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How Your Agency Can Respond to ‘The Great Resignation’

great resignation

It’s a topic that’s causing a stir in the employment world, but The Great Resignation is important to understand if your agency is to thrive during this fast-changing time.

At Design Force, we practice successful strategies to grow as a business. So in this article, we’re diving into what The Great Resignation is, how you can avoid losing your talented designers, and what you can do if you’re faced with reduced staff in times of need.

What is The Great Resignation?

In August of 2020, a record 4.3 million Americans quit their jobs, as noted by CNBC

Starting in 2019 and later propelled by the COVID-19 pandemic, this mass ”walkout” has led to what’s now referred to as The Great Resignation. 

Essentially, it’s the term given to the huge rise in Americans (and those around the world) leaving their jobs in search of something new. 

Why the sudden quit?

There are many reasons, but the main ones, according to IRMI, “are increased options and freedom of choice for workers.”.

But if you’re a high capacity design agency, this ‘revolution’ isn’t something you’ll likely want to be faced with. It’s important to prepare yourself for the potential effects it could have on your business. 

How to respond to employee resignation 

If this is affecting you and your agency right now, you’re not alone. But it’s time to look inward, and assess. 

To start with, what reasons are causing your employees to quit? 

Let’s look at some possibilities:

  • You’re not offering remote/flexible working 

A survey by Indeed found that 45% of workers quit because their employer wasn’t offering remote working options. Whether you’re a fan of the model or not, more people than ever are understanding the importance of work/life balance, and if you’re not leaning into this, you risk losing talent. 

  • Their priorities have shifted

Much like the above point, since the pandemic, many have had a shift in perspective. This change in environment has sparked a need for fulfilment outside of the workplace, through pursuing passions or spending time with family.

These are just two, but there could be a whole host of reasons as to why your employees are joining the mass-quit movement. If you are able to, the best way to find out why someone wants to leave (or is leaving) is to ask them.

When your employees do resign, what can you do? 

Aside from thanking them for their ongoing service and respecting their decision, you can implement changes to your agency to avoid this from happening again and again. 

Let’s look at some options:

  • Introduce remote/flexible working 

Of course, the best way to counteract employees leaving because they can’t work from home if they need to (due to child care issues for example), is to offer it. 

Not only does this increase morale and loyalty between employer and employee (you prove that you trust them to complete the work when not in the office), but it allows you to extend your talent pool to states, or even countries, outside of your location. 

In our ebook, How to Run a Remote Team Like a Pro, we dive deep into this topic. Sharing with you our tried and tested ways to garner strong relationships with your team members in a remote setting. 

According to Blue Face, remote working will compete with office locations as a primary work method by 2025. And as this research was done before the pandemic, we predict this could happen even earlier. 

What’s more, a 2-year study by Great Place to Work® (on over 800,000 employees at Fortune 500 companies), found that many reported “stable or even increased productivity levels after employees started working from home.”.

If you’re not yet on board with this way of working, what’s holding you back? 

  • Increase salaries

It may feel counter-intuitive to increase your expenses during an unsettled time, but studies from Indeed found that many workers are seeking out roles that offer higher wages, on top of remote opportunities. 

If you can introduce lucrative paychecks (or even shares or equity in your agency) you’ll encourage your teams to stay longer, with increased loyalty and feelings of appreciation for their efforts.

  • Reward great work

The best way to retain the design talent you already have is to recognize just that: their talent. 

In the Design Force team, we recognize that employee appreciation is key. One of the ways we do this is by sharing the company profits among the team, ranging from 25-35%. This means that many can often double their monthly salary, which is a powerful incentive to stick around.

  • Focus on creating a great company culture

As we discuss in the ebook, it’s vital that you provide opportunities for social interaction outside of your agency staff’s day to day role. 

For us at Design Force, we’ve implemented socials, hosting weekly, monthly and quarterly events for our teams (based all over the world) to come together and celebrate their successes. 

Not only does this encourage team members, but it provides space for them to bond as a community, strengthening communication company-wide. 

The antidote to The Great Resignation: Outsourcing

If you’ve found yourself in a position where you’ve lost designers within your agency and are struggling to find talent to replace them, don’t panic. 

Even if you practice the solutions we mentioned above, there may be reasons outside of your control that led to your team members resigning. Forbes cited that many Americans have simply had a change in perspective due to the pandemic, and want to try out new things or focus on hobbies and their families.

But as an agency, you’ll know that regardless of staff numbers reducing, deadlines still need to be met. So what can you do?

Look for on-demand designers, like us at Design Force.

Our world-class designers can be on hand with zero risk. Our trusted subscription-based model has become a go-to solution for high-quality outsourced design for agencies and companies the world over.

Say yes to more projects, deliver work at a faster pace, and increase your profits, with designers that are thriving in a remote working environment.

Interested? Book a demo today.

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