Creative LeadershipCreativity

Leaders: What’s with all the Turnover in Your Communications and Media Departments?

Why long term employees can do breakthrough work...

Over and over, when I work with churches and nonprofits doing amazing work in communications, media, and marketing, there’s almost always a common trait: very little employee turnover.

In case after case, these organizations have created an environment where people are challenged, but thrive. In many cases of teams with long-term members, they have worked together for years, and sometimes decades.

But with most organizations, turnover is pretty high, and with some, it’s literally a challenge to keep up with who’s who from month to month.

I met with a producer for one of the largest and most effective media ministries in the country just last week. He told me he’d been on the team for 29 years! Shortly after, I meet with a church producer who’s worked with 5 different churches in the last seven years.

Granted, there are some who have stayed in one job too long and developed stale, out of date ideas and techniques. And there’s certainly no shame in moving around to find better opportunities.

But here’s something to consider:

When you get the chemistry right on your team, talented people want to stay. In many cases, they’ll turn down other offers for more money, just to be in a creative, growing culture.

The question is: How much thought have you put into building a creative culture? It’s not just about tossing out the cubicles, or putting in a coffee bar, it’s about building an inspiring workplace where people want to stay for the long term.

Perhaps you’ve thought that making the effort isn’t worth it. But it’s also worth noting that when turnover drops, so does the cost of finding and training new employees, creating new payroll and insurance plans, onboarding new people, and working out the new dynamics with everyone else on the team.

Employee turnover hurts everyone. That’s why you can’t put a value on creating the kind of culture that makes talented people want to stay, grow, and flourish.

Photo by Hamza NOUASRIA on Unsplash

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  1. That’s an incredible formula for success, Phil! I’d also add to treat your team members as real people and not as work machines. So many new managers come in and kill a successful team because they see the team as merely an expendable work horse. All people wish to be treated like they matter and make a difference.

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