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Retaining Talent at Your Agency
Retaining talent is a critical job for an agency’s leadership team.
The problem is, we’re not always that good at it. Agency life can sometimes feel like an ever-revolving door with employees hopping around the competition, growing their pay packets and job titles with every move.
This movement is great for the employee. They pick up skills, pay raises, and learn from diverse clients.
It could be better for agencies. All the time and energy invested in attracting, hiring, mentoring and training only to see your employees walk out the door.
So, what are the key ingredients of a happy agency staffer? What keeps them in your business for as long as possible?
Here are five factors to consider (apart from a decent pay packet) when it comes to retaining talent:
1. Provide opportunities for professional development.
Marketing is an ever-moving feast, especially when you look at digital. You only have to look away from your screen for a minute, and you miss the launch of a new social media channel or a new way to use AI to revolutionise your comms.
Your team will want to feel like they are growing and developing their skills to stay current. You must invest in their training, certification, and continuing education to keep them keen.
Action: Get yourself a training budget and start developing your team.
2. Provide opportunities for creativity.
Marketing is a creative field, and your talent wants to work on exciting and challenging client campaigns. Ensure you provide opportunities for your employees to flex their creative muscles and contribute to innovative marketing.
Not all clients are equal, so be careful of the type of work you chase. If your shop is full of foodies and fashionistas, don’t bring in work for insurance companies or B2B Saas applications.
Action: review your new business strategy to attract the type of clients your team is inspired to work on.
3. Foster a positive work culture.
Agency culture is often cited as the key to success; no, this does not mean a foosball table and a drinks trolley. A positive work environment is critical, so foster a culture that values work-life balance, promotes collaboration, and recognises and rewards outstanding performance.
Encourage open communication between your team and leadership. Regular feedback, both positive and negative, can help employees feel valued and supported.
Action: review your policies around work-life balance, taking time off and how well you communicate within the agency.
4. Build a diverse and inclusive workplace.
Diversity and inclusivity have been a hot topic for several years. It’s easy to see there is value in bringing together a diverse group of marketers to create an exciting environment to work in, but also highly creative and considered marketing campaigns for your clients.
Ensure you encourage diversity in your hiring processes and foster an inclusive environment where all employees feel welcome and valued. This will certainly help with retaining talent.
Action: review and update your diversity and inclusion policy, or write one in the first place if needed.
5. Empower employees with ownership and responsibility.
Employees with ownership and responsibility in their work tend to be more engaged and motivated. Provide your employees with opportunities to take ownership of projects and give them the autonomy to make decisions and take risks. Make sure you are not micro-managing.
Beyond that, think about the long-term ownership of your agency. Many agency owners have exit and succession planning in mind, but the trade sale you seek may be more complicated than you think. There is another way, and that’s selling your agency to your team. In the UK, you can take advantage of the Employee-Owned Trust approach, something we have worked on with a creative business recently with great success.
Action: review your management style and that of your team leaders – are you all managing in a way that motivates and rewards your team members?
So, there you have it; five factors to consider for boosting staff retention at your agency. Get in touch and let us know what you are doing to help keep your staff at your shop.