In a company of any size, creative teams can be difficult to motivate. Especially if your team spans the globe and not the office space, motivating and managing these employees can be overwhelming. Where do you start? Through our years working with creative teams, marketing teams, and managing our own creative group, we have found 4 tips to motivate creative teams.
1. Buy more whiteboards.
For the creative mind, everything is a source of inspiration. In today's most intriguing workplaces, whiteboards, chalkboards, and window walls span the office space. While we don't expect you to redesign your entire office, buying a small mobile whiteboard for your creative teams can be a huge bonus. Encourage them to jot notes, ideas, and more on their whiteboards during the day. When a great idea comes to mind, your whiteboard can be the canvas. Pro tip: Have everyone bring their whiteboards to the brainstorming sessions to talk out with other creative team members for collaboration magic!
2. Schedule brainstorm sessions.
While your larger marketing team may host collaboration meetings once a quarter or once a month, it isn't enough to keep the creative teams engaged. Scheduling a weekly or biweekly brainstorm session with just your creative team is a great way to engage your team while sparking new ideas. Pro tip: invite a non-creative team member (read: customer service rep, IT guru, etc) to visit the meeting as a guest contributor. Some of your best brainstorming can happen with unexpected parties.
3. Find a writing buddy.
Ann Handley says it best: "If writing were a sport, it would be a tennis match played against a bright wall, or a solo game of tetherball. You can do it, but it's a little lonely." One effective way to motivate your creative team members is to encourage a writing partnership. Pair opposite styles together for ideation and watch the magic happen.
4. Never say never.
Creative teams are sensitive teams. The worst thing you can do when managing or motivating your team in any industry is to be negative. Never say never is a great principle to keep when working with idea generators or content creators. While every idea won't be your million dollar idea, encourage your team to work through some of the more underwhelming ideas. Make a rule that negativity and "no" stays outside of the room when brainstorming meetings are in play. What Would Dale Carnegie Do? Positive reinforcement.