Where they stand and what’s the plan for their development.
So simple and yet so hard for many agencies.
I remember long ago when I worked on McDonald’s. It was in the days when they opened in small towns in Canada or Moscow there would be a line up to get into the door.
I attended a workshop or maybe somebody in their management told me this.
You can treat people with a warm fuzzy or a cold prickly or a lukewarm.
He said people would rather get a cold prickly versus a lukewarm because they don’t know where they stand.
And I think that is the case with the majority of young people that I know in the advertising business.
They want to know where they stand and that is not defined by a job title.
So you give them their yearly review and guess what it is not about the money, it is about the authenticity of the review and who conducts it.
What kind of direction do you give them? Platitudes like be a disruption agent, be creative, be innovative, be aggressive, provide more leadership. Tough to act on some of them or even know what they mean.
Do you send your young people to any Conferences? Arrange for presentations on effective presenting or networking training?
Then who conducts their evaluation? Is it someone who connects with this person once a month or when they pass them in the hallway?
Do you think the person that receives this review from a distant relative will feel inspired?
Often these young folks are doing the majority of the day to day work and lifting that covers the agency fee. They are the engines that pays your salary.
You see the agency business has become offices of bosses and worker bees and your worker bees are even more important these days because they have more responsibility.
They are your key to client retention but many Managers are distanced from them because they are too busy.
Ask yourself how many emails are they getting from clients that trust them and don’t even copy you?
If you are out of the day to day you will instruct your underlings to “Keep me in the loop.”
They will smile.
They know that the power of a person in the agency world is how close their relationship is with their client.
The closer the relationship the more bullet proof they are. If you fire them you may have a rumble or two or start the end of the client relationship.
The other surprising thing that young people want in a changing world that they are better at adapting to than you is what is your plan for them. Yes where are they going to be in six months and a year from now?
The ironic thing is that agencies that preach planning and discipline and vision don’t provide that for their employees. Fun times sure. Mission statements sure. Platitudes a plenty but no plan for them and everybody wants to know where they are going or they may eventually go to find it elsewhere. Your agency’s low single digit raises and company parties aren’t a compelling reason to stay in the end.
You see the biggest mistake agency principles make is that they treat their employees as employees.
In reality they are the core of your business and as a wise agency leader once said my assets ride up and down the elevator every day. I want to make sure they come back.
One day your young talent may walk out the door and you and your clients will miss them.
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Watch a Video called Why Young People Shouldn’t Try to Get a Job.