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Posts Tagged ‘employee’

How to Hire a Marketing Person Part 1 – Before Interviews

February 27, 2017 Leave a comment

I wrote a post on onboarding a new marketing person, but realized that I haven’t posted about how to find that great new marketing person.  Finding a great person is difficult and a key responsibility for a hiring manager.  You want the hiring process (the paperwork, the job description, interviews, etc.) to be done as efficiently and accurately as possible.  This post will focus on what to do before the interviews start.

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Follow this process when hiring someone for your marketing team:

  1. Write up new hire request and get approval from the necessary individuals. This includes figuring out salary range and adding this cost to the budget (including the overhead).
  2. Create the hiring plan including the time line for the hiring.  Share the plan with others in the company.  The hiring process could be 10 weeks or longer from approval to new employee start.  Make sure you take consideration of company events, trade shows, vacations and holidays when creating the time line.  The time line could be something like this:
    • Get approval and create plan
    • Do the posting of the job opening to the job boards & update website (1 day)
    • Gather resumes (2 weeks)
    • Review resumes (1 week)
    • Select top candidates (up to 15) (1 day)
    • Set up phone call interviews (1 week)
    • Hold phone call interviews (1 week)
    • Select top candidates (up to 5) (1 day)
    • Set up face to face interviews (1 week)
    • Hold face to face interviews (1 week)
    • Make determination (1 day)
    • Make offer and send paperwork (3 days)
    • Possible new employee gives notice to previous company (2 weeks)
    • Start date of new employee and onboarding start
  3. Finalize the job description.   Take your time on this important task for attracting great candidates.  Watch out for corporate-speak or terminology that is only known by those in your organization or a specific industry.  Watch out for acronyms.  Candidates might get confused if they don’t understand the terminology and therefore might not apply for the position.  Look at the description from the eyes of a job candidate.  Multiple folks should review the job description before posting.  A job description contains 4 parts: title, responsibilities, requirements and company information/benefits.
    • Make sure the job title clearly states what the job is all about.  Title is the 1st thing that attracts a candidate to a job opening.
    • Determine the job responsibilities for the position.
    • Determine the skill requirements for the position.  Mark which skills are necessary and which ones are added bonus.  Include what technologies they need to know.  Mention the level of education and experience you require for the role.
    • Firm up company information and benefits such as if relocation would be paid for.  Benefits should be beneficial to all genders, races and ages.
  4. Look at your job description before you post, answer the following questions and make adjustments:
    • Will the job description turn off qualified job candidates?
    • Are there too many skills required listed and are they too stringent?
    • Is there any  company specific terminology that will confuse job candidates?
    • Are the mentioned benefits unspectacular?
  5. If new position, update your organization chart.  Be clear on who the position reports to and who reports to the new hire.
  6. Determine where to find your next employee.  Consider posting on Glassdoor, LinkedIn, Indeed and ZipRecruiter sites.  Determine if you want to use outside recruiters or not.  If you have an internal recruiter, discuss with them the hiring plan.
  7. Post on the selected job boards and contact the selected recruiters.  Put the job description on the organization’s website. Make sure your career page on your website is accurate, interesting and showing your organization’s culture.  Send out an internal announcements to staff about the opening.
  8. Determine resume submission close date.  Depends on how many resumes you have received.  When you get around 100 resumes you should consider closing down the resume submissions.  Update the job boards by removing the position.
  9. Get resumes into one place.  I suggest numbering the resumes and putting them into a spreadsheet to keep organized.  You need to select the reviewers.  Have two individuals review the resumes.  Make sure the reviewers know the due date for review completion.
  10. Review resumes and select top candidates (up to 15) for phone interviews.  I would score each candidate on a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being high.  Select the top ones by combining the scores but give each of the reviewers 1 to 2 candidates that they can select for the phone interview no matter what the other person thought of them.  Notify the candidates that were not selected.  And then notify the selected ones and schedule the interview call.

Feel free to read the second part of this hiring series on hiring process once the interviews start.  Hiring is one of the most critical responsibilities of a manager.  It is not easy.  It takes time and energy.  A bad hire can be stressful for a manager and possibly disastrous for an organization.  Be organized and do what is necessary to hire a great marketing person.  Please let me know your thoughts on hiring.

Photo Credit: stocksnap.io (139)

 

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Marketing People – Improve Your Writing Skills

February 26, 2017 Leave a comment

agreementTo be a great marketing person you need to be:

  • Organized and a good project manager
  • A great communicator including being able to write effectively

This post will focus on how a marketing person can improve their writing skills.  No matter the marketing channels you use, a marketing person needs to be an excellent writer.  Period.  If you are not, then make it a goal to improve.

Each marketing channel (Twitter, blog, website, landing page, eBook, Facebook, data sheets, brochures, articles, etc.) has a different tone and style.  Make sure you know the tone to use when writing for that particular channel.

But in all cases grammar, spelling and clarity matter.  Even if it is just emails to others, writing accurately and concise is important for your career.

Here are some thoughts and suggestions on how to improve your writing:

  • Have a personal blog.  Set up a plan and write consistent blog posts.  I got to be a better writer by writing posts for my blog, especially when I decided to do a blog post a day for an entire month.  Read here for my blog post concerning that month of writing.
  • Keep a book journal.  As you read a personal development book or a business book write down notes.  Ideas are reinforced in the mind when they are written down.
  • For some, keeping a personal journal is helpful.  The more you write the better you will write. Practice, Practice, Practice.
  • Read. Read lots. Reading good writing will make you a better writer.
  • Read Stephen King’s book, On Writing.  Understand the habits and mindset of a great writer.  He mentions that after you write your draft go back in and cut down the copy.  I do this every time I write a blog post.
  • Get a copy of Strunk and White’s Elements of Style. Review is as it will give you the fundamentals you need.
  • Purchase Content Rules: How to Create Killer Blogs, Podcasts, Videos, Ebooks, Webinars (and More) That Engage Customers and Ignite Your Business by Ann Handley and C.C. Chapman.  This provides up to date information on how to write for the various marketing channels.

  • Read articles on English usage such as their vs. there or its vs. it’s.  Or how about site, cite, sight.  Nothing shows that you are not a good writer more than incorrect usage.
  • Subscribe to the Copyblogger and Problogger blogs.  Review their posts and follow their advice.
  • When in doubt about something, please look it up.  If working for a company then review the company’s style guide and look up usage when in doubt.  Be consistent.  For example, we had to make a decision on do we use “life cycle” or “lifecycle”.  Either is fine but you need to be consistent.  Also decide on capitalization.  At a company I worked at we decided to use “HelpDesk” instead of help desk to describe our support team.  Again, be consistent, including on tenses.
David Ogilvy is considered to be the father of advertising and was known for his ability to communicate a clear vision.  He wrote (in 1982) a famous memo, titled “How to Write”, to his employees.  He stated “People who think well, write well.” as well as “Good writing is not a natural gift.  You have to learn to write well.”.  Some of his hints in the memo included:
  • Write the way you talk. Naturally.
  • Use short words, short sentences and short paragraphs.
  • Never use jargon words.
It is to your benefit to improve your written communication skills.  Writing is a skill that can be taught, refined, and improved. The written word is still a powerful tool used in marketing. The better you write the better your marketing will be.  Hope that his post helped you improve.  Feel free to let me know what you have done to be a better writer.
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Set Up Your RMs: CRM, MRM, PRM, IRM, HRM, ERM

February 25, 2017 Leave a comment

As I have mentioned before, your contact database is your gold.  And it needs to be organized and prioritized.  It needs to be maintained and added to.  But it is not only customers or prospects that you need to keep track of.  You need to have Relationship Management (RMs) systems for anyone that you need to be in contact with.

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Here are just a few off the top of my head:

  1. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) – it has been proven that your customers (or clients) are your best repeat business.  Stay in contact with them, normally with an email newsletter.  To do this you need to keep track of their information.  An issue to consider is if the information is also in your financial system (Quickbooks, MS Dynamics, etc.) then who is the information owner and how do you keep them in sync.
  2. Marketing Relationship Management (MRM) – this is for your marketing prospects that you can do nurture marketing campaigns and inbound marketing campaigns to.  Sometimes these contacts are in your Marketing Automation solution like Hubspot or Marketo.  An issue to resolve is the connection between the MRM system and the CRM system when a contact turns into a sales opportunity and usually moves over to the CRM system.
  3. Partner Relationship Management (PRM) – you have all types of partners – resellers that sell your products/services, companies that you sell their products/services, associations you are a member of and maybe even vendors that you depend on.  You might consider having a regular email newsletter to partners (especially their sales team) so you can easily keep them up to date.
  4. Influencer Relationship Management (IRM) – there are many that influence your marketplace that you sell into.  Keep track of the individuals that influence your potential buyers. For example, if you are a law firm, influencers could be other lawyers in your area that could recommend others to use your firm’s services.    These could also include bloggers, consultants in your industry who might recommend your organization and members of the media.  Additional information to keep on influencers are Twitter id, blog URL and Instagram id.
  5. Hiring Relationship Management (HRM) – if you hire a lot of individuals you might want to keep track of individuals that you could hire someday.  This might be in your HR system of the people that you have collected resumes from.  In some cases you might hold networking events to attract talent to your organization.  Then you will be glad you had a database of their email addresses.  LinkedIn profile id information would also be helpful for these individuals.
  6. Employee Relationship Management (ERM) – if you are a big firm you might want to maintain a database of your employees (more than just in Outlook) so that you can provide information to your employees.  Make sure your employees get the same message you send to partners, customers, influencers and prospects.

Sometimes all of these contacts can be maintained in a single database with the same software.  If so, then separation of types can be done in reporting and measurement efforts by a type field.  Sometimes they are in specialized solutions just for that type of individual.  There are advantages and disadvantages to having all the information in one solution.  Depends on who using and how communicating.

No matter what software solution you use, make sure your staff is well trained on its use.  Especially best practices, terminology and naming standards.  As in any database, garbage in is garbage out.  Constantly remind your staff of the importance of an accurate relationship management system.

All of these databases should include at the minimum the following on each contact: first name, last name, job title, email address, organization, phone and location (usually state and country).  If you do mailing campaigns then the physical address would also be necessary.

Your database is a big asset.  Keep the necessary information you need on the people you should be contacting.  Let me know how you maintain your relationships.  Feel free to leave me a comment.

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The Secret Sauce to Leadership is Be Genuine

January 16, 2017 Leave a comment

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One day I was told that the key to leadership is for a leader to be genuine.  I totally agree and thus the reason for this blog post.  A great boss or manager needs to be genuine to be a great leader.  They care about their employees and the organization they work for.  They focus on their employees and listen to them.  People gravitate toward genuine leaders because they can trust them.  Genuine leaders walk their talk every day.

People tend to stay at an organization if they work for a genuine manager. It has been proven that employees don’t leave companies due to money but rather due to people, specifically a bad manager, a bad leader. It is beneficial to the organization that they hire managers who are genuine.  And the organization should focus on educating managers to be genuine and getting rid of bad managers quickly before losing good employees.

So what does genuine mean?  The dictionary definition of genuine is: 1) actual, real, or true :  not false or fake <genuine gold> and 2) sincere and honest <She showed genuine interest.>.

Jack Welch, former General Electric, CEO, stated, “Only two word matters for leaders today; truth and trust.” I agree with this quote but my quote would be “Only words that matters for leaders today are be genuine.”

Some key points about Genuine Leaders (GLs):

  • They are Human.  GLs understand that it is OK to be uncomfortable dealing with tough decisions and people.  They need to show vulnerability to their direct reports.  GLs believe in the golden rule.  Treat others as you want to be treated.  GLs treat others with respect because they believe that they are no better than anyone else.  GLs focus on people and not on themselves. GLs are good at reading people and adjusting to make others feel comfortable.  They know that praise goes a long, long way.
  • They are Communicators.  GLs are good listeners. They focus on what is being said to them instead of preparing their response.  By listening and asking questions shows that they care about the individual and respect them. Employees want to be heard and listened to.  GLs respond back to their employees, quickly and efficiently.   They explain why tasks are necessary and communicate the organization’s priorities.
  • They are Honest. GLs don’t lie to their direct reports.  They might not be able to tell them everything, especially if the organization is a public company but definitely do not lie to them.  Being open with your employees makes them feel valued.  GLs follow thru and live up to their commitments.  GLs keep their promises.  They don’t make excuses.  If in budget for an employee to attend a conference and then the budget is cut where they can’t go, a GL explains the situation and offer alternatives.  They review status reports, expense reports and time off requests quickly and provide concise feedback when necessary.  Employee reviews are important and delivered on time.  GLs share information and knowledge generously.  GLs don’t cover up their mistakes or the mistakes of the organization.  They need to be as transparent as possible.
  • They care about the Development of their direct reports.  GLs are easy to turn to for advice and help.  They create opportunities for their direct reports.  They discuss and make sure that employee growth occurs (personal and professional).  GLs care about training for their direct reports.  They want their direct reports to be successful.  GLs discuss with their direct reports what training is necessary and makes sure it happens.  GLs take the time to instill company values and good work habits in their direct reports.  GLs give feed back in a calm manner, and makes sure that it is actionable.

A few relevant quotes:

“Great leaders know how to work the room and make every single person feel as if he or she is being spoken to directly.” – Travis Bradberry

“Great leaders don’t blame the tools they are given.  They work to sharpen them.” – Simon Sinek

A few other thoughts about GLs:

  1. Are confident in themselves and their ability
  2. Do not covet recognition and often give credit away
  3. Do not brag about their accomplishments
  4. Want what is right and not what is best for them
  5. Support their team by giving them the tools and knowledge they need
  6. Are not corporate yes men and do not copy the latest fads

How do you feel when the following happens:

  • You send a thoughtful email on an important subject to your boss and you get no reply, even though you see emails from your boss to others on less important topics
  • You submit a status report on time and it takes 2 weeks for your boss to review it
  • You submit a vacation request and it takes over 2 weeks for your boss to approve it
  • Your boss runs away from making tough decisions or avoids conflicts with employees
  • A project you are involved in changes and there is no discussion by your boss on why it changed
  • Your boss checks their phone constantly during meetings when they should be focusing on the discussion of those in the meeting
  • You are given a task with an unrealistic deadline, you work long hours to get it done and then the task is never discussed again by your boss
  • Your boss lies to you about the status of a project, an employment hire or a budget item
  • Your boss cancels a 1on1 meeting with you at the last moment due to lesser priorities or their poor planning
  • Your boss takes all the credit for something that was done by someone else or the team
  • Your boss says that training is a top priority but an educational training that you were going to attend is cut from the budget with no discussion
  • Your boss delegates a task to you without asking what else is on your plate
  • Your boss gives a task to you without giving you all the information you need to begin the task
  • Your boss assigns you a task without telling you the reason for the task and its priority

Do any of the above make you feel like a valued employee, that your boss is doing their job or that they are being genuine.  When the above happened to me (which they all did) I knew that my boss was not a genuine leader and it was time for me to leave the organization or move to another department.

I dedicate this post to my friend, Adam Shiell, who told me one day at work, “the secret sauce to leadership is be genuine.”  So true.  If you are a manager, I hope you strive to be a great genuine leader.  I will try to be the best leader I can be by following my words in this post.

I want to learn from you. What do you think is the secret sauce to leadership?  Share your leadership thoughts in the comments section.  Also send me your examples of when your manager has not been genuine with you.

My Thoughts on Improving B2B Sales

October 5, 2016 Leave a comment

If you are at a B2B company, you are probably thinking about lead generation, increasing revenue and improving sales.

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I started jotting down some thoughts and here they are:

  1. Stay in Contact with Customers – The cost of selling to existing customers has been proven to be less than acquiring a new customer.  Sales Team and Marketing need to stay in touch with existing customers to keep them informed about the company, its product and service offerings and to educate them on items that might affect them.  This can be done via email newsletters, target emails, user conferences and webinars as well as one on one phone calls.
  2. Maintain a Community – Related to staying in contact, make sure that customers and fans of your company have a community that they feel a part of.  This is an community that includes an online portion (such as forum, blog, knowledge base, social media networks, etc.) and an in person portion (such as events and user conferences) as well as a psychological portion.  Make sure that your Facebook page has photos and information that evangelists of your company feel that they are part of the community.
  3. Do Nurture Campaigns – Marketing needs to provide the Sales Team with leads.  Not everyone is ready to purchase when you initially find out about them.  Consistently provide them educational material so that when they are ready to purchase they will think of you and engage with you.  Re-engage with “dead” leads.
  4. Be a Trusted Advisor – Sales Team and Marketing need to show expertise and caring to the customers and prospects.  Educate them.  You do this with blog posts, eBooks, white papers, webinars and speaking at conferences.  Listen to them.  Share information.  People buy from people and not companies.
  5. Have Targeted Conversations and Understand the Buyer’s Journey – You need to understand your customers and prospects.  Listen to them.  Have completed Buyer Personas and the mapping of marketing materials to the top, middle and bottom of the funnel for each persona. Tailor your marketing activities (events, social media, webinars, target emails, etc.) to your market and specific buyer personas.  Make sure you are addressing the issues they are facing and presenting the benefits (not features) of your solution.  You need to have a deep understanding of your potential customer.
  6. Defined Terminology & Processes –  Sales Team and Marketing needs to agree on what is a Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL), the process for the Marketing to hand a MQL to Sales Team and what Sales Team will do with them.  There should be a Service Level Agreement (SLA) between Marketing and Sales Team on how many MQLs are provided to Sales Team and the response time by Sales Team to handle the MQLs.  Also firm up the definition of what is Top of Funnel (TOF), Middle of Funnel (MOF) and Bottom of Funnel (BOF).  Evaluate your processes, improve them and make sure that they are as efficient as possible.  Train your staff on the processes.  Document your processes.
  7. Commitment to Inbound Marketing & Content Creation – There should be a goal of providing the right content to the right people at the right time.  Have a  Marketing Automation solution in place (such as HubSpot) as well as a CRM system (such as SalesForce) that is usable and has clean data. Content creation is a whole company task.  The thought leaders of the company need to contribute to blog posts, presentations and white papers.
  8. Be Human – The Sales Team and Marketing need to listen to its customers and the prospects.  Be genuine.  Ask questions.  Tell stories that relate to them.  Look at everything thru the customer’s and prospect’s eyes.
  9. Have Closed-loop Feedback System – Make sure that the Marketing Automation and  CRM systems are integrated so that when opportunities are closed they update the Marketing Automation system.  Campaign effectiveness can then be measured.  This is one of those behind the scene items that won’t be seen as necessary but will improve efficiency and effectiveness.  A feedback system will tell marketing what is working and what is not.  Future marketing will focus on the what is working which generates more leads which generates more sales.  You need to measure to adapt.
  10. Align Sales Team and Marketing – It is a beautiful thing when the Sales Team and Marketing work together on increasing sales.  Sales Team needs to know what activities that Marketing is working on.  Marketing needs input from Sales Team and needs to understand what their problems in closing sales is.  If necessary, perform a Sales Enablement Assessment.
  11. Enable Sales Team – Ask the Sales Team on what issues they are having on their sales efforts, execute on what they need, measure the effectiveness of the execution, and keep asking & executing.  Work together.
  12. Enable Marketing Team – Make sure that Marketing has the right tools and company support.  Marketing needs a Marketing Automation solution to do its lead generation activities.  Marketing needs to have the support of other individuals in the company for blog posts, social media input, buyer personas input and thought leadership pieces.
  13. Consistent Look & Message –  Marketing is the brand steward.  It must ensure that all in the company (including partners) are using consistent look (right logo, colors, etc.) and saying the right message.  This might not help increase Sales but bad,  inconsistent look and messaging can definitely lose sales.
  14. Plan and Be Agile – Marketing must maintain the normal marketing activities but have available time, resources and budget to be agile.  This includes making adjustments due to product delays, new competitive offerings and key prospect deals.  Marketing needs to plan on the events and tailored campaigns that would be the most beneficial for the company and Sales Team.  Plan needs to be transparent and known to others.
  15. Care of Employees – Last but not least, make sure your employees are happy, paid fairly and engaged.  Provide them with the necessary training they need to be successful.  This includes training on keeping their skills up to date, personal development training and onboarding training.  Get their feedback and listen to them.  All customer and prospect facing employees must be knowledgeable on the company, its products, its services, its market, its messaging and how to sell to/present to/engage with prospects and customers.

Of course, every B2B company is different so all of the above might not apply.  My background is with technology (product and services) companies. But my suggestion is rate yourself on these 15 items and see where you can improve.   Let me know your thoughts on how you improved your sales at your B2B company.

Successful Marketing Onboarding

August 29, 2016 2 comments

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The onboarding of new Marketing employees has a significant impact on both employee retention and benefit to the organization, no matter if non-profit, B2B technology company or a law firm.  Many exiting employees cite the lack of an effective onboarding program as a contributing factor in their decision to quit.  New employees want to be trained well at their start so that they can be a valuable asset to their new organization as soon as possible.

You want your onboarding experience to be consistent for all new hires.  Start off your new working relationship with momentum.

Before the new employee starts, the hiring manager should have an onboarding plan specific for that individual in place.  I have found that a 10 week training is effective so a 10 week onboarding plan should exist.  Every position in the company should have a different onboarding plan.  If it is a new position or if a previous onboarding plan does not exist for an existing position, several members of the existing Marketing team should meet and come up with the items that should be on the onboarding plan for the new employee.  The plan should include meetings and training that the new employee should attend, who they should meet or talk to, and tasks for them accomplish.  The plan should be documented and in a public place so all can review the plan when necessary.  On the new employee’s 1st day the hiring manager should review the onboarding plan and the job description so that the new employee is confident in what they will be learning during the onboarding period.

The onboarding plan should be broken into 4 different areas:

  1. Company Related – This training is usually done be HR and is usually the 1st training that occurs.  This training could consist of the following:
    • Company values, mission, culture and branding
    • Enterprise-wide objectives and goals and how the new employee can contribute to these goals
    • Company offerings such as the products the company sells or the services it offers
    • Target market for the company and how the organization makes money
    • Company terminology and acronyms
    • Organization of the company and how decisions are made
    • Policies of the company such as travel / expense policies
    • Specific office items such as office alarm setting
    • Review of the tools that the company uses (expense software, wiki,  status reports, etc.)
  2. Marketing Related – This training is usually done by the hiring manager and includes the following:
    • Organization of the Marketing team and discuss more specifics on individual team members
    • Marketing team objectives and goals and how they relate to the organization’s goals
    • Review of how the Marketing Team operates including status reports and staff meetings
    • Review of all the marketing activities that the team produces so that the new employee understands what the team produces and the benefit to the company
    • Review the tools that the team uses (website content, social media, marketing automation, project management, etc.)
  3. Specific Position Related – This training is usually done with the person that is most knowledgeable on the position and includes the following:
    • Review the actual tasks that they will be doing.  This could be shadowing the person while they do it or reviewing the written process
  4. On Your Own Learning – This is done by the hiring manager and is a list of items that the new employee could review on their own when they won’t have a person available to them.  These could be any of the following:
    • Company collateral (brochures, case studies, data sheets, white papers, eBooks, etc.)
    • Company blog posts
    • Company website
    • Recorded webinars
    • Recorded company meetings
    • YouTube channel videos
    • Intranet
    • Buyer personas
    • Marketing plans
    • Company goals
    • Competitor review
    • Written procedures or how to documents

Make sure that a team lunch occurs that 1st week so that the new employee gets to know their teammates better.

Provide breaks in the training so that the new employee does not feel like they are drinking from a fire hose.  Don’t exhaust them.  Pace the training properly.

Also the hiring manager should make a list of people in the company and outside the company (partners, vendors, etc.) that the new employee should meet or contact.  Decide on the format for each of the contacts (group or 1on1, formal or informal, by them self or with another marketing person).  A list of questions should be created for each individual that will be contacted.  The new employee should take notes during these conversations so that they can be reviewed with hiring manager and shared with others on the team.

At the end of every week the hiring manager should review the onboarding plan with the new employee and make adjustments.  HR should survey the new employee and hiring manager periodically to see how the training is going.  Hiring manager should sit down with the new employee and come up with some longer range goals that should be included in the employee performance reviews.  Provide the new hire a chance to share comments on the training and to ask questions.  And in the one on one sessions a standard topic should be what additional training does the new employee need.  An important part of a manager’s job is making sure that the right training resources are available to a direct report.   Remember to have the new employee update the project/task management system with their completed tasks.

A good onboarding plan is beneficial to the new employee and the company.  After you have hired the right individual you want them to stay in the company.  You want them up to speed as quickly as possible.  Be a good manager and do your part.  Create a plan, review the plan regularly with the new employee and make any necessary adjustments.  You will be glad you did. If you follow what is in this post your onboarding process will instantly become more efficient, more effective and better at keeping your employees productive and happy with your organization.

Let me know your onboarding or training thoughts for new marketing employees.

Get Employee Involvement in Your Social Media

March 24, 2010 Leave a comment

Social Media is now part of most organization’s marketing plan, no matter if they are a B2B tech company, a law firm or a non-profit org.  Social Media tools used include Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.  The hope for adding social media to the marketing plan is to create more buzz and discussions about your organization.  For social media to be successful it needs to be integrated with the existing marketing and become part of the culture of the organization.  A culture change takes time to accomplish and will require educating your employees about social media as well as your organization’s plan, guidelines and process for social media.

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Create a document on how social media relates to the employees which will contain the following:

  1. Social Media Strategy/Goals – of the organization so the employees will be aware of them
  2. Social Media Tools – that will be used by organization so the employees will be aware of what they are and how they will be used by the organization
  3. Social Media Process – and how information from various sources gets used in social media so that the employees understand how they can be involved
  4. Social Media Policy and Guidelines – so employees know what and what not to do in regards to social media

Goals: Write down your goals for social media such as integrating it with your traditional marketing activities, improving communication, increase traffic to website, improving perception or in case there is a crisis situation.

Tools: Do a brief overview of some of the social media tools that your organization will be using such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube and how they will be used.  Establish a goal of how often these social media networks will be updated and when (days of week and hours during the day).

Processes: Social media activities must be consistent and includes a variety of information that comes from a variety of sources.  The process on how this information comes into the organization and gets posted or updated needs to be documented.  This documentation can be used on educating the employees.

Make note of who will doing the social media at your organization.  Write down their responsibilities and when they should be doing them.  Do not forget that this person should be monitoring mentions of your organization as well as responding to direct messages thru these social media tools.  This person or persons should be also be on the lookout for possible social media content. And don’t forget to have a backup person assigned just in case the social media coordinator is unavailable.  Write down the process for social media posts and updates in your organization.  Separate it by the sources of where the information may come from for the social media content including:

  1. Organization produced information that typically comes from the marketing team such as news releases, events, videos, white papers, etc.
  2. Information that is provided by staff, clients and partners such as employee awards, partner achievements, client achievements, relevant articles related to your industry or organization, community service, etc.
  3. Other information gathered from Google Alerts, Newsletters, Facebook Posts, LinkedIn Discussions, Twitter Searches, Other Twitterers, Email Blasts and other methods

Policies: Write down what are the organization’s thoughts regarding social media.  Here are some examples:

  • Each tool and network has proper and improper uses. Social media is changing the way people work and engage with other staff members, clients, volunteers, donors and partners.
  • Activities in or outside of work that affect the employee’s job performance, the performance of others, or the organization’s interests are a proper focus for organization policy.
  • The organization has a responsibility to effectively manage the organization’s reputation online and to selectively engage and participate in the online conversations that mentions them.

Social media policies and guidelines are intended to guide the employee’s participation, both when they are participating personally, as well as when they are acting on behalf of the organization.  Make sure you provide your employees some policies and guidelines in social media use.  Here are some examples of social media policies and guidelines:

  1. Know and follow the published organization policies
  2. Protect confidential and proprietary information of organization
  3. Fully disclose your affiliation with the organization & be mindful that you are representing the organization
  4. Use common sense and common courtesy in your posts/updates
  5. Be conscious when mixing business and personal
  6. Be responsible to your work and do not let social media affect your day job
  7. Respect copyright regulations
  8. Protect clients, staff, partners and supplier information
  9. Look for compliments and criticism so they can be responded to or passed to appropriate person
  10. Remember that your local posts can have global implications and that the Internet is permanent

Summary: Employees are key to social media success for an organization.  A well crafted social media document discussing social media goals, tools, processes, policies and guidelines will be important in educating employees.  Review this document on a regular basis and always welcome feedback on it.

Let me know how you get your employees involved in social media.