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Profit & Growth Tips for Digital Agencies

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How to Improve Your Digital Agency’s Staff Retention Rates

Posted by Nicolas Jacobeus on Jun 28, 2016


A strong team is essential for making your agency successful. But once you’ve hired an amazing, talented team, how do you keep them with you for the long term? In the US, the average worker under the age of 35 stays in a job for around 3 years, and employees in Europe are similarly likely to change jobs regularly to advance their career options.

Today I’m looking at five things you can do to improve your agency’s staff retention rates, and help create a stable environment that is essential for growth.

1) Set and Manage Expectations

Much like when you take on a new customer, setting and managing expectations is vital to a successful employer/employee relationship. Right from the start, during your new employee’s onboarding process, you want to focus on what’s expected of your employee in their role, and what they can expect from your agency.

In order to keep your employees on track, it’s important to continually manage their expectations and keep them informed about their progress, performance and what they can improve upon in order to advance in their career. After onboarding, you should conduct regular 1-to-1 meetings or reviews with your employees.

2) Provide Opportunities for Development

Research shows that a lack of progression opportunities is one of the biggest reasons that staff leave their jobs. Most people don’t want to be doing exactly the same job in five years’ time as they do today.

Therefore, it’s essential to provide opportunities for your employees to take on new responsibilities and learn new skills. This could take the form of formal courses, attending conferences, or even just working with a mentor within your existing team to help them develop their skills.

3) Manage the Money Situation

There’s more to job satisfaction than salary alone. But if your agency is paying 10% less than your competitors in the local area, your employees will start to feel undervalued. Your employees will draw a direct comparison between their salary and their value to your company.

If your agency can’t afford to keep up with your competitors in terms of salary offered, you should consider other benefits you can offer – paid time off, the ability to choose your own desk set-up, regular teambuilding activities, flexible working and your work environment can all be just as valuable to your employees as their take-home pay.

4) Balance the Workload

Balancing your team’s workload is essential for staff retention. Too much work, and your employees will constantly feel stressed. Too little, and they’ll get bored and start looking for something more stimulating.

A Resource Management tool can provide you with an overview of your agency’s current and upcoming projects, so you can identify when particular teams are stretched or short on work. That way you’ll know when you need to redistribute your team to provide support during a busy period, to help reduce stress levels and improve the quality of work you are delivering to your customers.

5) Understand Your Individual Team Members

It’s important to remember that your agency team is made up of individuals: different people with different ambitions, motivations and passions. Some of your team may have strong desires to move into management roles and head up their own team, whereas others may want to really hone their skills in a particular specialism.

You should work to understand each of your team members’ ambitions, so that you can match the right employee with the right opportunity. This will help create progression opportunities for your employees and offer them the opportunity to develop and grow within your agency, rather than having to find those opportunities elsewhere.

how to make your digital agency profitable

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