Studio Sense: How to take your creative team from good to great


Creating a strong design team can be a challenge, but even when you have created one, how do you keep them at the top of their game, encourage the most creative work and ensure they’re not just good, but great? We have run several events to find out the answer to this question, and spoken to many creative team leads to find out the simple things you can do today, that can make a huge difference to the creativity, and success, of your team.

Get the right team

The first step is to make sure you have the right size team for your business needs. Make sure you identify how your team needs to be structured and what your goals are. All members of your team should feel valued in the workplace, regardless of their position. Not only do you need a variety of skill sets, your team needs to have good chemistry and the right mix of personalities. Identify everyone’s individual needs and work to their strengths. Creating a sense of community will keep everyone motivated and keep them producing great work.

Be a positive leader

Enthusiastic leaders make enthusiastic teams. Engender trust from your staff and always support them when things go wrong. By recognising achievements you will encourage higher quality work and dedication to the business. Also, constructive criticism should not be equated to negativity, but a step towards success. Negativity can easily spread from an individual across the whole team if it is not replaced with a positive influence, so be approachable and always keep the channels of communication open. Be somebody people want to work for, gaining your team’s loyalty will improve their motivation.

Surround yourself with creativity

An exciting working environment will help creativity thrive. Get the team involved and use their skills, a little design and paint can go a long way to making a fun, interesting space. It’s equally important to get out of the office now and then, it can be difficult to feel inspired when you’re surrounded by the same environment day after day. Going for a walk or visiting a gallery can be just enough of a change to get the creative juices flowing. Industry events are also a great way for creatives to stay ahead of the curve, network with others, and share ideas.

Challenge your team

Make sure your team are constantly learning, developing and growing. Find out their goals and interests, then help them develop in those areas through online courses, seminars or events. Allocate a training budget for your team and make them aware that they can use it for advancing their skill. There are online training programmes, such as Lynda, which you can tailor to your team’s needs. Or you can access free online courses through our Gymnasium classes. Creating friendly competition within the workplace can also be beneficial and will keep your team advancing creatively and personally.

Seek recognition and celebrate your wins

It can be really beneficial for morale to gain recognition for great work. You can do this by entering competitions or using PR to get coverage of your work in publications. This is a really great way to recognise and reward your hard-working team. Be proud of what you achieve and celebrate successes by displaying your work and any awards you have won. This will encourage your team to take pride in their work.

Be commercially aware

Justifying your time and tracking is standard in most agencies to make sure you are being efficient and staying competitive. But be sure to communicate the value of a project and its associated goals beyond your project managers and business owners, to your wider team. Ensuring your team are commercially aware will give them a better understanding of a client’s needs and therefore aid them in creating a successful project.

Be a team of ‘yes’ people

Communication is essential in any creative team. It is important to encourage freedom of expression and ensure your team are open to everyone’s ideas during brainstorms and internal discussions. Try asking everyone to respond to suggestions with a “yes, and…” rather than a “no, but….” Simple exercises like this can create a sharing, collaborative atmosphere and energetic discussions.

If you’d like to attend any of our events, or want to learn more about taking your creative team from good to great, then contact us at

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