For the CMO: Planning Your Team Engagement Strategy for 2018

Chief marketing officers (CMOs) face many major decisions with a new year underway—and one of the most important is how to engage with their teams.

Research from Gallup shows employee engagement is at record lows, and with a healthy economy, your top talent may be checking out opportunities and hunting for their next job. Here’s how to revive engagement for the year ahead and forge team connections that drive real bottom-line results.

Focus on recognition: In a recent study, 66% of employees stated they didn’t feel appreciated in the workplace—and they’re not alone. How appreciated and recognized does your team feel? Look for opportunities to recognize individuals for their performance. It doesn’t have to be a large bonus, although monetary compensation goes a long way. Take the time to say thank you, publicly recognize contributions, and signal when employees go above and beyond expectations. Look for opportunities at both the individual and group levels to recognize people’s accomplishments.

Develop a plan for one-on-one mentorship: As a CMO, how far are you going in providing one-on-one mentorship to your team? It might not be feasible for you to meet regularly with everyone in your marketing organization. However, it’s important to look at this from a high-level perspective. Are you spending enough time with the senior members of your team? Have you encouraged them to set up one-on-ones with their regular reports? Could you carve out time once a year for a personal face-to-face with each member of your team? Over the long term, mentorship helps strengthen careers and generate better results from your team.

Invest in team building: Another aspect of engagement is investing in team building. Strong relationships with leaders and mentorship help build the foundation needed for long-term success. The best marketing departments also have a strong sense of team. Consider making time building a shared mission and focus. Training the team together on the latest strategies and tactics and finding time to help team members get to know and trust each other are important. Investing in team building can pay dividends by strengthening your team’s ability to work together, get results, and confidently weather tough times.

CMOs have many competing priorities, but the health of your relationships with staff, their levels of engagement, and the connections they feel as a team are paramount to achieving other goals. Ensure your 2018 plans put engagement strategies front and center.