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Best Practices Session 7: Retaining your ad agency talent

Losing your ad agency talent can be a costly endeavor, with replacement costs estimated to be anywhere between 50% and 100% of the person's annual salary. And that's not even considering the immeasurable value of their unique skills and attributes. Surprisingly, statistics show that one in four people are likely to leave their agency job this year in search of better work cultures, challenges, and opportunities. With staff turnover eating into your profits, it's essential to find ways to retain your valuable talent.


Given the detrimental impact of staff turnover on your profits, wouldn't it be more convenient to retain your valuable talent? Allow us to present our tried and tested strategies for effectively retaining ad agency talent.


1. Foster a work culture that entices your talent to stay committed and engaged.

When it comes to work cultures, there are certain undeniable truths: employees thrive in environments that promote transparency and flexibility, where they are encouraged to find joy in their work and are duly rewarded for their hard work. It is within your power to shape a work culture that embodies these attributes. Lead by example and showcase the passion, creativity, and dedication you expect from your team. Additionally, consider offering enticing perks such as complimentary gym memberships, rejuvenating yoga sessions, the services of an in-house masseuse, a games room for relaxation and rejuvenation, or a well-stocked kitchen filled with delightful treats.


2. Offer flexible work arrangements that suit the temperament of your talent.

Let's face it, not everyone's a morning person, so allowing employees to start and finish later (when projects allow) offers more freedom in their role. It also means they're likely to be at their most productive which is a win-win for everyone. In addition, more businesses are allowing employees to work remotely from home to provide greater flexibility. Eliminating a two-way commute occasionally could make all the difference to someone's productivity.


3. Keep your talent fresh by offering them growth opportunities.

You brought your talent on board because they are passionate about what they do, which is what makes them excel in their roles. However, it would be a mistake to let them become stagnant in their positions. Take the time to check in with your talent and see how they are doing. Are they still finding joy in their work? Is there something else they would like to explore? Understanding their needs allows you to guide them in the right direction by offering new and exciting projects, training opportunities, and mentoring to keep their passion ignited.


4. Reward your staff so they know you value what they do.

Implement initiatives that reward your most committed and creative employees. It could be a monthly award that recognises (one month) the most brilliant idea or (the next month) the person who remained the sanest during a tough job. The ideas are limitless. Consider personalising the reward itself so that employees who are recognised feel like you've gone to some effort.

5. Keep your talent satisfied by offering an agile environment.

Think about assembling teams that are smaller which can be more nimble and responsive to the demands of creative projects. For one, it's easier to convey ideas when there's a team of five people rather than fifteen. It's also easier to stay abreast of what everyone is working on and keep work on track when there are fewer touch points. Small teams don't tend to get bogged down in as many processes (and opinions), so they can also be more productive. Streamlining your workflow always makes for happier workers.


6. Implement approval workflow software to give your talent more time to be creative.

Free up your talent by implementing approval workflow software, which automates much of the approval workflow and eliminates tedious administration. Even better, choose an approval workflow solution that has an integrated resource management feature. This way, your employees can see exactly what work is allocated to them so that they have more visibility over their workload and dedicated time to be creative.


7. When you do lose great talent, find out why. Listen and learn.

Utilize exit interviews as a valuable tool to uncover the reasons behind employee departures from your agency. It is crucial to actively listen and absorb the feedback provided, particularly if there is a recurring theme among the responses. Ultimately, take the necessary steps to retain your existing talent and attract exceptional new hires by implementing the changes required. Remember, the success of your bottom line hinges upon it.