creative marketing

Team morale in the office has hit a low. For some reason, it seems that pitch meetings and brainstorming sessions are more full of awkward silence than buzzing ideas. For those in creative fields, such as advertising and marketing, this plunge in morale can be a death sentence for successful campaigns and a return on investments.

So what happens when morale goes down? Let’s visit a fictional marketing agency that prides itself on its boutique approach and casual work environment. In this agency, there are no cubicles, no conference rooms — simple collaborative desks and clusters of chairs, combined with a few partitioned “office” spaces for private meetings.

The idea behind the structure of this workplace is collaboration. An open workspace, many say, is conducive to creativity.

But despite this particular agency’s best efforts, it seems the results of this seemingly incredible workspace are actually the opposite of what they planned.

What’s the best way to fix this? A dip in morale is normal in most workplaces. It can come from stress, understaffing, overworking, and lack of work-life balance

Listen to Employees

It seems simple, but believe it or not, this is often not the case. Listening to the needs of employees, opening up the floor for open communication, is something that should be a regular occurrence in any workplace.

And even more importantly, there should be actionable items identified with each meeting, on both sides of the conflict. If an employee is justifiably concerned about an increased workload, then the person in a position of authority should be able to divide up work or hire additional staff to help.

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For a marketing professional, often simply feeling heard and empowered is enough to boost morale and get those creative juices freely flowing again.

Don’t Just Go With What’s Trendy

Yes, open workspaces are trendy. It seems that every cool tech startup has a similar office structure, complete with juice bars and a massage room. But this isn’t always what employees want to be able to get through their workday successfully.

This is again where proper active listening comes in to play. Perhaps some individuals on the staff would prefer to have some quieter space to work away from everyone else. Perhaps every project does not need to be “collaborative” — sometimes giving someone the opportunity to “own” a project encourages them to flourish.

So invest the time and resources into actively finding out what makes the staff in a business tick. For a creative group of employees such as designers, writers, and marketers, ask them regularly for feedback on the work environment. After all, employees who feel heard will automatically have a higher level of investment in their work. Investing resources into a positive workspace will translate well into tangible results.

-5WPR CEO Ronn Torossian

Ronn Torossian

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Ronn Torossian is the founder and CEO of 5W Public Relations, one of the largest independently-owned PR firms in the United States. With over 20 years of experience crafting and executing powerful narratives, Torossian is one of America's most prolific and well-respected Public Relations professionals. Since founding 5WPR in 2003, he has led the company's growth, overseeing more than 175 professionals in the company's headquarters in midtown Manhattan. With clients spanning corporate, technology, consumer and crisis, in addition to digital marketing and public affairs capabilities, 5WPR is regularly recognized as an industry leader and has been named "PR Agency of the Year" by the American Business Awards on multiple occasions. Throughout his career, Torossian has worked with some of the world's most visible companies, brands and organizations. His strategic, resourceful approach has been recognized with numerous awards including being named the Stevie American Business Awards 2020 Entrepreneur of the Year, the American Business Awards PR Executive of the Year, twice over, an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year semi-finalist, Metropolitan Magazine's Most Influential New Yorker, and a 2020 Top Crisis Communications Professional by Business Insider. Torossian is known as one of the country's foremost experts on crisis communications, and is called on to counsel blue chip companies, top business executives and entrepreneurs both in the United States and worldwide. Torossian has lectured on crisis PR at Harvard Business School, appears regularly on CNN & CNBC, was named to PR Week's "40 under Forty" list, is a contributing columnist for Forbes and the New York Observer, and his book, "For Immediate Release: Shape Minds, Build Brands, and Deliver Results With Game-Changing Public Relations" is an industry best-seller. A NYC native, Torossian lives in Manhattan with his children. He is a member of Young Presidents Organization (YPO), and active in numerous charities.