Lack of interest, poor communication, low morale and little engagement—do these sound like common problems among your public relations team? If so, you may need to perform some motivating tasks to help your staff regain their groove. Here are four strategies for getting your PR team out of its slump:
1. Reinforce a sense of purpose
Most people look for more than just a paycheck when they go to work. They want to know that their jobs make a difference. Among the things that inspire people is a sense of purpose for themselves and the greater community.
Every job has meaning, or it would not exist. As a manager, you can help your employees uncover their purpose. One way to start is by discussing performance goals and objectives. You can set goals during an annual performance review, but you can reinforce their importance by having one-on-one meetings with each employee. These regular meetings let your employees know you care about how they are doing and want to know what they need help with.
You can also enable their personal development. Are your employees interested in moving up the ladder or becoming multipliers? Enroll them in a leadership class or supervisory training. Do they want to keep up with the latest PR trends? Help them find ongoing training or certification that educates them on new strategies.
Another bold and often-untapped move is to invest in employees’ personal lives. What interests them outside of work? How can you help them achieve personal goals? Extra time off or volunteer hours can inspire workers to dig deeper and achieve their own objectives.
2. Give them the credit
A strong, confident leader knows that it is vital to give credit where it is due. If one of your staff members goes out of the way to complete a project on time or comes up with a great new idea no one has tried, be sure to give kudos to the person who accomplished the task.
You can hand out monetary awards or bonuses for game-changing accomplishments. However, money is not the only motivator you can use. Call out your star person in a meeting and heap praise for the practical action. You can also acknowledge the person individually by sending a handwritten note, writing an email or stopping by to say thanks in person.
3. Pass on the appreciation
Do you have a client who reached out to thank your team for a job well done? Be sure every team member knows about it. Be as specific as you can with your praise. Say, for example, a client tells you that its earnings have increased by 10 percent annually since you started its campaign. With this information, go to the employees who made an effort to publish the client’s press releases on time and improve media relations. When everyone knows what works, they can employ those methods again in similar situations.
4. Lead by example
If you want your employees to have a more positive attitude, be sure to have one yourself. If you want to improve communication, arrange regular check-in meetings and tell your staff your door is open anytime. Do you want your workers to put in more effort? Put your nose to the grindstone, too.
The above instances are all ways to lead by example. Your team is more likely to do as you do, not as you say, so begin with yourself.
Public relations is a challenging, ever-changing, and often fast-paced field. It is common for team members to experience a slump, especially during challenging projects or working conditions. You can lead your team through an emotional downturn and help increase morale and engagement with a few good strategies.