Three reasons your marketing team has low morale – and how to fix it

It is a widely accepted truth that employees don’t leave bad jobs, they leave bad cultures.

We have spent the last few decades working for marketing businesses of all shapes and sizes, from multinationals to challenger brands. And in our experience, culture is notoriously difficult to get right.

That’s because culture is a somewhat intangible concept which is difficult to define, difficult to measure and therefore difficult to improve upon.

Are you concerned about your company culture but you don’t know how to approach the problem?

We advise you to start by looking at team morale.

What do we mean by team morale?

Team morale refers to the level of enthusiasm, optimism and excitement within a team as we strive to hit specific business goals. To put it simply, it speaks to the energy with which your team is meeting their projects.

Poor team morale – signs to watch out for

Here are a few clear-cut signs of low team morale that you can watch out for in your office:

  • Low motivation. Team members seem mentally checked out from tasks and standards of work are falling.
  • Fatigue and exhaustion. Team members might seem quieter than usual in meetings, struggle to communicate their ideas and generally bring less energy & ideas to the table.
  • High levels of conflict within the team. Perhaps you notice people are gossiping more, or struggling to navigate different opinions and perspectives.

The roots of the problem

In our experience, exhaustion, low motivation and conflict within marketing teams can be traced back to three fundamental failings within an organisational culture. Note that these problems speak to the way a marketing team has been trained, coached & managed, as opposed to context-dependent problems, such as teams being overstretched because of a big project or a temporary hiring freeze.

  • Failure to invest in foundational marketing training. If the foundational skills are missing, team members can never truly deliver the outcomes the business is striving for. In time, this will lower confidence levels which will have a domino effect on motivation and enthusiasm for the job.
  • Failure to put the right talent on the right teams. If you do not invest time in uncovering what everyone’s strengths are, and how best to utilise them, your team will always be in ‘adaptive’ mode (who you are when adjusting to fit in) rather than ‘natural’ mode (who you are without thinking). The result? A drained battery pack which can evolve into a general sense of exhaustion and even burnout.
  • Failure to invest in the ‘how’, as well as the ‘what’. If employees are not taught critical soft skills, such as self-awareness, communication, stakeholder management, giving & receiving feedback and conflict management, you will end up with an unhealthy and unproductive team dynamic.

How to fix your company culture – and improve team morale as a result

The most important factor at play in a healthy culture is that it is shaped around the unique strengths and styles of the individuals in your team. It is essential that the team is taught how to leverage those unique qualities in themselves, but also that they learn to recognise and work with the unique qualities in others.

At LockSmith, we are passionate about helping teams with the ‘how’. We believe you can be the most highly skilled functional marketer in the world – but it doesn’t mean anything if you don’t have the necessary ‘soft’ skills to get things done seamlessly.

We do this via a set of soft skills training workshops, including The Key to Getting Stuff Done, The Key to Leadership and Unlock People Potential. Each of these workshops includes the option to include DISC behavioural profiling (Alex is an accredited DISC practitioner) to improve team wellbeing, dynamics and performance.

We’re here to help  

We’d love to chat if you think we can help you unlock the potential in the people behind your brand, improve team morale and create a thriving company culture as a result.  Get in touch today.

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