Last week I had the pleasure of taking a webinar hosted by 4A’s, which focused on how individuals can better manage projects up and sideways in their marketing and advertising roles. Regardless of whether you’re working at an agency or in the marketing department of a large corporation, you’re going to come in contact with – and rely on – a number of individuals on a daily basis that you have no formal authority over.
And regardless of whether they’re a copywriter, programmer, engineer, product manager, or another individual in a role similar to yours, there are a number of intrinsic motivators everyone shares – factors that keep them going in their role. By bearing the following in mind, and making sure individuals feel fulfillment in these areas, you can ensure your team executes that next project to best of its abilities:
A Sense of Meaningfulness
Everyone wants to feel that their work has real value. But how do you help others tap into meaningfulness in their work? Try helping them see the whole picture, and what their part means to a whole project. Further, show interest in the work they are creating, and show thanks: let the person know you appreciate that extra effort when it’s given, and let their supervisor know they’re doing great work as well.
The Option of Choice
Everyone wants to make their own decisions on how to do their work. In this business, where creativity is so prized and essential, giving those working on your projects choice is pivotal. More than anything, this creative freedom shows a level of trust and benefit of the doubt. Often we have an idea about how we want a project executed, but ultimately, we need to realize that others work in ways different than our own. Instead of micromanaging, give individuals the freedom of choice by giving them clear, excellent direction – then get out of the way.
A Trust in Competence
Regardless of their role or function, it’s important to your co-workers that you demonstrate a trust in their abilities to execute their task at a high level. The power of believing in someone, as hokey as that may sound, is very real – and it can truly bring an individual’s best work out. It’s easy to show you believe and trust in others’ abilities: Give praise when an aspect of the project is executed well, ask their opinion on how they might tackle a challenge, and be willing to take a risk for them and their work. It’ll go a long way.
Now, I realize nothing I just stated is a ground-breaking idea. However, when that last-minute project is kicked off, a little something extra – that meaningfulness you helped a designer realize, the choice you gave a marketing specialist, or the trust in competence you showed your IT team – could mean the difference in mediocre and truly impactful work.