If your company’s in-house creative department isn’t as productive as it needs to be, or you have a creative member falling short on performance, check your expectations.
Have you clearly articulated your expectations for the department and each creative? In-house departments, like departments in any other company, may fall short because leadership hasn’t defined what it expects. This state of affairs can emerge when departments serve a sort of utility and everyone assumes that staff members just “get it.” Dividends will come with defining and setting expectations, rather than taking them for granted.
Think for a moment about the word, “expectation.” Merriam-Webster defines it as “a belief that something will happen or is likely to happen.” When you communicate an expectation, it denotes a seriousness that everyone gets. “Hey, my job depends on this! I better deliver.”
Expectations also pack an emotional punch. Perhaps it’s a reminder of childhood. When Mom or Dad expected something, they pretty much demanded it. So when you kick off a project or review a creative’s performance, sprinkle in “I expect…” or “We expect…” The marching orders will sink in better.
Here are two tips for maximizing expectations:
Provide essential information
When you communicate an expectation to creatives, make sure they have what they need to get the job done. Remove roadblocks, dig for resources, make a coffee run. That not only gives creatives what they need, it lets them know that management cares. Remember this: when you care, they care.
Share constructive feedback
You outlined what you expect and equipped creatives with essential information. Here’s what else they need to succeed: feedback. Studies of Millennials show they thrive on receiving on-going feedback. Let creatives know how they’re doing on the road to meeting expectations. Check in often. Progress expressed in a kind word can inspire creatives to achieve the impossible.
So, if outcomes aren’t where they need to be with your in-house creative department, try communicating expectations and strengthening their impact by providing essential information and sharing constructive feedback.
This POV brought to you by a member of Boom Ideanet, “Instant bandwidth for the creative department of the future.”