Regardless of the size of your team, there are so many tasks involved with marketing nowadays that staying on top of an assigned workload can feel impossible.
Even if you’ve hired a range of specialist employees to stop everyone from having to wear multiple hats, this isn’t necessarily solving the problem.
One Social Media Manager still has to:
Design a strategy
Create content (with multimedia)
Stay up-to-date with platform algorithms
Engage with multiple audiences
This can be a lot for anyone to handle. More often than not, it’s a role that requires more time than one full-time employee can find in the day.
So, unless you have the budget to onboard more marketing staff until you finally find that “sweet spot”, you need a more affordable solution… like maximising productivity across the department.
Are your marketing employees working productively?
Before you rashly gather your marketing employees and demand that they work harder and faster, you need to actually decipher whether they are already performing at a reasonable level.
Your expectations and theirs might not always line up, where you feel like they could be doing more and they’re actually already at the end of their tether.
Productivity can be a tricky thing to measure, despite its seemingly straightforward calculation. Rather than simply looking at staff output, you have to take many different factors into account – especially for a marketing position.
See, it’s pretty much impossible to work in a creative role and constantly produce results.
We all have those days where we feel unmotivated, but research shows this can reach an extreme height for someone constantly trying to come up with new ideas. A TBWA study found that “creatives are more likely to experience workplace burnout” than other employees.
Therefore, you need to be careful with pushing your team too far, too fast. You have to give your employees some benefit of the doubt when it comes to measuring their productivity.
How to tell if your marketing team is working at maximum productivity already
A marketing employee can’t always be rigidly sat at their desk, staring at a screen, frantically working away. Some element of freedom (like taking a breather or catching up with a colleague) is healthy, even if it seems disruptive from a productivity perspective.
The easiest way to truly understand if your employees are already operating at maximum capacity is to conduct a survey and ask them. Instead of making assumptions based on the information you have, listen to your team.
You could ask them questions like:
On a scale of 1-10, how comfortable are you with your current workload?
On a scale of 1-10, how receptive would you be to being assigned more tasks?
On a scale of 1-10, how well do you manage your time on a day-to-day basis?
On a scale of 1-10, how often do you complete everything you intended to get done?
On a scale of 1-10, how would you rank your productivity at work?
On a scale of 1-10, how much do you get distracted when jobs need completing?
What to do if your marketing team are underperforming
When you have facilitated this feedback and your employees themselves are admitting they could be more productive… a door is opened. One that gives you the perfect opportunity to make changes without stepping on anyone’s toes.
Through self-evaluation, you’ve encouraged them to think critically about whether they could be doing more (lowering their defences and giving them a safe space for honesty). As such, if there’s a problem present that they’ve personally identified, they’ll be more open to accepting help when it’s offered.
Increasing the productivity of your marketing team
Rather than rejecting tools like CRM software to aid them in their role and automate key tasks, your team will embrace the support you can give.
To further aid your marketing team to maximise productivity, you could try:
Promoting collaboration so that they can bounce ideas off each other.
Increasing communication so they can be honest when they need additional guidance.
Time tracking to monitor where the most time is being spent on tasks.
Setting clear expectations of achievable targets that provide direction.
Encouraging self-care to reduce stress levels.
Rewarding and recognising your team for their efforts.
Most of these options can make a significant difference to the overall wellbeing of your marketing team, reducing their likelihood of burning out.
From there, they’ll be able to continue operating at an effective and productive level that transforms the outcomes of your business.
That’s not even the best news.
These methods revolve around enabling and providing for your team, not forcing results out of them. This demonstrates your awareness that they might be struggling and reveals your willingness to help them.
Supporting an overworked and unproductive marketing team
These past few years have been really difficult for lots of workers, especially for anyone in a creative sector like marketing.
Combatting the lingering effects of the pandemic should be a priority for all leaders and offering support while everyone gets back on their feet is imperative.
If your research reveals that your team is being stretched too wide (underperforming because of unrealistic expectations), consider onboarding additional employees.
Whether you bring on a part-time contractor to alleviate some of the workload or hire a full-time specialist your business has been desperately needing, Forward Role will deliver the perfect fit.
Recruit marketing employees through Forward Role
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Amber Potts is a Recruitment Consultant, specialsing in Marketing at Forward Role. Connect with her here.