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Liz Nottingham

Wellbeing, Staff Engagement & The Importance of a Strong Culture

  • by Liz Nottingham
  • 11 Aug 2016

Liz Nottingham is a Media & Advertising HR Director. We are thrilled to bring you the first of a series of blogs from her over the next few weeks. Liz’s achievements are vast: she established a number of market-leading Learning & Development initiatives, founded ground-breaking campaigns like Back2Businessship and gained unrivalled industry recognition for SMG from the likes of the IPA, Mumsnet and The Sunday Times Top 100 Places and Best Companies to Work listing.

The next time you find yourself sitting with the senior management rolling their eyes as you talk about the relevance of wellbeing, staff engagement, the importance of a strong culture, careers and learning and development, here are some hard facts and data to support you with a values driven discussion around the importance of the senior team signing up to a people strategy.

If you are reading this thinking this has nothing to do with you, please get hold of a pen and a piece of paper and roughly calculate the following:- How many people left your business at these three levels:- 1. Low (entry level) 2. Mid (management) 3. High level (senior folk) And what was the average basic salary for each of these levels.

Now get your calculator out and multiply the number of people and the average salary by 1. 30-50% for entry level 2. 150% for the mid level 3. 200-400% for the senior level

My finance friends calculate it takes between 20 weeks to 7 months for a new joiner to achieve full productivity. So think of the impact on your teams, your agency and your clients. All that loss of knowledge, training, cost of hiring and replacing cost and time just walking out of the door.

They have also calculated the true cost of turnover for media and advertising to be £184m. Just think how more profitable we could be as an industry if we reduced that figure by just 10%!

And to make your eyes water just that little bit more, if we take a look at the bigger picture of the IT and tech industries the true cost of turnover is calculated at a staggering 1.9 billion!

Even if you don't agree with the numbers, and folk often deny these to be true, at least do your true cost of turnover calculation to see the size of the prize. And work out what to do from there. The financial facts can not be ignored. And if you don't like the number, reduce it! Either way it is an unnecessary loss of hard earned cash.

I've always been an advocate of finding out why people stay with you, rather than investing copious hours with the ones who are leaving. Combine the leaver trends with the stay trends and cook up a plan from their. Wellbeing will be a part of that solution and you have many options to explore.

Businesses often say to me that they want some churn. Of course. Churn is good. But it depends on who is leaving and which ones we want to retain.

If you have not already done so, top and tail your talent base; who are the ones you need to keep and who are the ones you need to manage to drive performance or part company with.

Business begins and end with recruitment. If we start with the front door, take a look to see how robust and diverse your hiring is. How skilled are your line managers at spending your cash on key investments in people? When you buy a house you conduct a survey. What checks and balances are in place to make sure you purchase the right people? Looking closely at who joins you will also positively contribute to the bottom line. The negative impact is great when you have to say good bye.

All managers and leaders need to make the right people investments and manage and protect these assets very carefully. To neglect this commercial agenda has far reaching consequences for teams, clients, profitability and reputation.

So, take some time to think about these action points and see what you can implement:

1. Get out the calculator and work out how much churn has cost you this calendar year
2. Talk to your people and find out why they stay with you.
3. Dial up and promote all the good stuff you do you can't communicate enough
4. Train all of your hiring managers in how to recruit the right person

To get in touch with Liz or find out more you can contact her here.

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