Interview: Discovering #ElevatingPeople with Elevate’s Global COO, Carina Filek

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Carina#ElevatingPeople is a key tenet of best practice at Elevate. To find out what it means and why, FMBE’s Frank Wainwright put the question to Elevate’s Global COO, Carina Filek.

What are the main challenges in terms of staff unity and staff-agency loyalty in promotional staffing?

Promotional staffing faces several challenges when it comes to staff unity and staff-agency loyalty. One of the main challenges is the transient nature of promotional staffing, seeing staff members not working together for long periods, which can lead to a lack of unity and team spirit. We also see promotional staff working for several agencies at once, making it challenging for them to develop loyalty to a particular agency. Finally, the nature of promotional staffing work can be unpredictable, with short notice shifts, last-minute briefs and constantly having to learn a new work environment. This can lead to frustration and dissatisfaction among staff, affecting their loyalty and commitment, with staff looking for opportunities to work with the least barriers. However we also know that people who work in promotional work thrive on the variety and dynamism this type of work brings.

How does Elevate address this?

We work hard to overcome this at Elevate, with a focus on building a strong company culture, providing opportunities for staff to build relationships, and offering incentives and rewards to encourage staff loyalty. Clear communication and transparency around scheduling and expectations may seem like a minor point, but ensuring we have the very best comms with our staff helps to build trust and improve staff engagement. We also provide our staff a feedback forum via quarterly in-person paid workshops enabling staff to be heard and allowing us to optimise how we support and ultimately work with our staff. All of our efforts are underpinned by a driving force to ensure we engage with our staff outside of a pure booking optic, and never have any type of commoditised behaviour. Furthermore, our ESG strategy – #ElevatingPurpose – has a major focus on education of our field staff. Yet, we’re not only educating our global workforce to behave in a sustainable way but also giving them visibility into our business wide purpose initiatives. And with studies showing that 50% of employees won’t work for a business that lacks strong commitments to social or environmental causes, showcasing our action in this space is also critical.

What are the main principles behind #ElevatingPeople?

Our #ElevatingPeople programme was originally born out of a response to the pandemic; what started off as a survey to understand how people were doing during that time, turned into a mindfulness webinar attended by over 800 staff from over 15 countries. We’ve built on that foundation and knowing that our people are our greatest asset, we developed the programme to encompass training and in-person events in areas that they asked for, providing opportunity for personal and professional development.

What does that do for Elevate?

Delivering these training opportunities for our staff means they remain engaged and loyal to Elevate, helping our company culture to grow positivity, stay resilient and keep innovating.

How will Elevate increase engagement with the #ElevatingPeople programme?

We’ve been working hard to ensure our messaging is heard by all our workforces. We have invested in a dedicated marketing push across our socials along with key messaging being shared at every opportunity via our staff facing HQ team members. We’re moving towards making it a mandatory part of our staff training for clients who support sustainability and DE&I.

If we spoke again in 6 months’ time what would represent success for #ElevatingPeople?

Attracting, retaining, supporting and up-skilling our people is our ultimate goal. As we continue to grow our field workforces, we want to offer every single applicant the same opportunities. We’re well on that road and we are continuing to explore what else we can do to better support our people and ensure we give back to the workforce, over and above employment.

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