Your creative staff is critical to your success. The economy has kept many of these talented people in their current roles, either due to lack of opportunities or not wanting to switch jobs during a volatile economy. As things turn around, how do you keep this talent engaged and happy?
Here are seven tips for keeping your creative and marketing staff’s satisfaction high.
1. Challenge them. Creative talent thrives on interesting projects. If your interactive designer is tied up with a less-than-stimulating assignment, consider giving them a side projects to keep them engaged. Also, give them opportunities to develop new skills–a major factor in job satisfaction. After all, no one wants to do the same thing year after year. (Plus their newly acquired skills can help you tackle emerging marketing challenges!)
2. Make them feel like part of the team. Whether they’re full-time staff, freelancers, or outside agencies, find ways to bring them together. Ad agency Bandujo, for example, heads out periodically for team picnics. Invite them to strategy sessions and solicit their opinion. When people feel like they’re part of the decision making process and their input is valued, they’re more apt to feel invested in the company’s success.
3. Give them flexibility. The great thing about creative people is they show their value through their deliverables. Maybe they can work from home or come in after rush hour. Or maybe they’ll do their best brainstorming during a working session in the park. Give them autonomy and as long as they’re producing stellar deliverables, everyone’s happy.
4. Show your appreciation. Really, a thank you makes a big difference. And a BIG thank you makes a big difference. Case in point: MathWorks employees always talk about the annual cruise the company hosts. Who wouldn’t want to work for someone who’s generous and fun?
5. Reward creative spark. When someone on your team shares a new idea or goes out of their way to help an internal or external client, do something nice for them. Show them that you value this ingenuity. This could be recognizing them at a team meeting, or giving them an extra vacation day.
6. Design a creative workspace. It’s tough to think outside the box when you are in the box. Nothing drains creative thoughts more than working in a drab beige cube. Give your creative team the freedom to work in unconventional ways–this will help generate unconventional ideas!
7. Hire people you like. This may sound obvious but often people focus exclusively on the hard skill sets when hiring a new person. Studies show that people tend to stay at companies where they like the people they work with. To make the right hire, invite others in your department to join you in interviewing potential candidates. Before making the job offer you might even invite the candidate to a group lunch or after work get together to see if they’ll fit well.
Creative talent, we’d love to hear from you. What can employers do to win you over?