If you could read your employee’s thought bubbles

Do you remember the movie “What Women Want” with Mel Gibson and Helen Hunt. You do watch any movie that takes place inside an advertising agency, don’t you? Anyway —the premise of the movie is that Mel Gibson is an arrogant, sexist ad guy who receives the “gift” of being able to hear what women are thinking all around him. As you might imagine, it was a shock to Mel’s ego to see himself through the eyes of the women in his life. If you haven’t seen it — check it out. It’s definitely worth a Netflix night. The movie popped into my head because I’ve had some interesting conversations with agency employees over the past few weeks and my conversation with Craig in a previous podcast also touched on how our employees see the agency and us as the agency leader. I wish you could hear their unedited thoughts because I think we unintentionally miss the mark sometimes because of our assumptions. Like poor Mel — sometimes the listening would not be easy to hear. But given what we do for a living — we know how important perspective is and as you might imagine, the Mel at the end of the movie is a different guy than the Mel we meet initially. I wonder if that would be true for you too. Here are some of the biggest refrains that are running through agency employees’ brains that I believe are worthy of your time and attention:  “I’m relieved that she got a new car. It means the agency is stable financially and I don’t have to worry about my job.” “He has no idea how much harder it is to do my job [...]

What’s your turnover rate these days?

This is a tough time to be an agency on a growth path. Ironically, not because the clients aren’t out there and ready to spend money.   Agencies are reporting better biz dev opportunities than I’ve seen in awhile.  But those same agencies are saying to me, “Drew, I can’t go after it.  I just don’t have the people to service it if we win it.” That’s painful. But if you’re struggling to field a full roster, know you’re not alone.  In the last 18 months, many agencies are experiencing turnover like they have never seen before.  Some of our agencies are weathering a staggering 35%+ turnover rate.  I don’t care if you are 5 people or 555 people — that hurts.   Your people are being poached left and right. Or they’re coming to you with ridiculously high salary demands to stay.  How are agencies combatting this trend (which I hate to tell you, shows no signs of easing up until the economic correction hits)? Invest your time in your best people:  One thing I hear over and over again in the AE bootcamps or some of the speciality summits (AMI member benefit only) when I hang out with agency employees is how much they crave your time and attention.  They want to learn from you. They want you to invest in them, and they want you to help them grow. Use salary surveys specific to our industry to level set expectations: Whether it’s ours, (broken up into both size and geography categories) Creative Group’s (remember they are a recruiting firm so theirs is going to be high to their own benefit). Second Wind’s (2018 looks like their most current) or 4A’s (have to be [...]

Go to Top