joined us to discuss all things digital. On the horizon, we have a member of the WXYZ team coming in to talk about media relations, we’re set to roll out a new analytics tool that will take our reporting to an enhanced level and much more.
- Everyone is empowered to seek out trainings that will further their PR/digital/design/video/leadership skills. I recently completed a SkillPath training about being an effective supervisor. Here are a few tidbits that really resonated with me:
- Active listening is all about being mindful (I know, duh – but hear me out!). When a member of your team is speaking, don’t focus on the past (that’s counseling) or the future (that’s mentoring). To properly supervise, be present and listen to the issue/statement at hand, and don’t interrupt or finish others’ sentences.
- Avoid labels and focus on behaviors. For example, “You’re really reluctant lately” means nothing. Instead, consider saying: “You didn’t offer to help on X and I wanted to discuss why that was…”
I feel lucky to have the opportunity to focus on continual learning about myself; the PR profession; and leadership within my role at Franco and outside of it.
Want to learn more about joining the Franco team and benefiting from our focus on professional development? Check out our open positions to learn more and reach out.
Megan Bonelli is a Senior Account Executive at Franco. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.