Creatives who work in corporate offices can often be a frustrated bunch. Because their imaginative brains need flexibility and time to conceptualize and brainstorm, they tend to feel stifled by the rigid parameters of business-driven objectives and deadlines. They're also often forced to deal with difficult clients (internal and external) who don't seem to understand or appreciate the creative process.
Such friction may be one reason only 50% of creative workers say they're "mostly satisfied" with their current role and about one-fifth are looking for a new position, according to The BOSS Group's 2014 report of in-house creative services teams.
And the average turnover rate in advertising/public relations/marketing services could be as high as 13%—a full five percentage points higher than other industry averages—an estimate from jobsDB finds.
For any business that employs creatives, those stats should be extremely alarming, as creative talent can be a major differentiator for your brand and turnover can be extremely expensive. The cost to replace an employee (creative or otherwise) is about 20% of an employee's annual salary, which means that hiring a new art director (median annual salary of $95,000) could cost nearly $20,000—money your company could be saving by ensuring your creative employees are happy in the first place.
What can your company do to put an end to the friction and keep your creatives from walking out the door? Here are five essential steps to convincing them to stay.
1. Rein in control freaks and diva clients
Collaborating effectively with other teams across the company is important, but some stakeholders want to be a little too involved. "Squeaky wheel" clients who think their project should always be the top priority can consume precious time and resources and take away from more strategically important work. Unfortunately, their tactics get the desired results: In the majority of assignments, deadline outranks strategic value in priority consideration, studies have found.
Fix: Make it company policy to map all creative projects to strategic objectives and priorities, and require that stakeholders justify their requests against those objectives. Creative briefs can be the perfect place to do this, and they also establish stakeholders' vision up front.
Take the first step (it's free).
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