When it comes to your marketing teams, optimising work performance should be one of your top priorities. The McKinsey Global Institute found that productivity improves by 20-25% in organizations with connected employees. Having highly productive individuals within your team will increase the motivation of everyone else around them, and drive overall team success.
As a result, you should consider workplace strategies that maximise your team’s ability to perform their best. If things are going wrong within your team, chances are that there are certain barriers that are causing them to feel unmotivated or burnt out.
That’s why we’ve come up with our top ways to improve work performance in your marketing teams and set them up for success.
What is work performance?
Work performance is how well an individual performs at the tasks, roles and responsibilities related to their jobs. Performing well at work not only affects one’s level of achievement in completing tasks, but also their levels of stress and engagement.
As a manager or employer, improving work performance throughout your team is an efficient way to maximize your resources and offset the cost of hiring, training and employing people. If your employees are performing at a high standard most of the time, more value is created per employee. This helps you reach your broader business goals.
Notice the gaps
Sometimes, the real problems are the ones that are the least visible. These are the ‘gaps’ in an otherwise normal workflow. By concentrating on improving those specific areas, you should find that your marketing performance is much stronger.
There may be gaps in perception, where the goals you have as a company aren’t recognised at the team level. Maybe you haven’t communicated your vision clearly. Or perhaps individuals have no clear picture of how their work makes an impact on company success.
To help you identify the gaps or problems in your team, you can use an online form to garner feedback from members. Ask them what they believe the biggest issues are in the team. This might unearth the underlying problems they are facing that would otherwise be invisible if you don’t work closely with them.
Performance gaps can also occur when the processes you have in place aren’t meeting the goals of your company. Ask yourself, “Are any crucial tools, software or settings missing in the team?”
Find the weaknesses in your team and in your tech, and do whatever you can to plug the gap with real, actionable changes that will last.
Set attainable goals
Following from the first piece of advice, the next step after addressing specific issues is to realise your team’s potential.
Put in place attainable goals that your marketing team will strive to meet. Then, make sure to let them know how important those goals are to team success. This could mean breaking larger goals into smaller ones or replacing them altogether.
Nowadays, it is all too easy to become burned out if goals are simply unattainable or unrealistic. Many times you might have accidentally expected your team to achieve something that’s challenging given the timeframe or resources. Shift your expectations by creating more achievable goals which you know your team can actually accomplish.
As long as your marketing team feels that their goals are attainable, they will have greater motivation to complete tasks to the highest standard.
Remove unproductive tasks
Once your goals are realistic, your marketing teams are ready to fly high—but not if they hit a ceiling. You can remove unproductive tasks from their plate so as not to hinder their growth. This ensures that their work performance can continue to improve for longer.
Take the time to sit down and really examine the tasks that you have set for your team. Are there extra steps that burden the team unnecessarily?
For example, they might be stuck on documentation or doing a certain task more than once. There may be too many handovers between team members. Task allocations can also be a problem, where certain members of the team are overburdened.
It is often immediately obvious that many tasks are less productive than others. However, identifying and removing these as soon as possible can be something of a challenge.
Identifying unproductive tasks can be tricky if processes have been ingrained in the normal workflow for a long time. To prevent this, make sure that you don’t skip or overlook procedures that have become standard.
Further, what’s more difficult is working out how to replace such trivial tasks. This is especially tricky if they are connected to a larger business process.
If you are stuck, ask the most appropriate people for advice on how to complete a task more efficiently. Likely, this is someone who has been or is currently in the role.
Although an initial slog, this is beneficial in the long-term as you may free up a significant amount of time for your team that can be utilised more effectively in other ways.
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Entrust your team with the right amount of responsibility
Some people are in the right position to handle more responsibility, while others could appreciate the lighter workload. Individuals shouldn’t feel that they are doing too much or too little compared to others. Otherwise, you may risk building resentment within the team, leading to a lower retention rate in the long term.
One or two individuals within the team may feel that what they are doing is not important. They might feel that their work is irrelevant to the larger goals of the marketing team.
By offering these people a greater sense of responsibility, they will realise the importance of their role in relation to others. As a result, they may be motivated to work more productively.
The key here is to not just increase someone’s workload but rather their feeling of responsibility towards the work they do. This could be increasing accountability, awarding proper recognition, and asking them for frequent updates on their progress or results.
By doing this, you can start to distribute tasks in more efficient ways. This will ultimately improve work performance as it holds marketing team members accountable to their tasks.
Measure performance metrics
If your team has taken their responsibilities on board, you should think about setting visible, concrete ways to measure individual and team performance.
Measure performance using standard KPIs of your company or industry. These could include sales, conversion rates, new lead generation, click-through rates—whatever aligns with their role and your company’s goals.
You’ll appreciate having an overview of what is going on with your team. These KPIs can give you a clearer idea of what needs changing or improving.
There are several marketing and HR tools you can use to track your teams performance, including HubSpot, Asana, HRWeb or Perfomly.
Remember that anything worth doing takes time
Although added responsibility can increase motivation, you should also remember that sometimes people might feel burnt out. This could be the reason for poor work performance.
Take a look at your workplace culture and whether there are overly high expectations or a sense of competition between teammates. If there is such a culture in your business, you’ll find that it usually has the opposite effect to what was intended.
Working people too hard and trying to achieve too much in a small amount of time will only overwork otherwise highly motivated team members.
Try to remember that anything that is worth doing is worth doing properly, which means that it can take some time to complete. Gauge stress levels by checking up on team members or reflecting the team environment on a regular basis.
You will soon identify the level of work that brings the best performance. Avoid anything exceeding this point, or your workers will make slower progress than usual.
In smaller teams especially, one issue may be that the members of your team don’t understand what they actually need to do. This happens when roles or strategies change frequently. Roles can also be too general and encompasses too wide a range of responsibilities.
When people don’t know when their role ends and another one starts, there is going to be a lot more wasted time figuring out what everyone should be doing.
One solution is to make everyone repeat their role and responsibilities. For example, have everyone list out their tasks in a daily or weekly stand-up meeting.
Strategies change all the time and teammates have to adapt their roles often. When this happens, utilise everyone’s past experiences and specific skills wherever possible.
Get to know the people on your team and the valuable contributions they can make. Employees who play to their strengths have been found to be much more productive at work and less likely to quit their jobs.
Whether your marketing team is lagging behind on its goals or struggling to stay motivated, these tips will help you get to the heart of the issue.
To do this, you’ll need to resolve any team-specific problems or remove barriers to productivity such as unnecessary tasks. Empower your team members by creating attainable goals, visible performance metrics and clearly defined roles.
However, remember to show understanding and empathy by giving them ample time and the right amount of responsibilities to manage whatever is on their plate.
Finding the right balance between time and responsibilities without burning out individuals will prepare them to achieve their most ambitious goals, and will improve work performance consistently over a long period of time.