Our New York team, Maximum Management/Frazer Jones, launched their first HR in Media Breakfast Roundtable at The Lafayette on September 22nd. The roundtable was attended by 12 HR Leaders from across the Media industry, ranging from start-ups to large highly matrixed entities and advertising to marketing and communications and publishing. Topics raised and discussed by the group entailed strategies for engaging Millennials and developing retention strategies in an industry where turnover is high.
There was a clear consensus that transparent communication, innovative employee programs supporting work/life balance and managers who are willing to offer lots of developmental challenges and constructive feedback are key ingredients to engaging Millennial employees. A new challenge for some was Millennial managers and how attrition of teams beneath them seemed to be higher. HR Leaders are establishing programs and coaching methods to successfully support this transition. Many of our participants discussed innovative programs that they’re launching to create work/life balance for all their employees to drive retention. Offering employees a high level of professional development and coaching is easiest in small, privately held entities, but becomes more complex as these organizations scale up.
A collective sigh of relief was breathed as our HR executive participants shared that challenges they’re facing are often driven by industry competition, services are offered to clients at a lower cost to win work, but quality and expeditious delivery of services has to be maintained, and cheaper services means less revenue and often under resourced teams. This has created a pressure cooker situation in which employees are often overworked, have no time to take advantage of T&D programs which often leads to them leaving. This is often coupled with the fact that the industry can have a history of quickly terminating staff in the face of account losses, employee loyalty and trust has vanished and employees depart at the first signs of trouble, anticipating a repeat of historic industry layoffs and restructurings.
The most successful strategies for employee retention seemed to be in organizations where management attention and commitment to professional development was high, i.e. strong inspirational leadership and great development opportunities.
Our New York team will continue to run HR in Media Breakfast Roundtables throughout 2017. If you’re a media industry HR Executive who would be interested in participating in this program, please reach out to any of the contacts below.