Working in advertising is supremely stressful. There’s no doubt about that. This is especially true if you’re managing a creative team. You might find your employees being cooped up in the office all the time, trying to come up with the perfect ad or a perfect one-liner for an ad campaign. Often, when ideas are presented to the client, the creative team faces a million demands and complaints. This invariably causes moodiness, and unfortunately, brooding creatives are not an uncommon sight.
When it comes down to it, basic management principles can work well in inculcating a healthy culture in a hectic advertising workplace.
Hold weekly town hall sessions
When was the last time your employees openly communicated with each other? Does everyone in your company know about your long-term strategies and plans? Workplace transparency is very important to build a healthy organization. Advertising professionals often don’t have time to talk to one another because of a gazillion deadlines looming over their head. Holding weekly town hall sessions to check up on campaigns and discuss any worries and concerns can help instill transparency and encourage communication.
Take the team out on a “creative” escape
Remember when your art teacher used to take you to the museum for inspiration during your school days? It may not have been too fun back then, but it can make a huge difference to your organizational culture right now. Fixing monthly or quarterly team outings can give your employees the much-needed break from the nine-to-six office rut and also promote teamwork. It could be anything really: from a day out to a beautiful art gallery where you could organize creative workshops or just indulge in a fun afternoon of paintball. Creative people have a lot of energy and these activities can give them an outlet to vent.
Let your employees see the whole picture
There’s often tension between copywriters and accounts executives in an organization due to the constant battle between the creative and commercial aspect of advertising. This causes unnecessary tension. A good way to overcome this is by encouraging workplace learning. In fact, 98 percent of professionals in the Middle East say that working in a company that provides learning and development opportunities is very important for them. How about letting your creatives in on client meetings, or letting them shadow the account executives for a day, and vice-versa? Employees can also train each other on various skills. For example, a graphic designer can teach basic design principles to other staff members. There are many such opportunities to promote continuous learning.
Motivate and reward
A silent pat on the back for a job well done might not be enough to motivate your staff. How about rewarding success in front of the whole office with certificates? Make sure you reward employees for their outputs as well as their inputs. Positive reinforcement does wonders to motivate even the stressed-out creative employee. At Bayt.com, for instance, we organize quarterly fiestas where we celebrate top performers; we also encourage them to bring their families along to be part of the festivities.
Fair compensation is another vital part of having a good workplace culture. However, loyalty isn’t only linked to salary. Non-monetary benefits also count towards a great overall package. For example, including flextime policies as a benefit is a vital part of workplace satisfaction. In the Middle East, 65 percent of professionals would accept a pay-cut for extra free time on the job. This is especially true for creative professionals who often feel that they don’t spend enough time with their families and loved ones. Having said that, monetary compensation is still essential. Often advertising employees feel underpaid compared to their more corporate peers. You can benchmark salaries on salary comparison platforms, such as Bayt.com Salaries.