In the next six months all companies are going to experience an extremely challenging time. Particularly those with young, ambitious members of the team that feel they have just lost a year or arguably two of salary, promotions and bonuses, regardless of the realities of the recession, they feel aggrieved.
Media, digital and advertising agencies are prime examples of companies where managing the staff costs has been paramount, they represent half the cost in the business, more in some cases. The last year has seen different agencies deal with their cost bases in many different ways. Some have been able to manage with some light redundancies and a little voluntary, others have had to take pay cuts and heavy redundancies. The niceties have been removed, the taxis, the lunches etc and everyone has been asked to work that much harder in return. Most people have obliged, in the main out of fear.
Now we are in what we hope to be a slow but steady return to the good old days everyone feels better, but along the way it is going to be exceptionally bumpy. Many agency chiefs are now sitting on an army of disgruntled employees, PricewaterhouseCoopers believe up to 30%, all ready to jump ship at the first sign of a decent job offer and promotion, the promotion they have been stopped from receiving over the last 18 months.
This is not the fault necessarily of the individuals in management, in many cases there is little they can do, they had to manage the numbers although some may have handled their individual situations better than others. I think the testing times will come now as to how we manage the exit from recession. How companies reconnect with their employees, that will be down to management and the steps they take.
It’s critical agencies do this because the end result if PricewaterhouseCoopers is correct (http://bit.ly/4LieSw) will be clients seeing a revolving door of people on their accounts, the continuity on the accounts falls apart and suddenly you have a client feeling a little disgruntled themselves.
So it’s probably about now that everyone needs to have a look at their teams and start to ask themselves honestly – just exactly how many people have I pissed off?