Best Practices for Managing Creative Professionals

Posted on November 08, 2012

Best Practices for Managing Creative Professionals


Operational processes are not only beneficial for companies – they’re vital. Ideally, all employees would align objectives with these processes, but creative “right brain” team members often need tools to help balance creative freedom with operational efficiencies. The following tips can help tactical “left brain” managers lead teams while keeping the creative office environment afloat.

  • Demonstrate significance – Employees understand deadlines. They work under tight timeframes for each and every client served. In turn, set effective deadlines for your team – just as they would for their own clients. Likening your own deadlines to those of which employees are familiar demonstrates the significance of companywide operational responsibilities.
  • Minimize procedures – Streamline operational processes to establish straightforward guidelines for your creative professionals. Account reporting for items such as expense reports, travel details and client budgets should be simple – and help employees manage their own accountability.
  • Establish clarity and consistency – Distribute a company manual as a guide and promote its use. When your employees are busy driving toward a creative end, providing them with an easily accessible reference for organizational know-how will better enable them to follow procedure – and will save a tactical manager from answering the same question multiple times.
  • Get their attention, communicate constantly – At least once a week, all team members should meet collectively to present progress reports, highlight best practices and call immediate attention to problem areas. If you notice your creative minds wandering off during these meetings, incentivize participation – offering prizes for correct company policy answers to improve tactical efficiency.
  • Guide perception – Creatives may get so caught up in generating groundbreaking projects that they momentarily lose sight of ROI responsibility. Guide your employees with the following attitude in managing client budgets: Treat client’s money as if it were your own because – in a sense – it is.

When put into practice, these tips can enhance day-to-day operations, work synergy, client satisfaction, employee productivity, and, most importantly, overall company productivity.  And that’s something right and left brains alike can celebrate.

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