Since the beginning of my career both in PR and on the media side, I’ve witnessed firsthand a number of talented professionals leave their job for a ‘better opportunity,’ which almost always translates to more money. And lately, I’ve heard this happening a lot more frequently from friends and colleagues across all industries as the economy slowly improves. The result is a terrible feeling for both the team and the client(s), who I’d argue care as much about keeping a strong team intact as they do getting media opportunities.
I completely understand that sometimes you can’t give everyone what they ask for. I also know that people move on and the agency/company will not go into a tailspin with the loss of a few employees. However, it’d be comforting if more often we saw companies do what it takes to keep those skilled, exceptional workers so as not to see them look around, much less take offers elsewhere.
So since everyone loves lists so much, I came up with five suggestions for agencies/companies regarding how to improve retention rates and keep as happy a workforce as possible. After all, a happy workforce can mean happy clients (well, we hope!).
1) Inve$t in Talented Employees. I realize that in this economy we should all be thankful for a job, let alone receive a raise. However, rewarding those employees who go above and beyond with generous raises, especially in this job climate, would go a long way in having them ignore the calls from recruiters. Again, reward those that deserve a hefty raise, not staff members that only bicker and moan for one.
2) Work/Life Balance. If the agency cannot afford to give substanial raises then there should be other ways to incentivize workers. Maybe it’s the option to work from home once a week? More vacation days? The possibilities are endless. Here’s a few of them in an article I read in Inc. back in April.
3) Eliminate The 1-Year Review. Make Reviews Occur Frequently. People get bored at their jobs. Whether it’s from being in the same position for several years or just not feeling challenged anymore. By having, lets say, quarterly reviews then it would be possible for staff to be more transparent with senior management about their job, what they like/don’t like, where they’d like to be going, etc. This would also remove some of the guessing game that junior and senior staff play in regards to who is unhappy and who might leave soon.
4) Launch Agency-Wide Promotions & Contests. How many times have you recommended to a client that they provide free giveaways to their target audience to create buzz and excitement? A ton, I’m sure. So why can’t agencies do the same thing? They could award money vouchers to the person(s) that gets the most media opportunities in one month, or give an extra personal day to someone that helped win new business for the firm.
5) Show Signs Of Appreciation. Often. No matter how many times we say otherwise, we all like to get a pat on the back. I don’t know about all of you, but I love getting e-mails from my boss(es) or having one of them walk by my office telling me how proud they are of something I accomplished. Even if it’s just a note saying they appreciate all of the hard work a team is doing during a tough time. The more these types of things happen, the more I think staff will respect and support management.
What do you all think of these suggestions? Anything you’d change or add to the list? Am I completely off-base? Let me hear your thoughts!