01 Nov Notes from an intern: finding stillness in the flux
As we hurtle through the fast-paced, online, social media revolution, and we drag ourselves out of a recession, wary of the uncertainty in the economic climate that lies ahead; the landscape all seems rather fickle and subject to change. But underneath this constant flux lies a yearning for businesses to revisit values of authenticity, integrity and sincerity.
Customers need to once again trust in products and services; they want to know their hard earned wonga is being put to good use. Businesses need to create trust and real values. Even the seemingly shallow world of social media is in fact based on a desire to return to an era of open communication; creating interaction to generate trust between businesses and their customers. This honesty and trust needs to start with the people within the business and extend outwards.
Now in my fifth week of interning at RONIN, I feel that I have not only learnt a huge amount of practical skills in every element of the marketing process; from writing press releases and feature articles, to editing web copy and grasping SEO, but I have gained an insight into the complex world of business. This internship is a real eye-opener in highlighting the key values that should exist within a company.
The values that have been shown to me at RONIN are not only ones that have made this experience so worthwhile, but are ones that, I believe, larger businesses would be wise to adopt. Big companies learning real values from smaller companies may be the ingredient they need to move forward in an environment where trust and openness are paramount.
What makes RONIN work is the integrity of the individuals and the openness of the office dynamics. Everyone is made to feel valued in the marketing process. Right from the word go it was clear my internship was not going to be doing everyone’s odd-jobs. My opinions and my input were to be listened to. Little things like being given my own phone and email address through to being introduced straight away to clients and participating in meetings made me feel like a valued member of the team. This is what needs to happen in every work place, each individual should be recognised for their contribution to the bigger picture.
Whilst recognising people’s unique place within the business, it is important that people work not just as individuals but as a team. At RONIN there is an open forum for discussion, everyone is welcome to suggest ideas; generate discussion and offer constructive criticism. This is perhaps something that gets lost in larger corporations; with people focussed on their clearly defined job title the onus is with the individual and not the team. In Valuing Roles: How to Establish Relative Worth, Michael Armstrong, highlights the need for a distinction between the terms “job” and “role”, that are all too often used interchangeably. “Job descriptions spell out what job holders are required to do… they are prescriptive and inflexible”, whereas a “role refers to the part people play in their work”; ultimately the term “role” is more flexible, so people are not constrained by overly rigid jobs definitions. This distinction places more value on the person behind the role; people should feel valued within the team and this in turn, creates a more open work environment.
Generating trust within your company is the foundation for creating an honest relationship with your customers. RONIN’s friendly and open approach in the office comes across with the clients. This is what it’s all about right now, getting customers to believe not just in your products and services but in you as a company. I have learnt so much already and I believe that the authentic and genuine desire to connect with people is something big companies would be wise to learn from smaller ones.
By Milly Youngs