In the world of advertising, creativity is king. Your copywriters, designers, and creatives are the lifeblood of your agency, and they need to be on top of their game at all times. But what if we told you that some of the most valuable knowledge in your agency might be locked away in water cooler conversations? That's right, those seemingly insignificant chats about fonts, color schemes, random news, and the latest viral campaigns can be a goldmine of inspiration and insights.
Take Nike’s example. One of the world’s most famous taglines, Nike’s “Just Do It” was an idea that Dan Wieden, founder of the agency working on the Nike pitch took from the last words of a convicted murderer! While casually looking for phrases that displayed spirit, determination and grit, Dan shared the last words that became the inspiration for the globally renowned campaign we have come to love and identify with!
Knowledge sharing at watercoolers has some very specific characteristics
It's happening between employees who may or may not normally work together - and hence is a breakthrough
It's happening in extremely casual setups while getting coffee, playing foosball, or overhearing someone rant
It solves the needs of the employee in the conversation but can have huge, unexplored value if shared with the entire organization.
And that’s where preserving this knowledge exchange of today for the future is an investment for a lifetime for your agency!
Here's why you must preserve those watercooler conversations, and how to do it without killing the fun.
Why Watercooler Knowledge Matters More Than You Think!
Watercooler conversations can be a valuable source of inspiration, feedback, and collaboration for your creative team. When your copywriters, designers, and other creatives chat informally, they also share design tips, brainstorm new ideas, or simply vent about their latest projects. This kind of informal knowledge sharing can spark new ideas, foster a sense of collaboration and camaraderie, and keep your team motivated and engaged.
But how valuable are these conversations, really? According to a 2021 study by Gallup, companies with engaged employees have 41% lower absenteeism, 24% lower turnover, and 17% higher productivity than companies with disengaged employees. And when it comes to creative work, engagement is especially important. A study by Adobe found that companies with highly engaged employees have 3.6x higher revenue per employee than companies with lower engagement levels. So if you want your creative team to perform at its best, you need to foster engagement—and watercooler knowledge sharing is a great way to do that.
Don't Lose Your Institutional Knowledge (or Your Mind)
But what happens when your creatives leave the agency? All that institutional knowledge and experience they've built up over months or years goes out the door with them. And the cost of losing that knowledge can be high. According to a 2021 study by Cornerstone OnDemand, the cost of employee turnover can be as high as 213% of the departing employee's salary. And that's not even counting the frustration and time wasted by remaining employees who have to re-learn what their former colleagues knew.
So how do you avoid losing your institutional knowledge (and your mind)? By preserving watercooler conversations through efficient knowledge management. These chats, hacks, success stories, tips, intros and insights need to be captured, stored and made available to other employees, so everyone can benefit from the shared insights and knowledge. Talk about exponential growth!
And by keeping that knowledge within the agency, you'll be able to keep your team humming along even when people come and go. This has a direct impact on the quality of output of your team, the time spent on work, customer satisfaction, and the revenues your agency generates. Plus, a buzzing workplace is a surefire attraction to young talent, looking to work in the most informed, dynamic and growing agencies.
How to Preserve Watercooler Chats Without Killing the Fun
But let's be real here: no one wants to be the person who kills the fun at the watercooler. If you force your team to document every little chat they have, they're going to rebel faster than you can say "pitch deck." That's where technology comes in. Everyday quips, behaviors of colleagues that you notice, snippets of insights during travel, market trends, and observations are normally exchanged as questions and answers.
However, instead of limiting these to one-to-one conversations, technology can help get your entire workforce connected in a way where great ideas and insights flow seamlessly, team members feel connected, supported and thriving, and business grows. If you’ve made it this far in the blogpost and resonate with the above need, you need a BHyve.
BHyve’s AI incentivizes the exchange of ideas, questions, observations, and best practices through watercoolers like Q&A, where employees feel like they are chatting with buddies, but across the entire ecosystem of your agency, and without cramping anyone’s style. BHyve's efficient knowledge graphs also map your agency's knowledge to identify gaps, recommend relevant content and build excitement, curiosity, competition and comfort around realtime knowledge exchange between employees. So instead of having to dig through emails or Slack messages to find that conversation about the perfect font for a campaign, BHyve’s AI prompts interactions that feel like brainstorming, and work to build your knowledge hub for years to come!
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