I’m so excited because half my team members are flying into Southern California today for a quarterly business review with our clients. It’s common in agency life for your team to be spread out all over the country, and sometimes even overseas. My current program management team consists of 5 people in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and 3 people (including myself) in Irvine, California. On top of that, a couple of us work from home offices, and us California folks are hardly ever in one place since our week is usually littered with offsite client meetings. Yet, we all work on the same account, with the same group of clients. With that said, keeping cohesion within the team isn’t always easy. It takes constant effort to keep apprised of each other’s projects so we don’t get disconnected from each other and, more importantly, so our work doesn’t end up getting disconnected to the client. Here are a few things my team does to create and maintain cohesion:
1. WEEKLY MEETINGS
Every Monday, we all hop on a conference call and run through each other’s projects. We usually go over hot items but every few weeks, we run through everything. This helps us know and understand what each other is working on. So if one of us is ever asked a question regarding another team member’s project or program, we have some semblance of what’s going on.
2. PICK UP THE PHONE
While we have a weekly conference call with the entire group, each of us actively pick up the phone on a regular basis to have a one on one conversation. In a world where we’re buried in email, it helps to actually talk to your teammates- especially, when you don’t get to see them in person on a regular basis.
3. TAKE ON PROJECTS TOGETHER
Each person on my team manages a different program under the same account. So it’s easy for us to fall into the habit of just staying within our own little silo. To avoid that, every once in a while, a couple of us will tag team a project. This not only adds value to the project by bringing two perspectives to it versus one; it also gives our team the opportunity to work on things we’re not typically used to.
4. BRAINSTORMING ON PINTEREST
Pinterest is not only an addicting activity to find new recipes and DIY crafts, it’s also an excellent visual resource for brainstorming and mood boarding over the phone with your team. Whenever I’m working with one of my Milwaukee team members, and we’re in the beginning stages of starting a project, I love opening up a private board just for us to pin stuff to. This makes it easy to show each other what you have in mind; and in the end, you have visual examples to pass to your creative team when you kick the project off with them.
5. CHECK EACH OTHER’S WORK
While everyday can feel like it’s full of surprises and fires, our day to day routines consist of a ton of tedium in between – quotes, work orders, proofing rounds… and every now and then it can be pragmatic to rely on your team members to give a another look to whatever you’re working on. When you’ve been staring at the same thing for what feels like years, it can be so very helpful to have a second pair of eyes look it over before submitting it to the the client or some other department. This is also another way for you guys to see what each other is working on.
And that’s it! Appreciate your team members and have a wonderful week everyone. <3