According to a recent report featured on Business 2 Community, employee engagement worldwide decreased last year. That makes right now the perfect time to get with your recruiters for marketing positions and re-evaluate how good of a job you’re doing as a leader in keeping your marketing team attentive and committed to your goals.
All things considered, the dip in engagement was a small one. The report noted that global employee engagement declined from 65% to 63%. Probably not cause to declare an emergency and run screaming for the hills.
Still, it is a concerning turn after four consecutive years of improvement and growth in this figure. If the trend continues, it could well spell trouble for the integrity of the global teams today’s businesses rely on to keep them running smoothly. And more than most professionals, it’s especially important to ensure your marketing department is engaged with your organization.
Why Engagement Matters Among Marketers
Most great business leaders understandably desire a high amount of employee engagement and satisfaction. But from a realistic standpoint, your brand will probably survive if not every single secretary, accountant, legal assistant and custodian is committed to your Mission and perfectly happy with their job.
Unfortunately, you don’t have as much room for error when it comes to your marketing team. These are the people that are responsible for the outward-facing aspects of your business: your messaging, creative strategy, brand, communications, and more.
You can’t afford to have people who are completely disengaged behind the steering wheel of these mission-critical aspects of your growth. When your marketers are disinterested, it can reflect on your brand and make you look out of touch or disengaged from your customers.
That’s not just speculation; the ROI of employee engagement over time is measurable.
Firms with high employee satisfaction outperform their peers by 2.3% to 3.8% per year in long-run stock returns.
And firms that prioritize employee engagement see a significant impact on customer satisfaction. In the era of the empowered consumer where customer experience should be first and foremost in the minds of business leaders, this cannot be ignored.
Image from Harvard Business Review
And of course disinterested marketers are more likely to leave for exciting new opportunities elsewhere (and trust us as executive recruiters for marketing when we say there are more than ever right now).
Turnover is expensive for any role, but even more so for a marketing position. Remember, every day you’re without a qualified professional in a key marketing role is a day of lost potential ROI. But you definitely don’t want to rush replacing them and risk a poor hire–especially in a key management or leadership position.
How to Keep Your Top Marketers Engaged
So what can you do if you fear that engagement and satisfaction among your marketers are slipping?
Business and marketing leaders have a lot of tools at their disposal:
Maintain reasonable workloads and realistic expectations
Marketing professionals work more on average than their professional peers. Even the most motivated, driven marketing contractor or full-time professional can eventually get burned out on the never-ending stream of responsibilities and expectations.
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Keep your team from getting worn out by getting extra marketing help where it’s needed most, staying focused on the right goals, making sure your team members aren’t wasting their time on frivolous work, and rewarding hard work.
Offer challenge and responsibility
The best marketers tend to be people that actively hunt new challenges to conquer, who find deep satisfaction in crafting innovative solutions to complex problems. They want more responsibility, more authority, more puzzles. If there’s no challenge, then there’s essentially no job–they’ll lose interest and move on.
Rather than obscuring issues from you top performers, you should bring them front and center. You want is the talent who is excited about the opportunity to solve them, not the ones who hesitate or shy away. High-intensity, motivated individuals feed off of challenge. Give them what they want!
Most of the best marketers aren’t motivated primarily by salary–but that doesn’t mean they’re willing to work for less than they’re worth, either. If a professional feels underpaid, they’ll feel unappreciated–and even if they enjoy their work, other opportunities with competitive salaries will start looking more and more attractive.
Exceptional marketing talent is going for a premium right now, and if you haven’t been in the market for new expertise for a while, the price tag might surprise you. Make sure you’re offering a competitive rate by researching industry reports, asking your professional network, or consulting with recruiters for marketing positions who have an up-to-date perspective.
Empower creative freedom
Assuming you’ve hired well, your marketers are very talented individuals that chose the marketing field because they’re passionate about it, studied hard to reach the professional level, and are constantly pushing to improve and stay on the cutting edge. Micromanaging their every move and questioning every decision inhibits the quality of their work and makes them feel constricted. Successful brands of the future won’t get ahead by playing it safe and doing the same safe things.
Good marketers know the importance of 1-to-1 communication. Translate that to your employee relations! Adding personal touches and recognizing milestones like birthdays and anniversaries are also incredibly effective.
The best kind of recognition to provide your marketers will vary from person to person. Some will appreciate public praise; others will prefer such communication to happen more privately. Some will react to a personalized verbal thank-you; others will respond better to more tangible motivators like a new job title or responsibility. It’s up to you and your management team to understand the individuals in your department and cater your accolades accordingly.