So you’ve built a great team, recruited all the right people and attracted lots of top work to keep them busy. Time to sit back and put your feet up? Not if you want to retain your staff it isn’t. Talented individuals get offered new opportunities all the time so you need to find reasons for them to stay. Investing in your team and encouraging creativity and passion is the way to do it.
We all know what a drag it can be to lose a valuable member of staff. It affects the rest of your team, clients, productivity; it causes disruption and creates a vacancy you need to fill. Was it a surprise when they left, a bolt out of the blue? Or could you have done more to keep them onside? I asked some of our clients this question and many replied that they “weren’t expecting” it and that the employee “got a better offer”: but with a bit of probing some concluded that they had been guilty of neglecting their staff and not investing time, training, energy and money in retaining them.
So instead of incurring all the costs associated with replacing a key member of staff; factoring in the adverse effect if could have on your agency, the time and money involved in recruiting a new employee, as well as getting them up to speed to fill someone else’s shoes. How about investing in the great team you already have, make it harder for them to get a better offer?
Tips for Investing in Your Team
Here’s 5 things you can do to invest in your team and encourage their creativity:
- Find out what your team want: whether it’s bonuses, training, days working from home, time to visit exhibitions, social events etc. It’s not a question of one size fits all; individual employees will appreciate different kinds of investment in their talent. Ask them what they want!
- Give your employees time to pursue their own projects, try out new ideas, and learn skills that may not be essential for their role. Allow staff to collaborate with each other and share their creativity, enthusiasm and passion.
- Provide your team with inspiration. Visits to exhibitions, a library of creative journals and books, guest speakers; these are all valid ways of investing and inspiring your staff, you just need to explore what works for your agency.
- Make work fun! An employee who genuinely looks forward to being at work is much less likely to risk a move elsewhere. Why should work be serious and grown-up? Creative workplaces can be stressful, particularly when deadlines are approaching, therefore it’s even more important to make time for fun and games, and de-stress your agency.
- When staff do leave find out why. Provide a platform for departing employers to give you uncensored feedback so you can learn from it. Sometimes people are reluctant to spell out exactly why they are leaving, what their new employer offers over their current agency and what aspects of the workplace they do not like. This is all valuable information to help you retain your remaining staff.
Talented and creative employees will move on eventually, whether it’s to set up their own agency or to find new challenges elsewhere, it’s inevitable. However there is a lot you can do to encourage them to stay longer. Investing in your team is a crucial element of retaining great staff and encouraging their creativity and passion.
What’s been your experience of retaining staff through investing in your team? Can you share ideas that have worked in your agency? Or add to our 5 points above? Use the comments box below to share your experience.