Even though the economy is rocky right now, those of us in pay per click search engine marketing are very lucky. If you’ve built out an impressive SEM LinkedIn profile, you’re most likely getting job offers regularly (if not weekly). Now, this is great from the standpoint of job security and opportunity, but it places PPC people managers and team leads in a difficult situation.
Just when you think everything is working perfectly, all of the sudden you get notice that your star player found a better opportunity and is leaving in two short weeks. As a manager, what could you have done differently to prevent this situation? Today, I’m going to discuss one of my favorite management strategies, one that can help you retain your entire team even in this competitive recruiting environment. The tip is actually quite simple: Develop a personal relationship with everyone on your team.
Break Free From Your Work and Chat With Your SEM Team
If you’re anything like me, you have a strong internal instinct to sit in front of your computer and power through work all day, ignoring any and all distractions. If you do this, don’t feel bad. The vast majority of PPC campaign managers do the same thing and it’s really a function of our role. However, now it’s time to take a step back and break free from this habit.
As you may know, I’m a big champion of attending SEM conferences at every possible opportunity. I’m going to give you the same advice here: Take every opportunity possible to break free from your work and have regular side conversations with your search marketing team. Sound crazy? Trust me, from 5 years of SEM team management this is totally essential. While you may feel like your productivity is decreasing, it really isn’t. Your entire team will be more productive and energized. After all, as a manager your personal output just isn’t that important. It’s all about your team’s total output. Moreover, this technique will work wonders for your employee retention in an industry where everyone’s trying to take them away from you! (Just remember how long it took you to train your last new employee and that quickly shows just how important employee retention is for your long term productivity.)
The Importance of Forming a Bond With Your Team
Relationships are very important to all humans. Positive relationships help us thrive. They keep the day interesting. They help us connect and form bonds with others. They help us get through challenges. They simply keep us going and give us essential social interaction. We all know how addictive social interaction can be from Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.
The point here is really simple: Take your relationship with your SEM team seriously. If you form a strong bond with your team members, you will experience all of the benefits of a strong relationship: loyalty, excitement, employee retention, increased productivity, and so much more.
You may be thinking, how do I build a solid relationship with my team? It’s actually easier than you think. Take a few minutes each day to chat. Make sure you can answer the following questions:
- What did your report do last weekend?
- What’s their favorite hobby?
- What are they doing next weekend?
- What do they enjoy doing outside of work?
Who Qualifies as a PPC Team Member?
I wanted to make the point here that I define "PPC team" very loosely. In my opinion, almost everyone is a team member: Direct reports, search engine reps, co-workers, superiors, and vendors. The more people you get to know, the larger the network effects of your relationships. Everybody likes a personable manager. Develop that reputation today!
Where To Draw The Line
In closing, I wanted to draw attention to a very important point: Never forget that you’re a people manager. As a manager, it’s always your duty to give both positive and negative feedback. It’s your job to call out mistakes and help your team grow. To that end, you want to develop a great relationship with your team but you need to know where to draw the line. You can’t forget you’re a people manager. The best people managers in the word walk this fine line each and every day and get the benefits of both bonds: the manager bond and the friend bond. If you’re new to this, my advice is simple: Predominantly wear your manager hat but try to spend a few minutes each day wearing the more personable friend hat. Investing just a little bit of time could make all the difference the next time your star player gets a call from a recruiter!
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