Own personal and professional development
Whatever the specifics of the marketing role, you need to make sure you're providing a growth plan for your digital marketers (this goes for your more experienced team members, as well as your newbies). A professional growth plan helps you and your team members:
- Track whether or not they're making progress in their roles. Taking on a new skill set can be daunting. Having a growth plan can alleviate some of the stress less-experienced employees may feel when learning a new skill, and makes sure more experienced employees aren't stagnating.
- Spot problem areas. Everyone's talents are different, but you don't want someone to miss out on growth opportunities because they're such a superstar in one area and are neglecting everything else.
- Have conversations around promotions and raises. Consistently tracking people's development across a variety of skill sets allows you to compare where someone is now to where they were when you hired them; it also gives you a framework to discuss what additional steps might be needed before a promotion or raise is in order, and help them develop a plan to get there.
- Advance their careers. One of your duties as their manager is to make sure you're giving them what they need to continue on their career path. A professional development plan should be managed with career goals in mind.
- Increase employee retention. Smart people like to learn and grow, and if you're not providing them ways to do so, they're not going to stick around.
We have technical/on-page SEOs, content marketers, local SEOs and marketing copywriters all working together on the same team at BigWing. We wanted to create a framework for professional development that we could apply to the whole team, so we identified a set of areas that any digital marketer should be growing in, regardless of their focus. This growth plan is part of everyone's mid-year and year-end reviews.
Here's what it looks like:
Tactical -> strategic
At the beginner level, team members are still learning the basic concepts and tasks associated with their role, and how those translate to the client metrics they're being measured on. It takes time to encounter and fix enough different kinds of things to know "in x situation, look at a, b and c and then try y or z."