Deadlines – dealing with the dreaded ‘D’
Written by Idea File Staff
Set these for copy, photos, captions and layout. Allow time for the material to be checked and corrections made. ENFORCE these just as you would a major shipment deadline. For best results, stagger the deadlines for the completion of spreads for a shipment date; this way everything doesn’t hit your desk at once.
Take out the deadline schedule for the year as early as possible, indicating which pages will be shipped with each deadline. Also follow up on progress of the pages BEFORE the given deadline. Sometimes staff members feel intimidated about communicating a problem they are having, and this will open discussion about the situation.
It is as important to reward staff members for meeting a deadline as it is to confront those who submit late material. Throw a party, and turn it into a positive discussion time by talking about the problems encountered by staffers when working toward the just-completed deadline. REMEMBER: Never publicly criticize a staff member’s job performance or work quality; save it for a private consultation. Also don’t forget to acknowledge a job well done. A staff member is likely to be motivated even more by your words of encouragement and support in addition to his/her own feeling of accomplishment.
No staff does it alone, and you as the leader deserve part of the recognition for pulling it all together. Take some time for something you like to do after wrapping up a big deadline Sleep, shop, take a road trip – whatever it takes, just remember to get back soon and start organizing the next big “D.”