Why skills don't stay.
The story of training oneself and staying up to date with most trends and strategies is a story of continuous practice, creativity and more often than not departures. Skilled employees are fast movers and quick thinkers. They don't waste time.
I wasn't born a skilled digitalist.
A few years into my career I joined a marketing agency for the first time in my life. The agency had a team of highly qualified marketers. They all had they Google certifications too. I felt really uneasy. I was coming from a client-side position. They all knew much more than me about digital marketing. So I worked hard to build a solid knowledge.
- I took notes of every marketing solutions I came across so I could understand the reasoning and be able to do the same. I was eager to learn.
- Google became my best friend. I spent hours researching settings, troubleshooting and reading educational content. I learnt a lot! And I still do.
- I joined online communities like MOZ, inbound, Reddit too. I reached out to experts online to build my understanding of digital marketing.
The more I learnt, the more obvious it became that I was the only person in the agency who was actively building new knowledge. I soon became the person to go to for all technical marketing queries. At first it was flattering. Then it became a daily habit. The queries represented interruptions in my working day, sometimes up to 80% of my time was spent on sorting out other people's work.
More importantly it highlighted an alarming fact: I wasn't learning anything from the team.
The work wasn't fair.
Between 70%-80% of my week was wasted in various queries, questions and 'oh please can you have a look at this if you've got a minute'. I tried to make it clear that I couldn't work on my own tasks when I was interrupted all the time. Would you believe me if I told you it didn't work at all? I wasn't the team player they hoped for. I was looked at like an asocial creature when all I was trying to do was racing time to finish my own work.
I didn't understand my colleagues. If I learnt, why couldn't they? Of course it was obvious: they didn't because I did it for them.
I wasn't valued.
Let me make things clear. I was stressed out of my mind. I was working well over contracted hours and I didn't even get any sense of achievement from it. Instead I was getting tired and hugely demotivated. To give you an example of my daily work, I used to receive emails like this all the time:
The client wants to know how the campaign is performing. I've given you access to the account. Can you report on it please? I don't know how to.'
The agency had weekly performance meetings where shared what they were working on. Not once did I hear anybody thanking me for my help. But they gladly accepted the compliments they received for it though.
I was bored.
I was interested in plenty of projects and ideas. But I never got to work on any of them. They were always handed to the colleagues who had time to work on it. That is to say the colleagues who shared their workload with me.
In the absence of creative and intellectual challenges I grew bored and disinterested. There was no reward to my stress.
It was old-fashioned.
I am a digital marketer. I engage with businesses online. I only need a laptop and a secure Wifi connection to work.
I didn't understand why I needed to commute to the office to do something that I could have done much better and faster at home. Without mentioning my fast broadband, I knew that I wouldn't suffer from annoying interruptions at home.
I didn't understand why I had to be seen sitting at my desk for my manager to know I was working.
I didn't understand why I had fixed hours when I wasn't scheduled in any meetings and call conferences.
I didn't understand why I had to be working at the same desk, with a depressing view of the wall every day.
The touch of modernism in the agency was brought by a fancy Nespresso machine they bought for the client meeting room. The workplace structure was the same than my parents would have experienced in the 1970's.
I'm not an exception.
UK turnover rates are predicted to rise to 18% by 2018. This represents over one million quitters compared to 2012.
Organisations now have to work harder to retain the talent they have.
And this is done with smart talent management solutions to understand the best proposition for your employees and to modernize workplace structure to satisfy the demand of a newer generation of talent.