In this guest post, the CEO of Zinc Group, Peter Cleary, says if COVID-19 has proven anything in this time of survival, it’s the value of the people in your team…
It’s no secret that many organisations have suffered during COVID-19. As we see more restrictions lift, the fortunate ones are putting their businesses back together, piece by piece. We’ve all experienced huge insecurity as the pipeline of work completely vanished – at Zinc, we lost 60 per cent of revenue in the first month.
The new financial year presents an opportunity for teams eager for resources to action recovery. With most companies still in crisis mode, decision makers will be frugal when allocating budgets. Nobody was prepared for a global pandemic and nobody will want to be caught off guard again, so the bean counters will be cautious splitting numbers.
For us, COVID-19 has affirmed that the team of people in any business is a company’s most valuable asset, with no exception. When planning forward and allocating budgets for the next financial year, be sure to invest in your team. People and culture tend to be completely ignored, sacrificed for the immediacy of cashflow, so are often hardest hit in a crisis and the first budget cut, but now is not the time to neglect either – both are crucial to sustainable success.
During a crisis, a global pandemic even – your team are the only people you can rely on to stabilise your business. I pose that your people should always be prioritised ahead of short-term profit.
To put it in perspective, think about how much your business spends entertaining clients and compare this to the time and money spent on strengthening your team. Wooing your own team members ultimately results in wooing your clients where it matters most – through the work.
We’ve invested in our people since we launched Zinc 15 years ago, and today I can attest to that investment paying off in spades. Even in a global pandemic, our team and culture has made our business adaptable and flexible – making us bulletproof.
After our revenue collapsed in March, we gave our entire team the likely outcome of losing teammates, or everyone taking a salary cut. Their response was swift and unanimous – they wanted to protect each other from unemployment – and at that point we vowed not to lose a single team member because of the impact of Covid-19.
Out of necessity (the mother of invention!), our motto was “speed trumps perfection”. We hustled with an emerging strategy (truth is, we made it up as we went along) and utilised our global capabilities to produce PPE. Our team brought ZincProtect to life in two weeks and started closing multi-million dollar deals soon after.
Even more inspiring, behind the scenes people were donating their annual leave to colleagues who needed personal leave and reducing their working hours to help the broader business. We even dedicated resources to helping people outside of Zinc get jobs – we focused on helping our clients and Zinc family and friends who had been made redundant find new positions. Talk can be cheap, but in the ultimate stress test, our entire team was unwavering in its effort to support each other and the business.
Looking towards a new chapter post-COVID-19, I urge leaders to challenge traditional business assumptions and be courageous in their decisions. Make your people the heart of your business. Share your vision, hear their ideas, be radically honest/transparent, win their trust and bring them along the journey with you.
For businesses who have not actively practiced building culture try starting with the way new team members are inducted into your business. We have a full two-week program for new team members to understand our purpose and learn our values and culture. It’s something we actively practise day in, day out.
It’s easier to reflect on the past months now because in the thick of it stress, adrenaline and sleepless nights were rife. But this experience has well and truly confirmed what I always knew knew to be the case: my people are my business’ most valuable asset, and they are well worth the investment.
Verizon Media’s talent program has come to an end for the third year, closing with a hybrid pitch-off event for Musicians Making A Difference (MMAD). The Verizon Media Academy class of 2021, made up of 44 emerging leaders from across Australia and New Zealand media, advertising and marketing industry, were given just one hour to […]
Social purpose organisation UnLtd’s Big Games competition has raised a combined $85,000 for children and young people at risk. Running over five weeks, the competition involved 32 teams from across the advertising, marketing and media industries battling it out virtually for a chance to qualify for the Rocket League final. The tournament culminated in a […]
Stan has announced that the Stan Original Film Transfusion commenced filming in Sydney earlier this week and will premiere on Stan in 2022. Transfusion is a taut, muscular thriller starring Sam Worthington (Avatar) as Ryan Logan, a former Special Forces operative, who is battling to cope with life after the loss of his wife and is thrust […]
According to a decade of data collected by iStock, Australian brands turned to imagery depicting outdated gender stereotypes during the pandemic. Tracking the keyword ‘women’, iStock by Getty Images found that in 2020, ANZ brands and businesses reverted to gender stereotypes. Images of mothers home-schooling were used at almost twice the rate of images of […]
Schwartz Media is congratulating Maddison Connaughton on her three years as editor of The Saturday Paper. Connaughton has decided to finish up her editorship this month. “It’s been an honour to edit the paper,” Connaughton said. “The Saturday Paper is one of the brightest voices in Australian media and I have been happy to see […]
Research from EdBbirdie using Spotify data has identified the most popular songs to study to. After analysing thousands of studying and homework playlists on Spotify, American singer Olivia Rodrigo’s ‘drivers license’ came out as top song to study to. It featured on 48 study playlists, while other top songs included ‘Ophelia’ by The Lumineers, ‘Falling’ […]
Dayna Stewart is the Business Director – Digital Marketing, Media & Creative Services at The Nudge Group. Here, she discusses the challenges that come with building a successful marketing team when working remotely. Before COVID-19 changed the way businesses work, most marketing teams spent their days together in a meeting room collaborating on the next […]
The line-up for the 2021 iHeartRadio Music Festival has been announced as the legendary event returns live in Las Vegas in September. This year, the epic two-day lineup for the iHeartRadio Music Festival main stage will feature performances by Billie Eilish, Cheap Trick, Coldplay, Dua Lipa, Florida Georgia Line, Journey, Khalid, Lil Baby, Maroon 5, Nelly, […]
Shop! ANZ is calling on shopper and retail marketing professionals from all retail related disciplines to participate in the first ANZ Shopper and Retail Marketing Industry Survey in four years. This important research provides a guide of where the retail marketing industry in Australia and New Zealand has come from and what is anticipated to […]