How to Retain Your Best Creative Talent

When it comes to retaining your top employees, it’s important to stick to the golden rule of treating them how you would like to be treated. Praise and bonuses go a long way in making an employee happy and motivated. However, there are specific ways to maintain the satisfaction levels in those in creative jobs that go far beyond these basic rules. Follow these tips for keeping your top talent challenged and interested.

Listen to them

You should already be scheduling regular one-on-one meetings where your employees can share ideas for improvements, update you on their workloads, and air any grievances they may have. During these conversations, you should not only listen, but take note of what they’re saying. If your employee continuously brings up the same roadblocks or concerns, you need to investigate and try to resolve the issues. A CareerBuilder study found 48 percent of employees would stay at a company that listened to their feedback and actually put it into action. Let your employees know that you respect them and that their feedback isn’t being ignored. Next time your employee mentions a concern, ask how they would like to see it resolved, and proceed from there.

Give them freedom

Your top creative employees have proven that they’re capable of consistently delivering quality work and should be rewarded for doing so. The Harvard Business Review recommended giving them the opportunity to try some of their craziest ideas and see what works. While the potential failure could cost the company money, it would be a calculated risk worth taking to have a happy top performer. Besides, jobs in advertising and other creative fields demand innovation and ample testing of each idea. The source noted that if an idea isn’t risky, it usually means it’s not innovative. Give your best talent free rein on a project’s artwork, and analyze the results. Sometimes, knowing that they have your trust is enough to keep them producing quality work at your organization for a long time.

Get to know them

Artistic types tend to be slightly more emotional and may be appreciative of your interest in their life outside of work. While you shouldn’t get too personal, knowing about their families and hobbies will give you better insight into how they work and what they want out of a job. For example, if you know they have children, one of your rewards could be hours that are more flexible during school vacations and other holidays. If they love to travel but never have the time to do it, you can extend them a few days off as a thank you for a job well done. Knowing your employees on a more personal level helps them see you as a trusted person, and not just as a manager. This, along with a genuine interest in their job, could be the deciding factor in their staying at your company.

Have faith

Forbes identified two reasons why many companies lose their top talent: time and money. Honing an employee’s talent – whether it involves sending them for external training or coaching them internally – requires ample amounts of both of these things. Paying for courses, deducting internal resources, or rewarding them for quality work are all effective but costly ways of retaining a top performer. At the end of the day, employers are often afraid of making big investments in workers who could very well leave. But if you have faith that your worker will stay if he or she is treated correctly, rewarded fairly, and allowed to express themselves creatively, you might be happy with the outcome.

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