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Proper and effective follow up after an interview - informational, phone, or in-person - is incredibly important. Without it you will easily be taken out of consideration for the position. As a hiring manager, I purposely looked for the thank-you notes. If I did not receive one, they were off the list, no matter how qualified they were. Do you know why? Because as a manager, I would think, “If they can’t effectively follow up with something as personally important as a job interview, what will they do as far as follow up in the workplace?” Past behavior is a predictor for future behavior. You get the point. Send thank-you notes and e-mails within 24 hours of your interview! Never miss this step. Send notes to all the individuals with which you had a conversation. Do not send one note to just the hiring manager. You will miss out on all the other contacts that you made. Even a note to the receptionist / office manager is appropriate and helpful but only if you had more of a conversation not just a “hello.” Make the notes unique to each individual based on the conversation you had with them. Remind them of the conversation you had. In each note, remind the contact why you bring value to the company/ team / position and show your enthusiasm. As the hiring process progresses or slows, stay in touch with your contacts, as appropriate. If the process has slowed begin to follow up about every two business weeks. Too soon and it will be considered over-kill. Much later that two weeks and you’ll be forgotten. Follow up with an e-mail and include a value add. A value add may be an article you read since you last spoke that made you think of them or a topic you discussed in your interview. It's a piece of information you thought would be helpful to them. This helps to keep the conversation going and shows you are willing to help others. You’ll be seen as that all important “team player.” Later, after you have given the hiring process time, reach out to each individual on LinkedIn and add them as a connections. Even if this job does not work out, you never know, by staying in touch, what could happen down the road. A client of mine was super excited about a position last fall. Unfortunately, a former employee came back and filled the opening. Although the interviews went well. She did her follow-up communications after the interviews and after she learned of the no-offer. She followed up again in a couple of months with a value added article and to say hello. By doing this, a few weeks later when a position opened up, she was the one who got the call. She is now happily enjoying her new job. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

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Everyone needs to feel their voice is heard and their contributions are important. Something as simple as sharing a drink the last hour of the day on a Friday with the team to recap wins and give praise can build camaraderie within the team.


All of the above are fairly simple to implement but can make a huge difference in morale and motivation. Have any of these tips worked well for young the past? Do you have other tips to motivate your creative team? If so, please share them with me!

Encourage curiosity. Spark debate. Stimulate creativity and your team will be better at handling challenges with flexibility and resourcefulness. Create a safe space for ideas, all ideas, to be heard. In ideation, we need the weird and off-the-wall ideas to spur us on to push through to the great ideas.

Sure, there are a ton of studies done on this, but here is my very unscientific personal take. When team members can make decisions about how they work on projects, they are more engaged and connected to the project outcome. When they see how potentially dropping the ball would affect the entire team, they step up. When they feel like what they are doing is impactful and valued, they are naturally motivated to learn more, and be even better team members.

Rarely does a one-size-fits-all style work when it comes to team motivation. I have found that aligning employee goals with organization goals works well. Taking time to get to know everyone on your team is invaluable. What parts of their job do they love? What do they not enjoy? What skills do they want to learn? Even going so far as to where they see themselves in five years career-wise. These questions help you right-fit projects, and help your team see you are committed to creating a career path for them within the company.

Most designers I know love a good challenge. We are problem solvers by nature. Consistently give yourself and your team small challenges, both design-related and not. It will promote openness within the team to collaborate, and it will help generate ideas faster in the long run. Whether the challenge is to find a more exciting way to present an idea to stakeholders or fitting a new tool into the budget, make it a challenge just to shake things up.

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