How to Attract and Keep Employees at Digital Marketing Agencies After the “Great Resignation”

How to Attract and Keep Employees at Digital Marketing Agencies After the "Great Resignation"

Employee turnover is a huge cost to any business. These costs have the potential to be incredibly damaging to marketing agencies. It hurts their productivity, increases costs, and can even compromise client relationships. 

Unfortunately, it’s a problem likely to get worse. 

You may have heard about the great resignation, but what is it, and what can you do to stop your digital marketing agency staff from leaving?

What Is the “Great Resignation” and What Is Causing It?

They’re calling it the “great resignation.” Workers are quitting jobs in the millions. In July alone, 4.4 million employees walked away from their workplace, while layoffs and discharges remained the same.

According to the Harvard Business Review, there are two distinct trends with mid-career employees resigning in large volumes. Employees working in the tech and health fields are the next biggest group to join the great resignation.

Why are staff leaving? Well, one reason is the shift towards remote working and burnout in high-stress industries. Burnout is a factor for Generation Z age groups too and this group also wants greater flexibility and control over their schedules, and they’re dissatisfied with their work/life balance.

The Great Resignation - Gen Z

Tips to Find and Keep Employees

Every company wants to attract happy, loyal employees, but if the great resignation is anything to go by, workers are feeling unfilled and unhappy. However, you can introduce procedures to limit the possibility of staff living, like:

  • making a point of understanding your employees
  • offering greater flexibility where you can
  • recognizing early stages of burnout and acting before it becomes a crisis or resignation issue
  • introducing a talent retention program
  • optimizing the employee experience

As Brain Kropp, group vice president of Gartner’s HR practice, says:

“Ultimately, employees want their 9-to-5 to look like their 5-to-9, and the organizations that deliver on that idea will gain a competitive advantage.”

Here are ten more tips to help attract and keep employees at your digital marketing agency during the great resignation.

1. Offer Remote or Hybrid Work for Eligible Employees

It’s official. The move towards remote working is gaining ground, and there seems to be no stopping it as more workers and companies realize the benefits of working from home.

A 2021 Upwork study shows 40.7 million Americans expect to be working remotely by 2026. 

The Great Resignation - Upwork survey

That’s a considerable increase from the previous survey when only 22.9 percent of those questioned could imagine themselves working remotely.

If your agency is considering more remote working or a hybrid model, here are some tips to consider:

  • Provide support: Do employees have the technological and managerial support they need to thrive when they’re working remotely?
  • Maximize collaboration: Just because workers are in different locations, don’t let collaboration go out of the window!
  • Introduce team building: Use team-building sessions, so employees get the opportunity to connect and catch up.

Finally, talk to staff and find out which way of working they prefer, and if this is workable for your agency.

2. Offer Unlimited PTO

Under an unlimited paid time off (PTO) approach, employers don’t give staff a preassigned number of paid days off. Instead, they have the opportunity to take time out as they choose, provided it doesn’t impact the business.

Netflix and Github are just two companies using PTO, and research shows that workers only take marginally more time off.

If this sounds like an approach that might work for you, here are some tips:

  • Set a minimum amount of days for the year and individual stretches: Remote.com has a minimum of 20 days a year for its staff.
  • Encourage employee feedback: Is PTO something they want to see? See how PTO fits in with your overall company policies, values, and the way it works. Could this be a good model for your agency?
  • Have goals in place: Are employees still reaching their aims and responsibilities regardless of their time away?

3. Promote a Healthy Work/Life Balance

Work-life balance has become a more significant issue as the pace of life changes. For some, work has become more demanding as the needs of employers and clients intensify. This increased demand puts stress on workers to meet those goals, which leads to less time at home and less satisfaction with their jobs.

However, when there’s a better work-life balance, things get better, and it helps in all areas, including:

  • employee satisfaction 
  • happiness
  • productivity
  • motivation
  • efficiency 

It’s a win-win for everyone.

How do you ensure a better work-life balance for staff? 

Again, it’s understanding what works for them, and it’s about being realistic as an employer. No manager should be expecting their team to be “always-on” and ever available. Appreciate that staff value their downtime just as much as you do.

Additionally, if the workload is getting too much for staff and you need an extra pair of hands, consider outsourcing to an agency.

4. Increase Compensation

As digital marketing becomes more competitive, so does the need to offer employees higher salaries.

If an employee has an excellent track record and consistently delivers results, it makes sense to offer them a pay increase. If you don’t value them, then they are going to look for more rewarding positions.

When looking at pay increases, consider your employee’s contributions and how you can reflect this in their salary.

Indeed suggests providing some context to the pay increase. For example, is it because of their contributions or just rising in line with inflation and cost of living? Indeed also recommends presenting the increase as a dollar amount rather than a percentage.

5. Provide Excellent Healthcare

Providing excellent healthcare for employees can help companies to:

  • attract better talent
  • reduce employee turnover rates
  • cut down on the cost of hiring new people through employee retention
  • make your company a more attractive employer for job seekers

Ultimately, when you offer quality, affordable healthcare for employees, you’re more likely to attract and retain talented staff.

In addition, a good healthcare program positively impacts the business and can potentially decrease the risk of absenteeism and lost productivity.

However, don’t forget the importance of having great health and mental health policies by setting up health programs. 

For instance, Citibank offers rewards for staff taking part in health assessments and activities. Have an open-door policy for staff who may feel they need mental or emotional support, too.

6. Ensure Your Managers Motivate

Effective managers aren’t just great leaders and communicators. They are awesome motivators too.

Employees want to do their best work for motivational managers because they feel inspired to. Additionally, motivated employees are easier to engage and perhaps have an improved chance of staying in their roles.

Remember, though, management isn’t just about rallying staff on. 

It’s about providing positive, constructive feedback, being empathic, and accepting that sometimes a manager just needs to step back and let employees do their work.

As Lori Scherwin, founder of Strategize That in New York City, says, “Top performers want space to be their best.”

Keep that thought in mind.

7. Facilitate a Fun Working Environment, But Don’t Force It!

A fun working environment can make people feel connected to the company and their work, leading to higher morale and better productivity.

One way to improve the fun factor at work is through creating an enjoyable office space with areas for socializing. Hosting team-building events or fun quizzes can work well. Office days out are another option or try some virtual team-building exercises.

However, remember everyone is different, and not all employees enjoy the same kind of fun. Make your chosen activities optional and find opportunities for less outgoing employees where you can.

8. Give Your Employees Space to Grow

One of the most important and undervalued aspects of a work environment is the opportunity for growth and development. All employees need to feel empowered enough to take on new challenges and to learn new skills.

There are several ways you can encourage employee growth, like:

  • Training courses and letting employees choose areas they want to learn more about.
  • Encouraging volunteering. Perhaps get the company involved in a community project, allowing employees to see the difference they’re making and how it benefits others.
  • Give employees the tools they need to develop their career and take it to the next level.
  • Talk to each employee so you know how they see their job going and how you can help them.

9. Consider Your Company’s Values

Company values are the foundation of an organization. Values provide meaning to a company’s work, guide its decisions, and generate momentum for its continuing growth.

A company’s values are far more than just words on a page or a mission statement. They reflect how the company lives its mission day-to-day by how it treats others and operates in the world, and they’re crucial to employees

Company values ensure staff work toward common goals, aid decision-making, and communication while motivating and engaging employees.

If your company values need some work, there are some great examples online to guide your way.

10. Engage and Reward Your Employees

Employee engagement is crucial to retention and job satisfaction. Unfortunately, a Gallup survey shows workplace engagement is falling.

What can you do to improve engagement? Well, according to Gallup, one of the top reasons is unclear communication. Ensuring clarity in all your conversations with staff at all times is a good starting point.

Additionally, you can:

  • Invite feedback.
  • Give staff training when they need it.
  • Ensure staff knows what you expect of them.
  • Allow employees to shine and assign them tasks most suited to their talents.
  • Ensure your team has the resources to do their jobs effectively.

Another way to keep staff motivated is to reward them for doing well. Incentives can improve morale and productivity and help to retain talent.

Here’s how you can use incentives:

  • Reward your staff for reaching sales goals and best sales performance, but don’t make it uber-competitive.
  • Offer incentives at the end of project completion.
  • Provide rewards for consistent hard work, so staff knows you appreciate their efforts.

Great Resignation Frequently Asked Questions

How many people have left the workforce during the "Great Resignation?"

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 20.2 million employees left their jobs during May-September.

In November, millions of employees left their jobs. It’s a figure that just keeps growing.

Why are people leaving their jobs during the “Great Resignation?”

Why are people leaving their jobs during the "Great Resignation?"

The reasons are different for everyone, but there are some specific factors, like a lack of work-life balance, burnout, and lack of flexibility in the workplace. Global and personal events can also cause people to look at their careers and reassess what they want.

What is meant by "The Great Resignation"?

It refers to the millions of people quitting their jobs. Although it’s a global phenomenon, the figures in the United States are exceptionally high, with millions of people leaving their workplaces every month.

Who coined the phrase "The Great Resignation"?

Anthony Klotz, a psychologist and an associate professor of management at Texas A&M University, was the first to use the phrase, announcing “The great resignation is coming”. Now the psychologist is also quitting his job for new pastures. 

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In November, millions of employees left their jobs. It’s a figure that just keeps growing.

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The Great Resignation Conclusion

The proof is there in the stats. Employees are leaving companies in their droves. 

It’s not apparent yet if the great resignation is something that continues in future years. However, it’s happening here and now, and you ought to consider introducing steps if you want to keep staff at your digital marketing agency.

That includes introducing flexible, remote working if it’s suitable, having excellent healthcare, and paying staff what they’re worth.

Is the great resignation impacting your digital marketing agency? Tell us how below.

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