The Anchor: 5 ways an agency can retain talent

18 Jul,2012

By Ajit Menon


Retaining talent is tough, but important, be it any industry. It’s acutely important for an agency because the only asset that agencies have are its ‘people’ and if good talent cannot be retained, especially in an agency, then the agency is at risk of loosing clients as well.


So if you are a creative agency, the first step to retain talent is to:-


1. Go pitch and win

No NBD (new business development) No Stay. It’s but obvious that if you are not a winning agency, there is no life in the agency and employees will leave.


2. Get the Gods home

If you win great accounts, you get to do great work and get noticed. Great work attracts great talent and keeps them alive because agency employees get the adrenalin rush only when they get a chance to do brilliant creative work.


3. Solution Givers

If employees are trained to be solution givers rather than just be delivery boys, employees feel that their professional life is getting enriched and they want to stay. The entire training and development calendar should reflect only one thing, “Groom the employee for the future”. This gives the employee the feeling that this agency is developing his/her career.


4. Einstein route

Embrace experimentation in the agency. If you have a culture where you encourage people to experiment with new ideas, newer forms of communication and expression, out of the box thinking, the young minds find themselves comfortable in the environment and stay back, even if the lure of money is there.


5. Money where your mouth is

Pay peanuts and you surely will get monkeys which is yet another sure short way of loosing people and clients. Pay the people what they deserve. This is an industry where you don’t concentrate on cost control to meet margins (unless there is a global economy melt down and it’s affecting the country) but pitch to win creative accounts to meet margins. The more you win, the more you get to do good work which then leads to better revenues, so better infrastructure, great culture and of course better pay and handsome career progression. All this leads to employees being happy, and trust me no one wants to leave ‘happy’.


Ajit Menon is executive director at DDB Mudra


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One response to “The Anchor: 5 ways an agency can retain talent”

  1. Memymca says:

    Today even monkeys demand much more than peanuts and this is the problem. Winning great accounts is okay but the emphasis should be on winning great accounts who are also good paymasters and this is a tough combination…and end of the day, employees don’t care… whether you win or lose, they still want much more than peanuts…