‘Tis the Season for Giving: CMOs, Here’s How to Give Back to Your Team This Holiday (And All Year Round)

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‘Tis the season for giving! It’s the time of year again where CMOs are thinking of how to not only end the year with a strong quarter but also give back. As you’re thinking of ways to give back to the community, have you thought about the holiday season for your team?

You’re probably wondering what the best ‘gift’ you can give your team is. As a marketing leader, the ultimate way to give back to your employees during this holiday season is to provide top training and development. Prioritizing the growth of each individual member should be, in fact, a top priority all year round. But just in case it’s taken a back seat on your to-do list, marketing executive recruiters are here to remind you that it’s vital to your bottom-line.

As a marketing executive search firm, we know just how much CMOs have on their plates. The world of marketing is spinning faster than ever. In order to keep up in a digital-first landscape, CMOs must ensure their teams are continuously learning new skills. Yet, top-level marketing leaders aren’t spending enough time doing so.

The Chief Marketer and the entire marketing leadership team are responsible for driving
organizational growth. One of the best ways to make sure your company has long-term growth
is to make sure your team is developing. This makes one of the most important roles of a CMO to guide their employees in leveling up. Unfortunately, in the hectic world we work in, it is too often
overlooked. Your employees are your most valuable and powerful asset. If they aren’t equipped to support evolving marketing initiatives and drive business growth, who is?

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Marketing Executive Recruiters: The Gift of Employee Training and Development

If you want to be a competitive employer, you must prioritize your employees’ professional growth and development. You’re not only competing for market share but for top employees. Companies that offer valuable training and development for their employees can see an increase in commitment and engagement, as well as efficiency and productivity. This, in turn, results in higher ROI and profit margins. However, making sure you offer proper training as a CMO to each employee can be quite a challenge.

Given all the changing marketing channels and strategies CMOs must be in charge of, mastering every discipline is impossible. Managers ensure there’s a fluid connection between the CMO and the rest of the department. A vital piece of proper training and development is to have the right managers and directors onboard to guide your team.

While CMOs may not be specialized in every marketing vertical to sufficiently create an effective training program for each employee, they must be able to set the strategic vision and guide managers to do so. As the head of marketing, it is up to you and your direct line of reports to push knowledge down and make sure employee development is sufficient. For instance, you may not know exactly how to code in a new piece of technology, but you must know enough to ensure that your Director of MarTech can build a proper development plan for a martech specialist that does.

Take your marketing team to the next level and provide optimal training development by following these key steps:

Identify your team’s skills gaps

Learning always adds value to any business. However, in order to allocate the right resources, leaders must carry out the appropriate internal assessments before making decisions regarding training and development.

What skills does your team seem to be lacking? As a CMO, you should carry out a skills gap analysis of your overall marketing team, assessing where they are versus where they should be. From directors to more junior-level staff, are they getting enough support from the appropriate manager to get to the next level?

After a comprehensive evaluation, your managers should do a more detailed audit of the employees they’re in charge of. What area in skills is each employee lacking in? What is the next level they would like to bring the employee to? Directors and managers should have a more exhaustive understanding of this.

Prioritize professional development

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Are you aware of what exact skills your employees want to acquire? Are you providing the right selection of resources and tools?

Once you’ve identified skill gaps areas within your team, ensure the employee you position to develop the necessary skills is the right fit. This means the employee should be capable of learning the specific skill set just as much as they are interested in learning it.

Your managers should identify what each employee’s career goals are and what skills they personally want to learn. Giving your employees freedom to pick their own training and say in what they want to learn and how drives commitment and buy-in; rather than directing them to learn something they don’t have a genuine interest in. From internal to online, to mobile apps, the resources for training tools you can provide are extensive.

Align development and training with core business goals

Once you and your managers have identified skills gaps and training desires, you can begin to draw up a plan to fill these areas by aligning development with core business objectives. Crafting a strategy for training that is in line with your strategic needs and priorities will provide maximum value to the organization and employee.

Successful leaders integrate development programs into the overall business strategy, ensuring all initiatives drive toward the same objectives. As important as it is to prioritize employees’ personal development goals, it’s equally important to make sure they make sense to the business.

Establish a mentorship program

Build an internal mentorship program that matches up team members according to skill sets and development needs. For instance, marketers who are the most knowledgeable about a subject can work closely with other employees who have a skills gap in that area. Mentoring can be done through formal or informal programs. Either way, it’s an effective tactic that can improve team performance and collaboration.

CMOs and managers should monitor mentoring relationships, holding both parties accountable. These relationships should be created with both development needs and business goals in mind.

Encourage knowledge sharing and collaboration

 

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In order for employee development and training to make the most impact, marketing leaders should foster team activities and encourage employees to work with one another to share internal knowledge. Knowledge sharing doesn’t have to be restricted to your marketing team and should be encouraged cross-departmentally.

When leveling up your team, fostering team activities across all departments is a strategic way to benefit both the organization and employees. This can be done by hosting lunch presentations, workshops, and even social networking events.

Parting Words

During “the most wonderful time of the year,” there’s no better time for you as a CMO to empower your employees with top training and development. As marketing executive recruiters, we know how critical the proper training is to keep up in a digital world.

Employee development is a strategic tool for an organization’s growth and ability to retain top marketing talent. Just as important it is for CMOs, it’s also vital for marketers at all levels to become lifelong learners. Prioritize your organization’s most important asset and develop a winning marketing team in 2019!

What are some ways you’re giving back to your team this year? Let us know below!

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