Why Retaining Employees Is Important For Digital Agencies

HR managers can spend a lot of their time ensuring employee are well motivated and happy in a bid to reduce staff turnover rates.

Whilst this is true in any niche, one niche where staff retention is increasingly important is the digital world. A revolving door culture when it comes to employees can be expensive and time consuming to maintain.

Here are three of the key issues.

Replacing Digital Experts is Expensive

Larger agencies that are renowned within their niche such as McCann Manchester are less likely to fill skill gaps in their workforce as prospective employees actively search out their vacancy pages.

However, for smaller digital firms it can be difficult to recruit new staff members to replace those that have departed. Indeed, as well as available staff being an issue, the cost of doing so can be a major stumbling block.

Digital agencies tend to work at a frantic pace to keep up with client demand and project workflow, and so a major team player with specific skills leaving can lead a project to be delayed. The only real quick-fire way to fill the void in a hurry is by using recruitment agencies, but their high charges can severely cut project profitability and even harm cash flow for the business.

Even posting job vacancies on job boards and advertising them on the likes of LinkedIn can be a costly business – and a time consuming one too.

Too Many Jobs, Too Few Candidates

From Manchester to London, New York to Florida, the growth of the digital industry has been remarkable post recession. Thousands of marketing, creative and web development companies have generated thousands of jobs that need filling.

However, as the industry expansion was so quick, the number of skilled and experienced workers available to pug the gaps are small. This knowledge volume is another big reason why retaining the expertise of the current workforce is even more important.

Lost Knowledge to Competitors

Digital experts sometimes spend decades refining their skills. There’s no textbook defined way to create a brilliant website, design super marketing collateral or a perfect an effective SEO formula – the skills come with experience and trying out new ideas.

When these digital experts leave for a competitor, they are bringing with them a wealth of understanding – some of which they will have developed whilst working at the now short-staffed agency. The competitor grows stronger, and the first business suffers.

How to Ensure a Motivated Workforce

In the digital world, a number of factors mean that some traditional methods by which you can motivate staff are almost void.

The growing vacancy to skills gap means that many digital experts can find new work in just a few days. Recruitment agencies are also aggressive in their hiring tactics and flood potential candidates with great offers offering more money and greater responsibilities.

Money because of this becomes less of a pull. Although towards the start of a career, wages and job titles are important, the mid-level to senior employees know that they can find alternative employment quickly and more often than not at a better rate.

This means that the most effective way to reduce staff turnover and motivate staff is to create a positive company culture and working environment that employees won’t want to leave.

Web developers, account directors, graphic designers and digital marketers need to feel appreciated and see that their work has created a real added value to either a client or the agency. This sense of accomplishment is difficult to match.

Great communication with management and company directors is also key. Using social recognition software or just sitting and talking to employees helps them feel appreciated, valued and understand that their time would not be better spent elsewhere.