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If you want to know how to lead a marketing team that does great work, you need a grasp on what makes them happy.
In a study on happiness and productivity among call center workers, published in The World Economic Forum, the authors found that happy employees achieved 13% higher sales than unhappy colleagues.
Did they put in additional hours? Nope. They were simply happier. It appears that those happy employees simply used their time in more productive ways. Happiness seems to be responsible for at least some success in the workplace.
This matters to people who lead marketing teams — especially to the 97% who responded in a CoSchedule survey saying they are not always successful in achieving their goals. How can you invest in your marketing team’s happiness and produce better bottom-line results? Here are six rules to follow for happy marketing teams.
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Some work requires doing things that you don’t like, but you should always take the opportunity to give people tasks in which they will enjoy or excel.
Not only will this keep people feeling positive, but it will create a better product.
Here are some strengths to keep in mind:
A couple resources to identify strengths:
Don’t be fooled — not every “perk” is actually a perk. By and large, most employees value their health, flexibility, and vacation time. Yes, even more than they value free snacks, free coffee, company-wide retreats, and employee outings.
As a leader, you need to ask yourself, What does my marketing team need to succeed? We know that autonomy, mastery and purpose help to motivate employees—and I’d wager that they help far more than enticing offers of free coffee.
I suggest giving your team the flexibility and tools to work in the way that they feel is best.
Look for tools that:
Those who fail together, trust each other. Those who fail, have the opportunity to learn and produce better work in the future.
Make your workplace a sacred place where failing is acceptable — as long as something is learned from it.
Example: One thing we do at our company is the monthly Hack Day. We set aside all other work and “jam” on something together.
Our Hack Days look like this:
Sometimes Hack Day tanks, but sometimes it’s the prototype for a brand new product.
Here are other ways to make space to fail:
Far too many of us are overworked. Motivating an overworked team is tough, especially when you feel like you don’t have the extra time for personal check-ins.
The occasional team lunch or one-on-one coffee might seem like an unnecessary expense, but it can do wonders for your marketing team’s happiness and morale. Your team will be happier if there is a sense of friendship and trust within the group.
This also means being quick to address conflict, so it doesn’t bring everyone down by proxy. Give your marketing team a chance to forge a strong relationship. People don’t like to feel like they are just another cog in the machine.
Take the time to get to know your team.
What are their hobbies? Do they have family in the area? What do they do on the weekend?
Meet with your team members, one on one, and ask about:
Our digital world moves quickly, and many of us are guilty of moving goal posts as we get more data about how a particular campaign is going. It’s tempting to set a goal, reach a goal, and then say, “Okay, what’s the next goal?” Maybe the previous one was just too low of a guess.
When you’re laying out your goals, take your time to set realistic, business-driven marketing goals that will be a good cause for celebration when you achieve them.
You can use a sophisticated OKR software that’s designed to help you do this, but even if you do, I caution you against setting too many metrics-based goals.
Working with too many KPIs or working with goal posts that shift place every time you near them is demotivating. What you need is a clear, concrete, and OKR-driven growth strategy that’s ambitious yet realistic.
Use concrete, achievable goals, and use them sparingly.
Examples of goals:
This goes hand-in-hand with getting to know your team as individuals and taking the time to understand what really motivates each of your team members.
Few of us were born with the desire to run really effective instagram campaigns for a local restaurant chain. We all have real life goals that have far more sway over our day to day choices (e.g. starting a family, helping a parent, starting a business, being in a local play, getting in shape, finding a partner, etc.).
Do you know what your marketing team envisions for themselves this year? In five years? Ten?
Take the time to ask.
Here are some questions to get you started.
When the people on your marketing team feel valued on a personal level, this will invigorate a project and heighten your chances for success. That’s why it’s important to keep your marketing teams happy.
There’s no golden set of rules for any team, but in our team, these are the things that work. Following these six rules helps us feel invigorated, motivated, and happy to be part of our team:
We know that people do their best work when they are in a good mood, and as a marketing team leader, you can follow these guidelines in order to set the stage for happy colleagues who do their best work.
August 10, 2020
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