There’s a whole lot of conversation happening right now about The Great Resignation or The Great Reshuffle – whatever you call it, employee’s expectations are changing and they’re ready to make the call if their workplaces aren’t stepping up to the plate.
How can PR departments and agencies not only attract the best talent in a candidates market, but keep the staff they do have engaged, happy and on-board? We’ve rounded up some of the best ways to keep your PR employees engaged.
Communicate your inclusivity, diversity and sustainability goals
PwC found that 65% of people across China, Germany, India, the UK and the US want to work for an organisation with a strong social conscience – and that report was published before the pandemic really accelerated these trends (The Guardian). Employees want to work with brands that have a clear stance on inclusivity, diversity and sustainability, even if they aren’t quite there yet. Communicating where you’re at on your sustainability journey and walking that walk can have a significant impact on your attraction and retention strategies.
One of the industries that’s causing significant brain drain from communications and PR is the tech industry, particularly fintech and ecommerce. Not only are these industries able to pay the big bucks, but they focus on operationalising the hard slog and ensure their employees are working on activities that bring value to the business. These lessons can be applied to the fashion, lifestyle and homewares industries too – brands who embrace technology are more likely to retain their staff because instead of spending time doing the grunt work, team members are able to work with technology to ensure they are spending their time on more fulfilling activities.
Teach them the skills to succeed in 2022 (read: data)
Not only will upskilling your team help them feel like you’re investing in them, it’ll make them better at what they do – it’s a win-win. And the one thing they should be learning in 2022? How to read, interpret and use data. According to a study by Forrester, “decision-makers and employees in every department consider basic data skills the single most important skill needed to drive employee success. By 2025, nearly 70% of employees are expected to use data heavily in their jobs, nearly doubling since 2018” (Fast Company).
The other skill that will stand PRs in good stead in 2022 is understanding search engine optimisation. Understanding the importance of keywords when pitching to digital publications helps the editors, but also ultimately helps clients to drive traffic back to their websites – which is where trackable conversions happen. Get the basics on SEO for PRs here.
Understand who they are as people
It took a global pandemic, but hustle culture is no longer as appealing as it once was. Organisations are now starting to introduce benefits like period leave, mental health leave and volunteering days. Some organisations are starting to lobby for leave for things like miscarriage and pregnancy loss, for example Kin Fertility’s #weneedmoreleave movement. With so many women in the PR space, advocating and offering leave for real issues affecting women is a great way to help those in your business feel like you understand them as a whole person.
Introverts vs extroverts
Not everyone in the office loves those after work drinks – or even being in the office at all for that matter. We all work differently, and employees know the environments where they are likely to get the most done. Not to say that your whole team shouldn’t be together for important events and to foster brainstorming and innovation, but consider whether a Friday afternoon drinks is the best way to generate a sense of camaraderie.
Turn to your team on tools
Your people are following your internal processes day in and day out – and so are best placed to identify if there are any gaps! Ask your team to identify tools, inefficiencies or processes they want to improve – and let them improve them. Give a specific team member the power to champion change around a particular process and support them to make improvements to the way your team works.
Recognise great work
A survey by the WorkHuman Research Institute found that 86% of employees feel happier at work when they are recognised. Think about how you’re telling your team they are doing a great job – and make sure you’re telling them often. At Flaunter, we have a Slack channel that’s dedicated to #wins – big or small, our team are encouraged to share what they’ve achieved and the rest of the team celebrates these wins.