PR student guest post: Motivating Organisational Culture Changes Lives

First hand experience from a PRFest student

I have had an experience in my third placement at university where an organisation I was working for made me feel very demotivated. I didn’t realise that it wasn’t just me and my unusually quiet and tense feelings. I realised, thanks to the #PRFest event this week, that the organisation had a responsibility to maintain a motivating organisational culture, which they failed to do.

This Friday, I had the opportunity to hear from Dr. Amanda Holdsworth on motivating and energising teams. She began by discussing her job, and how she is called into organisations to motivate their teams, emphasising that it is not an expensive task. We learned the importance of a proper ‘on boarding’ process, meaning the first impressions of a new employee into an organisation. This, Amanda said, was where the organisation has the opportunity to create brand ambassadors.

To do this, you need to explain both the formal and informal ‘ins and outs’ of the organisation through on boarding – the mission, vision, values and everything down to when to take lunches. Then, involve the other employees, and get them involved with training the newbie – this will show your current employees’ appreciation and is an opportunity to create a stronger culture. This is followed by creating employee engagement, where Amanda stated: “Empathy, trust and appreciation go a long way”. For example, noticing the time and attention your employees put into their work, even if they don’t get the story into the headlines. This can include, making sure employees take their lunch break, starting a gratitude wall, placing a hand-written note on an employee’s desk, in-house training opportunities etc. However you choose to go, make sure that the staff feel appreciated, and notice when they are feeling down.

I, as part of the next generation of PR professionals, want to change how organisation do (and don’t) motivate their teams. Because I have been there and felt how horrible it is to not feel motivated. It can lead to burn-out and it can lead to not enjoying tasks that you usually do. So, let’s understand that motivating organisational culture literally changes lives!!

Guest blog by Laura Campbell, PR student from Queen Margaret University