As an HR pro, I know our particular discipline has a lot of associations, not all of them positive. (Let’s just say I’m familiar with the term “fun police.”)
What you might not know about HR pros is that the good ones love to crunch numbers – specifically, the KPIs that drive high-level business initiatives like employee retention and satisfaction.
At a marketing agency, more retention goes a long way toward keeping clients happy – many’s the agency that suffers from high turnover and a revolving door of team members, which makes it hard for clients to feel like they can count on their agencies for long-term partnerships. More engaged employees help reduce turnover, create a better work environment, increase productivity, build better client relationships, etc.
The bonus: employees are our best marketers! We receive employee referrals through current JDMers and our alumni network, and our Glassdoor scores are an important element in attracting new talent.
So, yes, keeping our team happy and engaged goes a long way toward improving our bottom line. But you can’t just wave a wand and make it happen – like marketers, we focus on indicators that lead to eventual outcomes of retention and satisfaction. I’ll break down a few of those in this post.
The first is our eNPS score (employee net promoter score), which measures how likely our employees are to recommend JDM as a place to work. The higher the eNPS score for our team, the happier our employees are with their JDM experiences, and the likelier they are to stay with us.
The others I’ll touch on all lead back to eNPS and turnover numbers.
The engagement metric has a few inputs: All Hands attendance, survey response rates (which I’ve written about in the past as an essential element of a healthy feedback loop), in-person attendance at our annual company retreats, etc. Measuring those helps us see trends over time – if engagement is flagging, we can see that those are areas that need our attention, and some digging might unearth deeper issues that should be addressed right away.
We have a lot of initiatives in place that help us keep engagement up: weekly 1:1s with managers and team members, weekly All Hands, regular check-ins from my team, alliance agreements, and more.
Review satisfaction is a little more qualitative – it’s measured over the course of 1:1 conversations I have with our team members after reviews season. In these conversations, I can get a sense of how happy employees were with the reviews process and the level of feedback they got from their managers. Again, these conversations are intended both to check in with our team members to see how they’re doing overall and to provide us with information on any trends, positive or negative, that we can understand to make our processes better.
A lot of folks are sketched out by the concept of time tracking, and that’s understandable if your company has Big Brother/micro-management tendencies.
At JDM, we use time tracking to gauge things like high overtime and workload distribution. If there are opportunities for us to help our team members find more work-life balance, we can see them in the data and address them immediately. Agency life can be demanding at times – my team is here to make sure it’s not too demanding, too much of the time.
So how are we doing?
Has all of this tracking helped our initiatives? Well, as a company, we’re taking less overtime now than we were before we started tracking – which I’m especially proud to say in economic conditions that often lead to a “head down, work harder” mentality.
Our eNPS scores are also higher now than they were when we started tracking, and – surprise, surprise – our turnover in 2022 decreased 10% compared with 2021.
And we haven’t fully launched a big initiative that should make us even better at finding and signing the right people for our team: a hiring retrospective process. (More on that to come later in the year!)
All of this is to say that HR professionals, like marketers, can’t just work on instincts and best practices alone. Collecting data and acting on it in a thoughtful, timely way is core to our success – and the success of our organizations.
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