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The Three Fs of Agency Employee Retention: Finances, Friction, and Flexibility

Are you finding it hard to keep your employees around, or simply curious about what can keep your top talent employees at your agency for a long time? As a marketing or creative agency, you know that employee retention is key to the success of your agency. And while many factors contribute to keeping your employees happy and engaged, today we’re going to focus on the three Fs: finances, friction, and flexibility. 

1. Finances 

Money is always a significant factor in employee retention, and to keep your employees from jumping ship, you need to ensure you’re providing them with enough money to stay afloat. No one wants to feel like they’re constantly one paycheck away from disaster, and employees will be more likely to stay with a company that offers some measure of financial security. Historically, employees will leave your agency for about 20% higher pay. Therefore, employees will go elsewhere if you can’t afford to pay them fairly or what they’re worth. 

So how do you know what to pay your team? It depends on the job. But a good place to start is by looking at current listings on, which has salary data for a wide range of jobs. You can also use specialized salary calculators like to estimate more accurately. 

Additionally, make sure your employees are aware of their financial situation. Help them understand the basics of how their take-home pay is calculated, such as what benefits and taxes are deducted. You could also partner with a financial advisor to do an educational seminar on retirement planning or tax savings to make this information more accessible. This will help them stay aware of their financial situation and keep them from feeling overwhelmed. 

Here are a few financial tips on how to make sure that your employees feel financially appreciated – and stay with your company: 

Offer Competitive Salaries

As I mentioned earlier, paying your employees what they’re worth is essential. You should make sure their salaries are within an acceptable range based on similar job descriptions out in the market.

For example, if you have a senior employee responsible for overseeing a team of junior employees, you should pay them more than someone who is simply responsible for their work. This will demonstrate to your senior staff that you value their experience and expertise and will help keep them with your agency for the long term.

You may also provide training and development opportunities to your staff to upskill them and advance to a higher-paying role within the agency, as well as offset the cost that employees would otherwise pay for the same learning opportunity outside of work.

Offer Benefits and Bonuses

How you pay your employees can vary depending on whether they work in an office, are part of a hybrid team, or work remotely. One thing to remember is that remote employees can be a little harder to retain than those who work in an office. This is because they may feel isolated or disconnected from the rest of the team.  

If you’re having trouble retaining your remote employees, consider offering them benefits and bonuses. This can include health insurance, 401(k) plans, paid vacation days, performance bonuses, and other financial perks, such as matching retirement contributions or flexible spending accounts. When it comes to employee retention, finances are key.  Ensure you are competitive with other agencies in terms of pay and benefits.

A woman with headphones is drinking some coffee while doing her final tasks for the night

2. Friction 

Of course, money isn’t everything; the second F is Friction. Friction can be a significant factor in employee retention. Nobody wants to work in a hostile or antagonistic environment. If there is too much friction among employees, it can quickly drive people away. 

Believe it or not, even something as simple as the tools your employees use can cause friction. If they’re using outdated or inefficient software, it can make their job more difficult and time-consuming. They might also not like working on certain types of clients or projects. Do everything you can to reduce the friction in their day-to-day work.

Offering a monthly stipend for internet or at-home technology can help make the job more financially appealing while also reducing friction. Here are some other specific ways to reduce friction for your employees: 

  • Use apps that they like. If your employees use apps they don’t like or are inefficient, they will be frustrated. Make sure you’re using apps that make their lives easier, not harder. 
  • Collaborate with them on projects that interest them. Nobody wants to work on projects they hate all day long. Allow your employees to work on projects that interest them whenever possible. 
  • Consider your agency’s use of timesheets. If your employees have to spend hours filling out timesheets, that will create friction. Make sure your agency is good at timesheets and make the process as painless as possible for your team. However, if your agency isn’t good at timesheets and isn’t willing to invest the time or resources to track time effectively, consider eliminating the practice altogether.

There are many other ways to reduce friction in the workplace, and it’s essential to find what works best for your employees. Try using apps like Asana or Trello to keep track of projects and deadlines. Let your employees have input on their preferred computers, software, and tools. And most importantly, listen to their feedback! If they have suggestions on how to make their job easier, take them seriously.

Make it a practice as an employer to check in on your employees regularly and solicit ideas on improving  their current condition. Creating a positive work environment where employees feel comfortable taking risks and voicing their opinions can help reduce friction and increase loyalty.

 A man working on his laptop while using his home phone

3. Flexibility  

The final F in the three Fs of employee retention is flexibility. Employees need to feel like they have some control over their lives outside of work. They need to feel like they can balance their work with their personal lives without too much difficulty. This can be a challenge for agencies, but there are ways to make it easier for employees. For example, offering flexible hours or remote working options can help employees feel more in control of their lives and make them less likely to leave. 

Employees today want flexibility in their jobs and are not afraid to move on if they don’t get it. Are your employees able to take time off when they need it? Can they attend their child’s soccer games, or do they regularly have to work late? If not, you may need to start offering these benefits. Most people these days value flexibility over anything else when it comes to their job. And if you can’t provide it, they’ll find a job that does.  

To increase retention, you need to be willing to reasonably accommodate your employees’ needs, whether allowing them to work from home occasionally or taking advantage of flextime policies. Offering the option to work remotely, compressed hours, or job sharing can go a long way in retaining talented employees. 

A woman stretching during her work break.

The Bottom Line 

Employees are the lifeblood of any organization, and retaining top talent is essential to any company’s success. To keep your best employees from jumping ship, you need to offer them something they can’t find at another agency. You need to make sure that your agency can offer them a promising financial future, minimal friction in their workday, and the flexibility to balance their work with the rest of their lives.  

I hope you found this information helpful and that it provides you with some ideas on how to retain your agency employees. At Chris Hervochon, CPA, LLC, we are always looking for ways to improve our agency and help our clients succeed. Book a discovery call today, and let us show you how our services can help scale your agency.

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