How to retain staff in a digital age where online agencies are in abundance and turnover of staff is extremely high – staff averages in turnover are currently 30 per cent a year! This high trend is purely down to Supply and Demand. There are more jobs in digital than there is talent available, leading to poaching and frequent migration. With limited experience (less than 18 months) many employees seem to come and go on a merry go round of all the local agencies. We have two key policies to prevent this:
We take in our people based 80% on personality and writing skills – the technical we heavily invest in training our staff – which makes them good picks for other bigger agencies. To combat this we have instilled a brilliant working environment with good processes, support, fun and flexibility.
We have also added to our contracts that for 12 months post contract termination with the POSH Agency you are not allowed to work for any of our listed direct competitors. We also have a secondary contract all new starts sign along with their employment contract called a ‘Training Recuperation Agreement’. In this document we state the value of the training we will give them in the coming 6 months of the probationary period. This training is given to them ‘on loan’. If the employee leaves within 12 months of this training they must repay the training provided. A further training agreement is provided from there on at each step of training.
Money, Money, Money
We pay a strong salary to our entry level employees when they first begin but very quickly (with our heavy training in the first 6) months, they skill up past this pay grade – whilst we are still recouping the cost of training. Demand is so high for someone with any sort of digital experience that people are quick to jump ship for more money.
Still Not Enough!
I have learned through the years that simply creating a good, happy and fun working environment, with decent salaries with good structure, processes and operations is simply not enough to stick your team together like Velcro. I have tried bonuses, incentive gifts (from regular and small to occasionally and extravagant). None of these one off wins, no matter how nice at the time, is enough to keep your team loyal.
What I have discovered works better are boundaries, processes and benefits for the long term. Apart from the above, following are my top 5 tips to keeping your best staff. Read more about each of my top tips the below: