Operational art of multi-discipline team management

Having spent the last 10 years managing teams of Techies, PRs, Paid and Natural Search experts, Social Media and Influence marketers, the broad spectrum of personalities, talent and preferred working styles between them is vast.

Introverted vs extraverted, pre-planner vs pressure prompted, thinkers vs feelers

How do you create space for the thinkers, collaboration for the extraverts and make sure you’re hitting target?

Managing your multi-discipline team is an operational art form not to be under estimated, to get the best out of the team, the work they’re delivering, elevating your business to achieve your goals.

In this post I am going to explore some of the methods you should be using to get the very best out of your team.

Shared goals

Unify your team, set collaborative goals and clear lines of ownership. Having shared goals and KPIs so all individuals are working collectively to the same goal. Steering the ship in the same direction and driving towards your core business objective.

Centralised, prioritised planning

One team, one plan, real time updates. Your strategy should be prioritised, with fixed timelines aligned to achieving your common goals and KPI. With clear weekly deliverables and owners responsible for those tasks. This will highlight any areas of dependency between team members work to ensure smooth roll out, help you identify areas of opportunity across disciplines and get more out of the work you are doing.

Communication has to be real-time, so at any given time you have full access to exactly where you are against targets and activity. Shared online documents, such as Google Drive, are a great place to start in the absence of CRM / project management system.

All important weekly team meeting

Adopt an agile approach to your meetings, keep them short sweet and on track using a simple agenda:

  • What did you do last week
  • What have you got planned for this week
  • How are we doing against target
  • Any blockers or impediment

Having the whole team present is vital, ensuring everyone is aware of each other’s activity, all brains together to try and overcome any blockers to achieving your goals. Also a great opportunity at the start of the week to galvanise your team and motivate people to action. See how and where each team member can add value to the work others are doing or squeeze a little extra reach, return, engagement from all activity.

Online weekly team meetings notes to be stored centrally with clear owners and deadlines, keeping everyone to time, task and priority focus.

121s

Given the broad spectrum your multi-discipline team will no doubt span, having 121 meetings with individuals will be essential to success. Not everyone will be as confident or comfortable speaking up in a team situation. Take the time to understand each member of the team, their individual workload, priorities and challenges one on one.

Shared and centralised reporting

Shared goals, shared plan, shared reporting – this will help you identify the halo effect of activity, understand how your channels work together and therefore how your teams skills and work complement each other to mine for opportunity. Also prevent any duplicate attribution.

Knowledge sharing

Digital moves at lightning speed, sharing successes, failures, new features and trends across your team, will uncover untapped potential, cross discipline collaboration and new opportunities to engage your audience.

Overall the above will help you to minimise waste, maximise efficiency and create a unified team to deliver against your business objectives.

At Digital Team on Demand we’re here to help you with this operational art! We support all members of our digital team whilst they are working with you, including weekly check-ins to ensure work is delivered to a high standard, the team is working well together and targets are being hit. 

How to build and maintain the perfect in house team

If you’re a business owner or a manager then you will understand how difficult and challenging building and motivating a perfect team can be. At Digital Team on Demand we have 13 years of experience doing just that; motivating teams of digital specialists to deliver exceptional work, maintaining excellent service, achieving results and keeping a big smile on your face!

We would like to share 3 top tips on what to think about when looking for, hiring and integrating digital professionals into your in house team and business.

What are you actually looking for and what does the business need?

It is very easy to just think ‘oh we need someone to do digital and set up Facebook advertising’ without really understanding the specifics of the job role and identifying the skills gaps in the current team that need filling and also tying it back to the objective of hiring someone in the first place. Analyse the strengths and weaknesses of the current team in relation to your digital strategy to help you identify the specific competencies and skills needed to bolster your in house team and to hit those all-important targets. Look at your current performance against your strategy to also identify where the gaps are in delivering the results. Why not try and include the existing team in the decision making of what support/skills they need, this will ensure buy in and also help you to understand what characteristics will fit well within the team.

You will then be in a position to draw up a comprehensive job description that you can use as a qualifying list when searching for the perfect candidate.

PLEASE NOTE: There is a complex set of skills required for a successful strategy with both analytical and creative skills required. This is very rare for one individual to have in abundance. Be prepared to have a collection of different people working within different disciplines but as a combined effort. This isn't easy but our next post will cover the best way to do that. One general digital marketing person doesn't often achieve the results you need!

How to find the perfect fit?

Now you have your ideal job description with all the skills you require to do the job and the characteristics you require to fit within the in house team, you’re ready to begin the hunt. When sourcing candidates make sure you use advertising platforms that suit your requirements, there is no use in using social media if the candidate you are looking for is unlikely to be looking for jobs or opportunities on there. Think about where your ideal audience is looking or lurking and advertise the job there. Make sure that all your requirements are clearly communicated and adapt the language depending on where you are advertising.

When conducting interviews make sure you plan ahead, decide on questions that correlate directly to the skills and characteristics you are looking for, using role play questions are a great way to really test what they would do in a particular situation or problem they might likely face within the role.

Allow enough time to go through everything you need to so you don’t need to rush. Ask each candidate the exact same questions so you can easily compare the answers and results. Using marking grids is a useful way to analyse the data and help you to inform your decision making.

You've found them so now the hard work begins!

The offer has been accepted or you've found the right consultant for the project, now comes the hard part, getting them started and integrated into the team. Ensure that you spend time explaining the expectations you have to build a framework for performance management and so they fully understand their responsibilities and lines of communication. Organise time for them to meet the rest for the team in a non-work environment to start building rapport, if this isn't possible then arrange a phone call or Skype chat so they can virtually meet the team they will be working with on a daily/weekly basis. 

Arrange for an induction into the business as a whole, so that they have a clear picture of where they fit in, who they will be working with and the history and culture of the business.

Ensure that you have regular catch ups in the first month (and beyond), don’t just leave them to get on, it’s vitally important that you as the business owner or manager fully understand the work they are doing and also whether there are any problems that need airing as this could lead to performance issues in the short and long term and ultimately affect your business goals. Having one on one meeting’s also gives you an informal platform to check in on progress against performance targets.

These are just a few basic tips to think about when sourcing and embedding your in house digital team, you need to plan as much as possible to ensure they are firstly the right person for the job and secondly that they fully understand their responsibilities and performance targets.

Alternatively if you do not have the time to do any of the above or you don’t have the digital knowledge to know what you need in your business you can enlist the help of us and we will do all of that for you, phew!

If you are interested in learning more and discussing how Digital Team on Demand can help and support  your business and digital growth then please get in contact - rosie@digitalteamondemand.co.uk.

Digital Team on Demand – a new way of getting the digital skills you need in house now

As the owner of a leading digital marketing agency working within the retail sector.  I have spent the last 13 years working out how to structure a high performing digital team. I have learnt lessons the hard way about how to put the right skill sets together, cross collaborate disciplines, keep to time and budget, motivate and continually innovate to achieve success.

Some digital teams can drive revenue, some can drive new customer acquisition, some can put together a high performing website, BUT, only a digital team that has the right mix of talent, personality and process will drive increased profitability for a business, which has to be the ultimate goal.

A successful digital team will have high levels of commercial, product and customer knowledge as well as great marketing and digital talent. It’s crucial that retailers (or any business for that matter) can put these people together and manage them effectively to gain market share in an increasingly competitive online market place.

Because of this AND because too many times I have seen businesses struggle to put together the right digital team I have launched Digital Team on Demand.

Our sole purpose is to help retailers succeed online by helping them build the right in house team for success.

 Many retailers are choosing to build their own in house teams, but for a number of reasons are getting it wrong.

  • The team members are trying to be a jack of all trades but are mastering none
  • The team is run by brilliant marketeers that are not necessarily brilliant people managers
  • There is a lack of good affordable talent in some digital disciplines
  • There is an unwillingness or lack of budget to commit to full time team members
  • The team has a collection of brilliant minds but a lack of process or communication with the rest of the business

I have launched Digital Team on Demand to solve these issues. I have spent the last few months building a team of brilliant consultants across all of the key disciplines of digital marketing. Digital Team on Demand can advise you on the right mix of process and talent to achieve your strategy and identify the gaps you have in your current digital team. We can then either train you on better and more effective team process, or provide you with talented consultants on an on demand basis. They work as part of your in house team for as much or as little time as you need and for how long you want.

The entire time they are working within your team Digital Team on Demand will ensure they are delivering what you need and working well with the rest of the business. 

  • We take the risk out of hiring full time staff or freelancers that don’t perform. 
  • We take the risk out of using expensive recruitment consultants that don’t deliver
  • We take the risk out of poor management as we ensure our consultants work well with your team but also that your team are working well with our consultants
  • The minute you decide you no longer need that skill or resource, you can cancel it

It’s a simple, affordable way of building your in house team longer term or just boosting it for extra activity in key periods.

Tap into 13 years of experience in building effective digital teams and get in touch now to get some brilliant talent into your team before Christmas or just some advice on how to make your current team work better.