Illuminating the “why” behind the “what”
Employee Retention in the Great Resignation

Laura Proctor in Management
0 min read

The Doe-Anderson team lives for experiences that allow us to go into the wilderness at our 100-plus-year-old agency. In fact, it’s one of our three agency values, inspiring our team members to explore new frontiers and fresh thinking eagerly and earnestly. We quite literally never stop growing and challenging ourselves.

Although, it’s safe to say that living in a pandemic has challenged us all in ways we probably never imagined. Like many, our team members have spent the last two years balancing their dedication to high-quality work while juggling personal lives just off camera (cue my dog barking). It’s an unsustainable task we all just keep sustaining because there isn’t another way. Here at Doe, it’s been a perfect balance (or perhaps tension) of our other two values – the ability to carry the water and strive for exceptional work, balanced with our value of being one with the ant and the anteater and bringing empathy into all situations.

I’m proud of the way our team has embraced this situation. The work has been top-notch, but we recognize this hasn’t come without pain points, which brings us to yet another era of wilderness exploration for our agency. 

The Great Resignation

The Great Resignation (A.K.A. The Big Quit) has taught us that the pandemic changed the way talent thinks about the working world, not just at Doe-Anderson but everywhere. Gone are the days where employee worth is defined by the number of hours spent in an office, at a desk, side by side with peers. Gone are the days of being forced to choose a healthy career over a healthy personal life. And gone are the days where your job was your life and identity, not just a part of it. Every organization should be rethinking employee retention strategies.

COVID-19 killed any previous notion that our personal “Why” was secondary to our personal “What.” All the sudden, we aren’t bragging so much about what we do. Instead, we’re focusing on why we do it. There’s a greater desire and expectation for flexible work arrangements and balance as people seek even more personal enrichment. And if we can’t figure out how to better align the “Why” and “What” for our teams, we’re done – or at least they’re done with us.

Some may look at this era as self-centered, all about me. What can my job do for me? Why am I doing this if it doesn’t fulfill me? But there’s a better, more inspired narrative out there. Personal fulfillment fuels better work. Personal fulfillment improves employee retention and motivation. And in our creative industry, personal fulfillment fuels more inspired and effective work.

Leaning on feedback from our industry, peers and internal teams, we realized there is a huge amount of potential in exploring a work environment that provides exactly what talent is asking for – more opportunities to find personal fulfillment, more inspiration and more flexibility. Does it feel risky? Yes. Will it be worth it? We’re willing to bet it will.

Doe-Anderson is proud to announce several new and evolved benefits aimed at providing more flexibility and support for our team.

Flex Work Policy

The office is a hugely valuable resource for our teams, but an in-office presence is not always required for high-performing work. The pandemic taught us that insightful and effective work can be done remotely. At the same time, we also recognize that face-to-face collaboration is vital to developing high-performing teams and strong organizational culture.

Doe-Anderson’s Flex Work Policy gives employees the power to decide when they need to be in the office and lets them come and go as they please based on the needs and goals of their clients, their team and their individual work. 

We are convinced this flexible work arrangement will not only allow us to maintain our elevated level and quality of work and quality of life but also improve on both. 

Work From Anywhere

While our Flex Work Policy asks employees to be available to facilitate in-person meetings whenever they’re best, we recognize our industry is heavily dependent upon creativity, energy and inspiration. Some of us yearn to enrich our lives outside screens to seek more face-to-face connections and immersive cultural experiences. Others may want to visit family members across the country or world that they haven’t been able to see as often as they would like. And all of us want to continue to grow and be inspired.

Doe-Anderson employees who have been with the company for at least one year will now be eligible to work from any Wi-Fi accessible city or country for up to four weeks annually.

Our hope is that employees will seek opportunities to better themselves that might have felt too far-fetched in our pre-pandemic world. Perhaps it’s finding inspiration via a museum tour across Europe in the evenings or taking your kids for a week to recharge with out-of-town grandparents. We’re certain this time will allow us to learn more about ourselves, each other and the world and certainly expect those experiences to benefit our work.

Agency Recharge Weeks

Employees at all levels of our agency have experienced burnout over the last two years. The instability of the pandemic, blend of work and home boundaries and adoption of new ways of working can be exhausting. We are committed to helping employees find balance both in their day-to-day roles and our agency operations.

In support of employee health, rest, inspiration sourcing and future productivity, Doe-Anderson encourages employees to utilize vacation time. We also recognize that in our industry, it can be challenging to completely unplug as coworkers and peers continue to work around us.

In support of providing employees with time to fully recharge, Doe-Anderson will close our offices for one week in the middle of the summer and one week at the end of the year.

Employees are encouraged to use this time to mentally refresh, be inspired and come back creatively charged to drive the next big idea forward.

Parental Leave

Doe-Anderson has long held a culture that supports family flexibility, encouraging employees to accommodate important family events. With our adaptation of policies, it seemed natural to evaluate our parental leave policy.

We know that providing paid parental leave can lead to increased productivity and improved morale. It also offers employees the opportunity to care for and bond with a newborn or newly adopted child, as well as tend to necessary healing associated with childbirth.

Doe-Anderson has expanded our parental leave policy to offer 12 weeks of paid leave for primary parents and four weeks of paid leave for secondary parents to support the birth of an employee’s own child or the placement of a child with the employee in connection with adoption or foster care.

Our hope is that this additional support decreases stress and anxiety at a time of great transition. Our team will be ready to welcome new parents back when they’re ready.

What’s Next?

As a former account leader, watching a big idea come to life for a client was always my favorite part of the job. I feel that same pride helping this big idea come to life for our team. Doe-Anderson has a long history of successful adaptation for clients and brands. Expanding our benefits is demonstrative of what we do every day, building belief through powerful insights. These are cultural shifts, built upon the data we are seeing and hearing every day from our team and so many others across the country. 

Empathetic and thoughtful leadership takes courage, especially at a time when no one has a proven path forward. But our team believes that taking risk encourages innovation; it’s one of the ways we’re still here after 100 years. I’m sure we have not finished this conversation, but the Doe team is certainly starting strong. Here’s to more balanced teams and more inspired work. We hope you’ll join us!

Interested in learning more? Get in touch!

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