As the leading marketing executive search firm, we are having discussions on a routine basis with our clients around best practices in engaging their new virtual workforce. By nature, marketers can be social creatures and working remotely has left some feeling isolated. This can lead to motivation and productivity challenges.
Fortunately, our senior-level digital executive search professionals are seeing some companies bring back marketers who prefer being in the office. However, not all companies have the luxury of meeting face to face. Therefore, to mitigate the risk of employee burnout, you must strategize the best way to maintain your team’s motivation and fight complacency.
To make life a little easier, the leading marketing executive search firm has analyzed a long list of potential strategies and narrowed it down to the top 3 new and effective motivational plans for marketing leaders.
Top 3 Motivational Strategies From Digital Executive Search Professionals:
Create Easy Wins
Oftentimes, as marketing executives, we concentrate too much on the bigger picture. How many times have you emphasized the major goal or milestone? Do you consistently use the terms “quarterly target” or “long-term goal”? The truth is, not everyone is inspired or motivated by the bigger picture. This concept has been proven by researcher Teresa Amabile at Harvard Business School with the help of Steven J. Kramer. They studied thousands of daily journal entries from knowledgeable workers who had more creative job functions. It revealed that it was crucial for these professionals who were working on complex problems to achieve small wins during their process.
Even the smallest minor advances in the process can help individuals sustain their motivation regardless if they were faced with inevitable setbacks. This motivation also fosters productivity and creativity over the long-run.
Ideally, you want to set micro-goals. Whether it is a goal for the day or week, consistently giving positive feedback and acknowledging the progression evokes positive reactions. This is especially true for junior-level team members. The reality is, they are just beginning their career journey. According to Harvard Business Review, “the first three years in the workforce, in particular, have a significant impact on employees’ growth and confidence. Managers who coach their team members can help them think strategically, chart their courses, and navigate the ups and downs along the way.” In doing so, you give them a sense of accomplishment and help them see their value in the organization. Overall, the small wins will help generate a positive work environment in which more marketing professionals are happy and motivated.
Encourage New Working Location
The biggest challenge marketing professionals face today is being at home all day with the same surroundings and working environment. You don’t get the same interaction or personal relationships as you would if you were in the office. Unfortunately, in many cases, going back to the office is currently not an option.
Therefore, as marketing leaders, you need to find alternative ways to encourage your team to improve their current working environment. Whether it be moving to a different room in the house or adding new decor, changing the surroundings as well as adding more light will help boost productivity and motivation.
One innovative idea, MarketPro, the leading marketing executive search firm has seen throughout our research on the best strategy for team motivation is encouraging travel during this period in time. While this is not recommended for every organization, suggesting a trip to a cabin or even spending a week in a nearby city could help reduce the feeling of being cooped up in the home.
Implementing Games and Contests
In most organizational settings, employees usually find some time between their work to socialize with their colleagues. This has decreased since most companies have transitioned to remote work. However, it doesn’t mean it has to stop. As marketing executives, you can take this opportunity to introduce a new method and let your team members build new relationships virtually.
The reality is we use online video conferencing almost every day. More often than not, we are only using it to go over work-related matters. Over time, it can become exhausting. However, if you can make every meeting enjoyable, more and more team members will look forward to each meeting. Here are a couple of ideas of games you can implement at the start of a meeting, throughout, or at the end of:
- Health challenge: If you have a very competitive team, this is a great opportunity to set a challenge. Encourage each team member to monitor how many calories they burned, or how many sit-ups they did in one week. Create a challenge chart and at the end of the month reward the winner.
- Trivia Tuesday: You can schedule out 30 mins during the week to enjoy a friendly trivia game. Make it fun. The questions could be on Disney princesses or Marvel characters.
- Storytime: This is one of the most creative games you can play within your team meetings. Start with one word. For example, the word could be “apple”. Go around to each member and have them add a snippet of a story about the apple.
At the end of the day, your responsibility as a marketing executive is to make sure your team can execute the best marketing strategy and communicate with the target audience effectively. This can not be done if your team members lack motivation or feel isolated from the rest of the team. To make sure your marketing professionals are on track, MarketPro, the leading marketing executive search firm suggests you implement these tips into your daily functions as well as establish weekly one-on-one meetings with each member.