As a business owner, you know that managing your employees is essential for your company’s success. Unfortunately, when it comes to design studios, this task can be a bit more difficult than usual. Graphic designers and other creative professionals tend to be a bit more independent and challenging to manage than other employees. However, with the right strategies in place, you can successfully manage your design studio team and see great results!
Establish clear expectations with your employees.
When everyone is on the same page from the start, it will be much easier to avoid misunderstandings and conflicts down the road. Be sure to communicate your vision for the company, as well as your specific expectations for each employee’s role
If you have any specific rules or guidelines that you would like your team to follow, be sure to communicate those early on as well. For example, if you prefer that work be submitted by a certain time each day or week, ensure everyone knows this from the start.
By setting clear expectations from the beginning, you can avoid many headaches later on.
Another key to successfully managing your design studio team is to give them plenty of autonomy.
Graphic designers and other creative professionals are often very independent individuals. They prefer to work on their own terms and usually do not respond well to micromanagement. As long as you have established clear expectations, it is important to give your team the freedom to work in their own way. Trust that they will get the job done and resist the urge to hover over their shoulders constantly.
If you find that someone is not meeting your expectations, have a private conversation with them instead of publicly calling them out. This will help them feel more comfortable coming to you with any problems they may be having, and it will also show that you trust them as professionals.
By giving your team the autonomy they crave, you will likely see much better results than if you try to micromanage them.
Show your appreciation for a job well done.
Graphic designers and other creative professionals often pour their hearts and soul into their work. They want to produce the best possible results, and they appreciate it when their efforts are recognized. So be sure to give plenty of praise and positive feedback when someone on your team does a great job. This will motivate them to continue doing their best work, and it will also make them feel appreciated.
In addition, thanking your team members for their hard work is always important, but it is especially crucial during times of stress or conflict. A simple “thank you” can go a long way in making someone feel valued and appreciated, even if things are not going perfectly at the moment.
Integrate a working communication system.
Communication is essential in any workplace, but it is especially important in a design studio. With so many different projects and deadlines, it is vital that everyone is on the same page at all times. Establish a system for communication that works well for your team, and be sure to use it consistently.
There are a few different options for communication systems, so find one that will work best for your team. For example, you may prefer to use a group chat app like Slack or Discord, or you may prefer to stick with more traditional methods like email or phone calls. Whichever system you choose, just be sure that everyone knows how to use it and that you are using it regularly.
Use tools to help with project management.
Project management can be a challenge in any work environment, but it is tough in a design studio. With so many different projects going on at once, it is important to have a system in place to keep track of everything. A few different tools can help with this, such as Asana or Trello. Find one that works well for your team and start using it to keep track of deadlines, assigned tasks, and progress on each project.
In addition to project management tools, a few other tools can help manage your design studio team. For example, work timesheets can be a lifesaver when it comes to tracking billable hours and ensuring that everyone is working the appropriate amount of time.
By using these strategies, you can successfully manage your design studio team and keep everyone on track. Establish clear expectations, give them plenty of autonomy, show your appreciation, integrate a working communication system, and use tools to help with project management.