Recently, a friend of mine invited me to give a lecture as a guest speaker for a business class she was attending. The requirements: have a background in team management, be able to convey a personal brand (including business cards and a website), and discuss three “golden rules” that students could take to heart during their business education and subsequent careers.
I love talking about editorial management since it’s a cornerstone of my own career, but the challenge here was in connecting my expertise with ideas about general business practices in a broader sense.
I have years of experience managing writers and editors in the content marketing field and often in production-heavy environments. Because of the way the industry has continued to evolve, a greater emphasis has been put on creating higher quality content—and lots of it!
(which is good for all of us “unemployable” English majors)
With all of this in mind, my interests as a manager and team lead has been on employee development and training, quality assurance, and task management for deadline adherence. It’s been these goals/specializations/whatever that have shaped my outlook on business.
The following “golden rules” are very important to me both as an editorial professional and someone who manages a team. I’ve probably written about them before but never in a manifesto-like sense. So here it goes:
Investing in Employees
While lateral moves are common to advance any career, it’s still important to minimize employee turnover by offering great pay, benefits, and incentives while keeping the staff motivated and passionate about the work. Hiring is expensive, and your employees are your greatest asset; keep them contributing to your business rather than leaving for a competitor’s.
Balancing Short-Term Costs vs Long-Term Investments
Upper management likes to worry about the bottom line, and rightly so. However, it can be very easy and costly to take shortcuts or shy away from an initial expense that pays off later. In the editorial field, the main concern of this kind is quality vs. speed, and finding a profitable middle ground with a high output that’s nonetheless done correctly and thoroughly will make clients happier and the system more cost-efficient.
Good Delegation = Good Management
As a manager, you have big-picture concerns to attend to. Assign tasks to take the load off, but also beware of micromanaging! Letting employees handle responsibility builds autonomy, a sense of pride, and more skill. You hired your employees for their expertise; use it! So long as the communication is open and clear, you’ll avoid redundancy and frustration.
The individuals participating in my discussion were open and receptive to my “rules,” and I’m flattered to have even been invited. I hope that, as this reaches a wider audience, my readers enjoy my manifesto as much as the students did. I look forward to sharing more “industry insights” in the future as I develop my own career as an editor and manager.