Who doesn’t love a good inspirational quote on the power of teamwork?
Teamwork makes the dream work.
TEAM: Together Everyone Achieves More
Teamwork: Simply stated, is less me and more WE.
Teamwork divides the task and multiplies the success.
There’s no “I” in team.
We’ve all heard them. We’ve all said them. But can we all say that our marketing teams actually live by them?
For you marketing managers out there, there’s little doubt that you strive to support and enable great teamwork within your organization. After all, you’re likely managing an integrated marketing strategy that requires all hands on deck to get something cohesive and effective out the door. However, breaks in communication, bottlenecks, missed tasks, discontent and finger pointing can still be a daily struggle.
At TopRank Marketing finding ways to work better together has become a core business objective. From implementing agile marketing principles to launching a new project management system to a more collaborative hiring process, we’re doubling down on teamwork to not only create a great work environment, but also help drive great work and the best possible results for our clients.
As someone who works very closely with a diverse team of marketers, I wanted to share a few tips that can help you build trust with individuals on your team, and foster more and better teamwork.
#1 – Get to know your team members—and encourage them to do the same.
Let’s face it. We spend a lot of time with our coworkers—perhaps even more time than we do with our families in a given week. So why not get to know each other better on both a personal and professional level?
On a professional level, marketing managers and each team member should have a deep understanding of each other’s respective skills and strengths. Taking the time to learn these things makes it easier to delegate tasks and gives everyone insight on whose brains they can pick for advice.
On a personal level, we all have hobbies, interests and dreams outside of work. When we pay attention and show interest in a person’s life outside of company walls, we build a personal connection that fosters trust, friendship and compassion. And in my experience, having a personal connection to a coworker or supervisor absolutely drives more collaboration because we all care about each other, and all want to do our best to lift each other up.
Get a deep understanding of each other’s respective skills & strengths. #marketing #teamwork Click To Tweet
#2 – Define individual and team goals.
Goal setting is a critical piece of any initiative as goals help guide your overall strategy. As a result, if you want your team to come together, you have to make sure they have clearly defined goals for themselves and as team in front of them.
Gather your team members for a goal setting session so they can document what they want to accomplish both together and individually. Use the objectives you’ve outlined in your marketing strategy as the ultimate goals, and encourage them to outline items that will help reach those goals and what success actually looks like.
If you want your #marketing team to come together, get clearly defined goals in front of them. Click To Tweet
#3 – Outline individual responsibilities—and understand how they intersect with others’ duties.
Each individual has an important role to play within the larger team, and there needs to be clarity in who is responsible for what—as well as how their work has an impact on other members of the team.
During your goal setting session, outline each team member’s roles and responsibilities, and encourage everyone to weigh in. At the end of the session, not only will every member know what’s expected of them and their peers, but also feel like they’ve had a say.
There needs to be clarity in who is responsible for what. #marketing #teamwork Click To Tweet
#4 – Determine how you’ll communicate.
It’s certainly no secret that communication is vital to the success of any team. As a result, every team should establish a communications plan to help ensure people are in the know and accessible to each other.
At TopRank Marketing, we have an “open door” policy. This means that at any time, a team member can pop by with a question or for a quick strategy session. Of course, sometimes we need to be heads down and don’t want to be disturbed. So, recently we’ve added colorful flags to each of our desks. If the flag is up, send an email or stop by later. If the flag is down, we’re open for business. As far as task management goes, we use Workfront as our project management system to communicate details and deadlines.
For larger teams or those working remotely, Slack can be a fantastic option. As Beverly Jackson, Vice President of Social Portfolio Strategy for MGM Resorts International, told me in a recent “Behind the Marketing Curtain” interview: “Communication between team members is crucial. And if you have team members who are always on the move, sometimes you can’t catch them by phone and email isn’t fast enough. We use Slack to stay in touch, and share things in small bursts.”
Establish a comms plan to keep people in the know & accessible to each other. #marketing #teamwork Click To Tweet
#5 – Hold regular standups.
As part of your communications plan, consider holding regular, in-person standup meetings. Inspired by Scrum and agile theories, these meetings should be about 15 minutes in length, and serve as a check-in to ensure everyone is on the same page and there are no hurdles in the way.
Depending on your organization or the task at hand, your standups could take place twice a week or every day. I’d recommend starting with daily, and then adjusting down based on your needs.
Hold regular, in-person standups. #marketing #teamworktips Click To Tweet
#6 – Eliminate work silos whenever possible.
No matter the industry, “eliminating silos” is often cited as key to better collaboration and success. But how? For marketers, it may be easier than you think.
As previously mentioned in this piece, most organizations are operating an integrated marketing strategy featuring several interconnected tactics such as social media marketing, content marketing, SEO and paid search. Chances are each of your team members specialize in one of these areas and a waterfall workflow is in place. For example, your SEO team needs to conduct keyword research before your content team can plan and create content. But these are perfect situations for deliberate and meaningful teamwork.
At TopRank Marketing, we’ve begun to eliminate the waterfall workflow in these cases. We’re having live working sessions in which the SEO, content, paid, social, analytics and account folks are in one room, working on all the tasks for a specific deliverable at once. This allows us to work more quickly and strategically, as well as continue to build trust and camaraderie with one another.
Eliminate waterfall workflows when possible boost efficiency & strategy. #marketing #teamworktips Click To Tweet
Teamwork Really Does Make the Dream Work
If there’s anything that I’ve learned in my time at TopRank Marketing, it’s that I can’t achieve marketing awesomeness on my own. I need multiple perspectives. I need specialized expertise. And I need to know what time happy hour is starting on Friday.
By digging into who your team members are, understanding their strengths and passions, and creating an environment where everyone is heard, your organization can achieve your marketing dreams.
What tactics has your organization employed to foster better teamwork? Tell us in the comments section.