Add design value within your studio

We spend a lot of time talking about adding value for clients but how much thought goes into adding value within the studio.

First let me define value.
Value has two aspects;
people and

In that order.

People should come first and it should not just be about how much they can add to your bottom line. Ultimately the people we employ in our studios create our reputation. It’s no longer good enough to have good designers. They must also be good communicators, They have to be your brand advocates.

Every business can add value through its people. It can also lose a lot of value through its people. Poor engagement leads to poor productivity – poor communication can lose clients.

How valuable are our staff?

PwC, the global management company, recently released some research that shows how good HR practices can add value. The Sustaining value through people report shows that improving the people side of the business will improve business performance.

The research showed that companies with a documented HR strategy have 35% higher revenues per employee, 12% lower absenteeism and more efficient performance management and reward systems. Three-quarters of those firms with a documented HR strategy also feel that their performance management systems are “very effective”.

Companies with lower absenteeism also have higher profits per employee.

Bilmes, Strueven and Wetzker in their book Development for high performance gave the results of their people scorecard, a set of quantifiable criteria including the number of training days provided and the type of training to measure how well companies manage their employees.

Companies that ranked highest on the people scorecard earned higher total shareholder returns than lower scoring companies:

top scoring companies had an average return of 27% whereas those at the bottom earned just 8%.

The PWC research also stated that;
Employee satisfaction is positively correlated with training, performance related pay and individual responsibilities:

86% of German workers in companies that provided training, individual responsibility and linked pay to performance said they were “very loyal” compared to only 66% in other companies.

Firms with the best equal opportunity policies had a five year annualised return of 18.3% while those firms with the poorest records had returns of 7.9%.

Take away

This seems to be positive proof that you can add value by developing a HR policy that covers everything from defining studio tasks to hiring practices, job descriptions and professional development plans for each team member.


Greg Branson

Contact Greg Branson if you would like to learn more about the many programs the DBC offers.

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Greg Branson

Greg’s passion is the research and development of methods that improve design management and the role of design in business.

Greg has developed The Design Business School to help owners manage their business better along with showing designers how to get more involved in the studio and develop their career path. Contact Greg.