5 Things To Do Today: Preparing Marketing & Creative Teams for a Great Start

Preparing Marketing Creative Teams for 2022

“Unity is strength… When there is teamwork and collaboration, wonderful things can be achieved.” — Mattie Stepanek

If creating a great team is an art, then preparing teams to prosper is a science. Leaders know the success of their organization is dependent on their ability to hone each individual’s talents and bond those individuals together as a team. The true science of teamwork happens when everyone understands the mission and has the drive to work together to complete it.

As we look ahead to the rest of the year, we wanted to help you with 5 things to prepare your marketing and creative teams for a successful new year. In this article, we’ll cover 5 key ideas:

  1. Look backward to move forward
  2. Review systems, processes, and tools
  3. Set clear goals & expectations
  4. Plan for team recognition and bonding
  5. Focus on holistic health

1. Look backward to move forward

Team planning is an opportunity for every team member to bring ideas and issues up in an open conversation – and, it’s key to preparing teams for what’s to come. Reflecting on the past year together can help marketing, creative, and digital teams move forward together, feeling positive and energized about the year ahead. 

To facilitate open communication in strategy sessions, here are a few recommendations:

  • Start with positives – what went well over the past year?
  • Gain clarity on issues – what didn’t work well?
  • Brainstorm opportunities – what can your team do better this year?

Additional resources to put this idea into action: Many frameworks can be used to help leaders ask the right questions in planning sessions, to inspire a creative response from the team – here are a few of them.

2. Review team resources

As you reflect on the year, your team may identify issues within your team structure, tech stack, systems, or processes. Perhaps you aren’t getting the data and insights needed from one of your tools, or approvals are getting bottle-necked in a process. Work to identify any areas of opportunity as a team.

Here are some of the resources you may want consider reviewing with your team:

  • Headcount – are there knowledge gaps or team members overextended in some areas?
  • Systems – are your processes setting your team up for success?
  • Tools – is your tech stack supporting the key performance indicators (KPIs) and team goals?

Additional resources to put this idea into action: Resources and tools can help teams save time and money and can help prepare teams for the year ahead. But, they can also drain valuable budgets if the resources aren’t allocated properly. Performing a skills gap analysis can help you identify needs on your team, while a martech assessment will audit existing tools and potentially identify new tools to help you achieve team goals.

3. Set clear goals & expectations

Setting clear goals and realistic expectations for marketing,creative and digital teams for the upcoming year will help you get the buy-in necessary to achieve success. One great way to do this is to develop S.M.A.R.T. goals – S.M.A.R.T (SMART) stands for:

  • Specific (simple, sensible, significant)
  • Measurable (meaningful, motivating)
  • Achievable (agreed, attainable)
  • Relevant (reasonable, realistic and resourced, results-based)
  • Time-bound (time-based, time-limited, time/cost limited, timely, time-sensitive)

Prepare teams to see the overall strategic vision for the year – setting these key things will help the ideas become more attainable:

  1. Develop 3-5 SMART goals.
  2. Identify the KPIs for those 3-5 goals. 
  3. Create a timeline to work on the goals. 

Additional resources to put this idea into action: Establishing SMART goals can lead to several advantages, including increased clarity, boosted motivation, and better prioritization. If a team member is struggling to determine how a project is relevant or what needs to be the priority, they can re-prioritize tasks to align with the core team goals set for the year.

4. Prepare team engagement and development opportunities

Leaders know it’s more important than ever to provide opportunities for team bonding and recognition. The Great Resignation is happening, and talented team members are leaving for new job opportunities at a high rate. To help combat attrition, you need to strategize ways to keep your teams engaged. A great way to go about doing this is to build recognition, team bonding, and fun into your yearly planning.

Workplace recognition, team building, professional development, and fun help employees in several ways:

  1. Creates a sense of value
  2. Provides an opportunity to be a part of something bigger than themselves / a sense of belonging
  3. Enables learning from others and developing new skills
  4. Encourages communication and collaboration
  5. Increases productivity and positivity 
  6. Gives something to look forward to
  7. And so much more

Additional resources to put this idea into action: Plan for quarterly awards, team building, and fun. It could be half a day with a special award, like MVP, that occurs at the end of each quarter or a quarterly awards celebration put on by a special volunteer committee from your team. Here are some more ideas for team engagement and celebrations that you can prepare for your team in 2022.

5. Focus on holistic health

You may be wondering, what is holistic health? According to Western Connecticut State University,  “​​Holistic health is an approach to life that considers multidimensional aspects of wellness. It encourages individuals to recognize the whole person: physical, mental, emotional, social, intellectual, and spiritual.” According to a survey conducted by One Poll, 66% of employees seek employers that care about their well-being. 

Here’s some reasons why holistic health matters in the workplace:

  • Mental health & increased productivity: According to research, almost 86% of employees treated for depression report improved work performance. Additionally, some studies noted that the treatment of depression has been shown to reduce absenteeism by up to 40%.
  • Decreased health care and disability costs: According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, rates of cardiovascular and metabolic diseases are twice as high in adults with serious mental illness.
  • Physical health is positively correlated with higher levels of concentration, increased mental stamina, reduced levels of stress, improved learning and sharper memory, and improved levels of focus and creativity.
  • Spiritual wellness can help ground employees in their values, support resilience, inner peace, and relieve stress.

Additional resources to put this idea into action: Offer perks that are useful and accessible. Send out a simple survey to ask team members what they want to participate in. This is a great way to see what your team members would find useful and prepare them for the upcoming year. Some common holistic health ideas to consider bringing to your workplace include yoga, meditation, and nutrition sessions. Here are additional holistic health benefits ideas.

Every workplace is unique and every team member is different. So, discovering what your team members respond well to is the key to creating the open communication necessary for success. As we at Celarity love saying, teamwork truly makes the dream work. By supporting your team members for a great start in the new year, you’ll be able to create a workplace that fosters a positive culture, promotes health and happiness among team members, and drives success across the whole organization.

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