On 7 November 2015 we celebrated the fabulous James Curtis-Bean serving 10 years at Town Square, an amazing achievement.
Aside from a celebratory shindig, James’ milestone gave us cause to ponder how many people have spent considerable time as part of the Town Square team.
When we compared the length of tenure at Town Square against the national average, we were pretty chuffed with the results.
James and I have more than 10 years service. And we have a number of other people with pretty handy time at the crease.
More than 37% of our team have been with us for more than eight years. We’ve got a couple coming up for seven years, and another 13% have racked up five years.
And if you are thinking this make us a bunch of more mature types, think again. Two of our eight-year veterans are yet to celebrate their 30th birthdays!
So why does this matter?
And does longevity of staff make us stale?
We sense our clients like consistency and don’t fancy repeating themselves every moment their key contact changes.
And while we have a healthy proportion of people serving long terms, we still have loads of new talent coming through the door to keep us fresh.
So what allows us to buck the industry trend and celebrate tenure that simply doesn’t occur at most agencies?
We think it’s all about being an employer of choice.
Alex Goddard heads Town Square’s employer of choice initiative.
He has spent considerable time researching what makes employees feel satisfied and what keeps them loyal to their current employer. So we spent a few moments picking his brain.
Town Square: What does it mean to be an employer of choice?
Alex Goddard: It means you have a company whose employees feel engaged and are given ownership in what they do.
TS: What are the benefits in having staff with a long tenure?
AG: I believe the biggest two are the build-up of a deep understanding of our client’s business and objectives.
Not only do many of our employees have a long tenure, so do many of our clients.
It’s through these longstanding relationships that a trust and knowledge base is built. Also, one of the KPIs for a healthy workplace culture and being an employer of choice is a low staff turnover. So it’s a good sign!
TS: What motivates staff to remain with their employer?
AG: The research all points to trust being the most valuable characteristic of a healthy workplace culture.
Trust in the leadership, and the employees feeling trusted by their managers to make their own decisions.
Just like in any relationship, along with trust there needs to be a match of values and principles between employees and the leaders.
This can be through charity work and afflictions, through to how business decisions are made during the normal running of the agency.
TS: What tactics can be employed to improve staff tenure?
AG: There are many!
There are the niceties of workplace massages and team building events.
But I believe that the most effective tactics, long-term, are regular and open communication between all employees and departments – top-down, side-to-side, and bottom-up.
It’s vital that there’s an open forum which all staff feel they contribute to and where their voice matters.