In today’s fast-paced world, it’s rare that people stay at companies for years on end. One might say this is especially true for the marketing industry. A report by LinkedIn found that marketing roles had a turnover rate of 17% compared to the global turnover average of about 11% (as defined by a percentage of LinkedIn professionals who indicated they left a company in 2017).
As retention of marketing professionals becomes more difficult, how can employers encourage company loyalty while also ensuring individuals feel appreciated and fulfilled in their roles? The answer lies within a company’s return back to their workforce and with a few familiar marketing principles.
Advertisers know that 71% of consumers respond better to ads when they are personalized to audience interests and needs. To that same extent, employees will feel more engaged if they are provided with experiences that are tailored to them. It’s time to get rid of the one-size-fits-all approach.
Marketers focus heavily on creating an enjoyable and engaging experience for consumers; for companies, the same method can be deployed to increase employee happiness. One way to drive personalized experiences in the workplace is by offering employees a flexible work environment—whether that be flexible scheduling, the ability to telecommute or unlimited PTO—to accommodate different working styles. Workplace flexibility consistently ranks high in what employees value most, and according to Mercer’s Global Talent Trends 2018 Study, 51% of employees wish their company offered more flexible work options.
Another way to employ personalization on the HR level is by tailoring and designing perks and programs based on overall company culture and team roles, responsibilities and areas of expertise. For example, having a meditation area or pet-friendly environment can be beneficial for boosting employee morale while also providing a much needed break in the day. When tailoring the program per individuals, an employee in a management role may find it useful to partake in a management training course, whereas an individual in a junior role might find it beneficial to hone their knowledge and values through outside activities like networking events. Patagonia, for instance, encourages their team to take midday surfing breaks, join a yoga session or ride a company bike. Not only does this instill the company’s core values of being outdoors within employees but it also provides the ability to destress.
Building customized experiences for employees that relate to their career motivations and workflows not only shows that you’re taking the extra step to learn about your employees. It also shows that you care about their success and fulfillment.
The role of marketers relies heavily on creativity and innovation. Applying the same concept to HR, transformational experiences are important to creativity.
Currently, only about 15% of U.S. companies offer sabbatical programs, and of that, only 5% provided paid time off. In a time where companies are striving to keep top talent, these experiences can be the difference between an employee staying or leaving.
Employers can foster creativity and innovation in employees by offering designated time off to broaden their worldview and pursue passions freely. Offering a sabbatical program is one way to ensure that hardworking employees take time to reflect, refresh and reconnect with themselves without feeling the pressure of their daily workload. To make it beneficial for companies, encouraging returning employees to share their experiences with the wider organization can act as an inspirational springboard.
Enabling leaders to take extended time away from work benefits the whole organization. According to The Harvard Business Review, researchers found that a majority of leaders who were surveyed felt that time away enabled them to generate new ideas and gain greater confidence in their leadership abilities.
Marketers’ jobs are to understand and connect with people at different stages in their lifetime. Successful marketers are skilled in connecting with consumers on a personal level. It’s important for industry employers to take a step back and evaluate how employees can connect with themselves and those close to them. If marketing professionals don’t take the time to do this in their personal life, they won’t be as successful doing so with complete strangers.
To revisit the sabbatical program idea, it’s a great way for employees to pursue their personal interests and develop their individual selves. These programs usually don’t require employees to use this time for career development and are usually offered to employees who have been with a company for several years. If a sabbatical program isn’t the best fit for a company, there are still other ways to foster strong connections. Focus on celebrating employee’s personal success, growth or life changes. An impromptu birthday celebration, baby shower or happy hour creates a familial vibe while being respectful as an employee’s life evolves while working at a company.
Marketers recognize the importance of investing in the consumer journey and connecting at the right touchpoints along the path. Likewise, when employers in the marketing industry make an effort to help their employees grow and flourish in their professional journeys, employees feel more invested and more likely to feel like their work is meaningful. This is a win for everyone.