Marketing Turnover Seem Like a Revolving Door?
3 Tactics to Protect Your Company
Are you aware that one third of your workforce will move on after 16 months? Another third will do so in less than three years.
That’s the blink of an eye for a corporation, especially when it takes six months to fully on-board them and more than one full year’s salary to train their replacement. Turnover then, is an 800-pound gorilla in marketing office, and today we’re going to tackle it.
First, Let’s Understand What’s Going On
What causes marketers to skip around so much? Job market liquidity. The stigma of “job hopping” is long gone, and it’s not just millennials who look for learning and advancement beyond context of their current role. In fact, in the information age, a diversity of experience actually makes workers much more agile and effective, and there is some evidence that job hoppers may in fact be more loyal because they hope to make a good impression in their short time there.
Combine these factors with the bleak reality that employees who stay longer than two years at any given job are at risk of getting paid 50% less than their counterparts. Why? Because annual raises pale in comparison to the benefits of discovering another employer who values your talents more highly. The matchmaking process couldn’t be easier, greased by services like LinkedIn and Glassdoor. Together, all of these forces have created a perfect storm of job market liquidity.
Facts are facts and it’s almost no use lamenting them. Turnover hasn’t even peaked yet and while you should do all that you can to retain them, you also need a strategy to protect your company in this world of career speed-dating!
3 Strategies for Combatting High Employee Turnover
- Engage Them with Honesty and Advancement: Employees feel invested in companies that invest in them. Engage your team members in a conversation about where their career is headed. Even kick it off with some disarming honesty — it may not be with you. And that’s okay. Reassure them that what matters is what you do with your time together. Some are referring to this as a “tour of duty” mentality. In our experience, this conversation needs to happen more than once for there to be trust and candor. With that as a foundation, explore how you can best use their talents and simultaneously aid their development. For marketers, there’s no better way to do this than to tie performance to driving revenue. It’s a crystal-clear metric that helps you get what you need and helps your employees because it teaches invaluable skills to prepare them for advancement. Finally, provide them with cross-functional duties. Working with other teams gives new marketers a birds-eye view of the business. This helps both of you understand whether they belong on your team, and keeps them engaged with challenging work beyond the monotony of their day-to-day duties.
- Storm-Proof Your Processes: You never really realize how fragile some of your business-critical processes are until somebody leaves. The most fragile system of all? Revenue reporting. Right now, when you ask your marketing team to come up with those numbers, where do they get them from? Dig into it and we’ll bet they’re siphoned from 5+ software systems and crunched in an excel spreadsheet of near hieroglyphic complexity. If it were a book, it’d weigh 10 pounds. The worst case scenario here befell a partner of ours: the person who owned the spreadsheet left. Without a cypher, they suddenly lost their ability to track, forecast and report revenue to the board. Save yourself from this doomsday scenario by installing software to shore-up weak-points. Software survives beyond the individual user and includes tutorials and support to on-board their replacement. In the instance of revenue reporting, Revenue Funnel Management Solutions, can network your entire ecosystem together to ensure that come end-of-month, those reports are always there.
- Encourage Three-Tier Mentorship: Having layers of connected employees preserves tribal knowledge that is otherwise lost during turnover. Tribal knowledge is everything that employees accumulate which wasn’t written down: heuristics, facts, strategies, skills and processes. The three-tier system works like this: everyone needs three levels of co-workers. Mentors, who challenge them and provide teachable moments; colleagues, who are at their same level and who they can bounce ideas off of; and mentees, who they should in turn challenge and help grow. If your managers can reinforce tightly networked teams with plenty of multi-layered mentorship, less of each individual’s invaluable learning leaves with them (like say, the Google Analytics password).
And for All of the Marketers Out There: Always be Building Cathedrals!
What do we mean by that? If you’re not familiar with Antoni Gaudí, he was the Spanish architect responsible for La Segrada Familia, one of Europe’s most beautiful cathedrals. He laid meticulous plans over 100 years ago with the foreknowledge that the project would have to survive beyond him, and it was so well done that his successors are still following his schematics to this day. What better analogy could there be for how you should hand off the reigns to the next person to follow you?
In your role, think about building cathedrals. Construct systems with lasting power and leave a body of work for those who follow you to pick up where you left off. Record campaign successes, safeguard your data and fully optimize your revenue funnel in a software system. It’s the mark of a true leader, and the surest path to keep advancing toward the executive suite!
Are You Still With Us?
It’s been a long article, but we didn’t lose you to another employer during that time, did we? We’re kidding, but as you can see, we have thick skin. In the world of hyper-fluid employment, it pays to be pragmatic. It pays to safeguard your processes by automating them with persistent software, and it pays to preserve tribal-knowledge by spurring tight engagement among and across teams.
For each employee, accept that they will one day leave and that’s okay. Talk about it openly. Be a part of their growth and one day, when they finally move on, rejoice in knowing that in them, you built a cathedral that will outlast you. Perhaps in the future, you’ll run into them and see they’ve achieved the job or the role or the title they were seeking and in that moment, you’ll realize what you accomplished is so much greater than your time together at the company.