Here’s how to help your junior staff get ready for larger challenges.
Anyone who has worked in marketing longer than 5 minutes knows how fast the industry is changing. Junior marketing associates may struggle to keep up, so they need strong leadership to help them navigate the challenges. Encouraging junior talent might seem like a difficult task, but with smart strategies in place, you can ensure that the next generation of marketing leaders is off to a great start.
Here are four strategies to develop your junior marketing talent to make sure your team stays sharp:
Understand where they are: Whether informally through one-on-one conversations or formally via performance evaluations, take the time to learn what level your junior staff is currently operating on. Talk with your employees about their interests and career goals, as well, to get a read on the areas where they might be the most successful. By approaching professional development as a collaborative effort rather than a demand, your team is more likely to respond positively.
Communicate early and often: Whatever the job title, be sure to communicate clearly, early, and often about your expectations for the role. Nobody can be expected to meet expectations or goals he or she is unaware of. But don’t stop there. Take into consideration the requirements of the position and the skills of your newest team member, and create a development plan that shows your junior associate how to get from where he or she is to where he or she wants to be.
Assign mentors: A mentoring program could be just the thing to support your junior team members. By pairing your junior marketing associates with more experienced staffers, you encourage individual development while scoring another important win: preserving knowledge that might otherwise leave your organization as older team members move on to other roles or approach retirement. Mentoring programs can also improve employee engagement and retention, helping to ensure your investment will pay off in the long run.
Offer technical training: Don’t skimp on skills training. To excel in marketing these days, let alone in the future, your associates need to master a lot of skills. From search engine optimization (SEO) and social media best practices to Cascading Style Sheets (CSS)/HTML and marketing analytics tools, newer marketing professionals have a lot to learn, even if they were hired on with a great skill set. Because so much of marketing now depends on technology, all members of your team need to understand how to use the tools at their disposal and why those tools were implemented.
Using these strategies will show your junior team members that you are invested in their future. In return, they will reward you with improved performance and increased engagement.