Is there an issue with your marketing team morale?


Is there an issue with your marketing team morale?

Karen Lloyd retention, employer, marketing team...

We’ve been discussing the challenges of managing a marketing recruitment drive in the current candidate rich market just recently.

Lots of lovely feedback has come our way as companies and hiring managers are trying to get their teams back into the office. 

We’ve also been talking to lots of people who are in the tough position of searching for new marketing job thanks to redundancy.  This is not a surprise, but what has shocked us is the large number of marketing colleagues who have been in touch that are still gainfully employed.

Motivations for job hunting

The first thing that springs to mind is unscrupulous employers, but actually this is not always the case.  Most companies were respectful of the impacts on their people and resentment has grown through no individual fault.  For example, some members of a marketing team may have worked solidly through lockdown due to the needs of the company, but they then resent that other colleagues were on furlough. 

In other cases, businesses have asked employees to renegotiate their contracts with a lower salary to try and ease financial burdens.  Often necessary to try and reduce their overheads, but something that never sits well with an employee long term.

Others have frankly acted appallingly; one senior marketing colleague confided that they had been furloughed, which resulted in a much lower salary for them due to the £2,5k cap, yet the business insisted they continue to work through lockdown for fear of losing their job at the end of it. Understandable outrage in this case!

Whatever the motivation, it got me thinking that businesses need to be looking to all their employees, not just the marketing team and their morale right now.  I believe in the difficulties of bringing their people back or remotely managing them, this is being a little overlooked.  

Take some time to look after your people

It is not realistic to expect employees to bounce back into the office unaffected by all that occurred.

My advice is to have an open dialogue; discussing concerns and underlying issues will help you to address them and ensure they feel their concerns are not ignored.  

This is a conversation, not a leadership monologue.  A genuine conversation where you listen about how the employee is, their feelings, motivations and concerns.  

Take some time for a little marketing team bonding; after a long period of remote working, it can feel strange coming together again, especially if due to social distancing measures some of the team are still at home.  Whilst team days out are not an option, an effort to bring the team together even if virtually can help.  In our team we had a Teams call every couple of weeks on a Friday with a glass of wine and just had a chat.  It was good to catch up in a relaxed atmosphere and kept everyone together.

Be aware of the pressures; you are in an unenviable position as a manager.  Times are tough, budgets are tight, you may have lost part of your team.  But you are still expected to meet targets that may even be unchanged from the start of the year.  You will have to deliver these messages to your marketing team, and if they are demoralised to start with, it makes this part of your job even harder.

If you can try and work with your team and keep that open dialogue, then the likelihood they will feel the grass is greener elsewhere.