We recently held an event in our London office, in association with Make Your Words Work, for creatives who are running in-house teams. We called it “Good to Great,” and gathered four inspiring creative leaders to share their best tips on how to supercharge an in-house staff.
Here are the experts’ tips on how to ensure your team is always the in-house favorite!
Create a Creative Workspace
We can’t all have massive lofts with open brick walls and inspirational views. But that doesn’t mean you can’t involve your team to use a little paint and their incredible creative powers to make your workspace amazing.
Get the Right Team
Make sure your team has good chemistry and is the right size. Identify everyone’s quirks and work to their strengths. As David Tye, Creative Agency Head at Nationwide advises, “hire good people and then get out of their way”! Where team size is a concerned, Katie Leeman, the Head of Design at Frukt, believes in using Jeff Bezos’s Two-Pizza Team Rule: the ideal team size is one you can feed on 2 large American pizzas, approximately 6 to 10 people.
Enthusiastic leaders make enthusiastic teams. Engender trust from your staff and always support them when things go wrong.
Get Out the Office
External influences can greatly help the creativity of your team: galleries, events or simply going out for a walk can all inspire. As Eleanor Broderick, Creative Director at RRD Creative points out, “It’s important for everyone to try and avoid eating al desko” every day.”
Challenge Your Team
Make sure people are continually learning, challenged, and growing. Find out the goals and interests of your team, then help them develop in that area, through online courses, seminars or events. It will not only add new skills to your team but make them happier individuals.
Don’t Get Complacent
Remember that your team should always try to improve what you’re doing, be brave and push boundaries. You should behave like an agency and sometimes break the rules, but be practical: pick your battles, know when to push and when to back off. Unlike an agency, you still have to see your clients at the office every day!
Celebrate Your Wins
Be proud of what you achieve and celebrate successes. Display your work and any awards you’ve won. It’s really great for morale and encourages your team to take pride in their work.
Mel McVeigh, Product Director & Creative Strategist, encourages everyone to think about their goals as an in-house team. This can be anything from using design to make a business change or simply getting respect for what you do. Set ambitious goals and targets to achieve, then work towards them together.
Be Commercially Aware
Justifying your time and measuring and tracking business goals is key to making sure you use your time wisely and stay competitive. Be sure to communicate the value of a project and it’s associated goals to your team.
Love the client!
It is important to be part of the wider business, but don’t get bogged down with internal politics. Always make sure you have senior level buy-in for what you’re trying to do and strive to earn respect for what your team does. Remember in an in-house team, design is not the company’s main business. Emma Sexton, Founder of Make Your Words Work, suggests you help others understand what you do, how you want to work, and what you need.
Thank you to all our in-house experts: Eleanor Broderick, Katie Leeman, David Tye, and Mel McVeigh for their great tips.
If you have any other tips you’d like to share, then please do so in the comments.
Or if you’d like to attend our next in-house event in London, then please get in touch!