People are the most important piece of the puzzle when it comes to your marketing: they’re where the ideas come from, and where the tactical implementation begins and ends.
You must do three things to
manage people: First, you have to hire the right people with the right skills. If you have people with the wrong skills, you either need to train them or replace them with the right ones.
Second, you have to get them focused on the same path and believing in the strategy to get there. Third, you have to hold them accountable while understanding what motivates them.
Hiring is an art form because of the balance required: You’re looking for people who are a chemistry fit, but who are different enough to provide a fresh perspective. Too often you can hire someone who was a great fit for your team last year, but team dynamics evolve, so you want to find the right person who can ride that wave and even help give it strength.
I find that asking questions about what they do and do not like about change can help provide an inside view of what makes employees tick. Enjoying change too much, or fearing change altogether, are both red flags for someone who may be too polarizing to be beneficial.
Getting your team focused on the same path is your responsibility, but if you hire the right kinds of people and you empower them to question the way things are being done, you can end up with a productive team that has an emotional investment in the success of your marketing — which goes just as far as any monetary compensation. Being emotionally invested in your work means you care, and when you care, you go that extra mile to see success.
When you hire the right people, and you understand their motivations, you can develop ways to involve them in the process that will tap into their passions, making them more involved. I recommend that you share with your team what the goals are, but also share what’s stressing you, and invite them to be involved in the solution. Inviting them to solve the same problems you’re looking to solve will help develop trust.
Once you have the right people, accountability becomes how you ensure things are going where they need to be, but accountability has to be transparent. Your team has to know exactly how they are being held accountable, and the metrics for their success have to be clear. They should be able to calculate it quickly and without much confusion. Even if those metrics are changing, be transparent and let them know why, but keep it simple. Simplicity also breeds trust, and trust drives hard work.
If you have all the right tools, all the right data and even some of the best ideas, you’ll still fail if you don’t have the right people. The callous part is determining what to do in that case. Do you let people go and replace, or do you retrain? Taking an objective look at your team can offer the solution, but so does being open with them. Be forthcoming and let them know that with organizational change comes skillset change — and see if they are up to the task.
These are the hard questions, but the solutions that present themselves are invaluable.