How to Attract and Keep the Best Agency Talent
Are you a new digital agency wondering how to attract the best agency talent? Or an established agency afraid your amazing team might fall apart? The best way to keep your team engaged and happy is to embrace who they are outside of the workplace.
In today’s episode, we’ll cover:
- Why millennial side-hustles can work in your favor.
- 6 ways to keep your team engaged and happy.
I had the opportunity to talk with Andrew Au, Co-founder and President of Intercept Group, the marketing agency that he and his wife started 13 years ago. Andrew had started his marketing career at Pepsi, but quickly learned that he was on the wrong side of the business. Today, he has an agency team of 30 and is earning over 8-figures while working with clients such as Microsoft, FedEx, and Intuit. Andrew is here to share the ways he keeps his team engaged and happy as they continue to produce amazing, creative work.
Why Millennial Side-Hustles Can Work In Your Favor
If you’re building a team, in all likelihood you will be interviewing and hiring Millennials between the ages of 19 and 39. “Millennials are the largest single cohort in the workplace and they’re driving a lot of change,” Andrew says. But there is something else you should know about the millennial generation: They’re entrepreneurial. Around 40% of Millennials who are working have a “side-hustle”. While many marketing agency owners would discourage side-hustles, Andrew says he actually looks for employees with a business on the side.
“It gives them a maturity that you can’t get from school or from working in another place,” Andrew explains. He says employees are going to be pursuing these side-ventures whether you know about them or not, so “find ways to bring it into the business.”
Also, when your team feels like you support their outside endeavors they’re likely to share with others. And in my experience, being an awesome place to work is the kind of reputation you want in order to keep attracting more amazing talent.
6 Ways to Keep Your Team Engaged and Happy
Encouraging and supporting your team’s individual side hustles is one way to invest in your employees and to keep them engaged and happy. Here are 6 more ways to help retain your agency team:
- Incentivize the team to learn things outside of work. Andrew’s digital agency has a learning fund that provides $500 for each full-time employee to use learning something new. The catch: the money must be spent on learning something that is not work-related.
- Create perks that extend beyond the workplace. Andrew bought a cottage outside the city as a place where his team can clear their minds and be creatively inspired. He also provides smaller perks like free car washes and other things they would not buy themselves. Andrew says, most perks are just nice things the team wouldn’t necessarily spend their own money on, but would happily take advantage of when provided by the agency.
- Don’t skip the one-on-ones. You should be meeting personally with each member of your team at least on a quarterly basis. Standardizing that process and making the time to ensure it happens is crucial.
- Celebrate behaviors, not outcomes. Your team could be working hard and still the project could lose money or the client could walk away. It is important to learn from any mistakes and take time to celebrate all the things your team did right.
- Be transparent with your team. Communicate the agency’s goals and plans to meet those goals. Employees who feel they are part of the plan will be more engaged. And employees who are more engaged are more creative.
- Prioritize your team. Always remember that your clients come second. Your team comes first. In a race to win talent, the right culture is more important than any productivity-boosting tool you can buy. If you treat employees right, they will do right by your clients.
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