Your creative team is an integral part of your company. A workhorse that drives new ideas, creative products, gorgeous websites and most importantly, your branding. Whatever makes your company attractive to your clients, your creative team has probably had a hand in. So how do you keep them motivated to give it their all? First, let’s look at the three main types of motivation.
Enjoyment of the work itself, as understood through having purpose. In layman’s terms, your creative team functions better when they know the ins-and-outs and can see the bigger picture of how what they’re doing contributes to the overall goals of your business. What is this project for? Why are we doing it? Give them the run-down and they’ll greatly appreciate it!
External rewards are given for completing work, often expressed using prizes, bonuses, promotion or company profit sharing. This one is pretty straight forward. Who doesn’t like a gift card or pizza day for all their hard-work or meeting a tough deadline?
Working off collective encouragement and excitement for the thrill of shared success. One of my favorite things we do on larger projects such as the Proforma Catalog, is we each bring a few cover designs to the table. We all pick one from each designer, then refine and present them. It’s a bit of a friendly competition to see whose design gets chosen. Then, we all collaborate to complete the catalog and when it’s done, we all feel great for tackling such a large project together.
Now that we’ve looked at the types of motivation, we can look at how and why they work, and some ways to implement them.
One of the biggest things that gets a creative group going is, unsurprisingly, creative work! Something that allows them to solve problems, like a branding project or figuring out what hot new product would be great to give out at a local football game. Remember to keep them engaged and feeling like they know the wider scope of the project by telling them all the details! Who it’s for, what they do, who are their clients/target audience, etc. This is that intrinsic motivation that is so vital to keeping a creative individual engaged and primed to deal with new projects.
Once those projects are over, you can then kick in the second type of motivation I listed above: Extrinsic Motivation. Did the team absolutely nail a tough deadline? Knock out a massive project? Hey, maybe you’re just really proud of the great work they’ve been doing. Bring in some bagels for breakfast, throw a pizza party, or offer up some gift cards to go grab some coffee. Believe me, food and coffee is the way to a designer’s heart.
But how do you keep a creative team motivated DURING those large projects? Of course, you could always bring in more food… OR, make a certain part of the project a bit of a competition. Like I mentioned before, see who can make the “winning cover.” Hold some brainstorming sessions and see what your team is capable of coming up with.
However you manage your creative team, make sure to utilize and switch up these motivation types to keep them engaged, happy and feeling good about their work!
Also, if you’re looking to outsource some of that creative work to an award-winning leader in creative marketing, I have just the company for you.