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  • Ricardo Escobar

10 Tips For Talent Retention in Design Firms

There is great competition among companies in New England to incorporate the most qualified professionals into their ranks. In this article, learn about the most efficient practices to retain the best human talent in your design firm.

10 Tips For Talent Retention in Design Firms

We know that, to a great extent, the success of a company is determined by its human capital. In this sense, it is essential for organizations to place special emphasis on attracting and retaining the best human talent. However, there are not a few companies that lose sight of this fact and end up seeing their best collaborators leave.


If an organization wants to avoid the flight of its best workers, it must consider the following aspects:


1) Strengthen corporate culture


The reason why companies like Google are so attractive to young professionals is that they have an attractive company culture. The values ​​of an organization are increasingly appreciated and can become the reason why a professional decides to join an institution. Many firms in New England have increased their employers count by 30 percent after the pandemic depression, therefore the office culture could be totally new or awkward, as a directive or leader of your firm, you have to make sure to welcome the new employees to a new, safe and healthy space. Also don't forget the people that still working with you even before the pandemic, is totally different to manage 10 people than managing 40-50 people in a studio based architectural firm.


2) Loyalty to collaboration - BE A MENTOR


Many successful human resource management companies share the philosophy that the employee is actually an internal customer. Therefore, it is important to build loyalty through training, remuneration, good treatment, mentorship, etc. Make sure you appreciate and valuated your employees work, do not just tell them that you care about them, but you have to show it off. When we hear the idea of mentor is always coming from the high positions, but in a collaboration studio, can new crew members or younger members can mentor you? new people and generations brings new perspectives to the table, and by being a person in a position of power, ask yourself what can I mentor them, but also how can I learn from my team?


3) Compensate Professional Growth


Giving employees the opportunity to continue growing professionally in the company is very important to prevent them from deciding to migrate to the competition. It is worth mentioning that stagnation is one of the reasons why many people decide to change jobs. There are many ways to generate incentives to make the employees grow in the business, some firms in the greater Boston area do 2 employees review every year in a very wrong way, separating salary review and Job Position review, treating them like Salary and Job position are 2 completely different things, this a really bad practice that could make your firm lose employees. Overload of work and bad salaries are the worst enemies for professional growth.


You have to understand that this is not the early 2,000s anymore, employees have conversations between them, they compare salaries and PTO, they talk about the workload and they make analysis of either is worthy or not to still in this company. The new generations are aware that the cost of living is not fully compensated by a Design Position in New England, so how you company can become a resource of growth?


4) Recognize the achievements of collaborators


An organization should not fail to recognize the achievements of its workers, whether through monetary compensation, recognition programs, awards, etc.


5) Build a good work environment


The work environment is a determining factor in achieving maximum worker satisfaction and performance. Hire Team players and become a team player. Remember that architecture firms are surrounded by constant stress factors, deadlines, RFIs, CDs, Permits and adding to that a non communicative boss or a bad communicator is a really bad combo.


A good work environment is made by good illumination, design equipment, ergonomic furniture, and private spaces for wellness. If you make sure your employees have this tools needed to a good job, you have to add good communication and team evolvement. Some Directors think that they are capable to al the task by themselves, but evolving other people to learn can also create a healthy environment of interdependence, where all the parties work together but are independent from each other.


6) Encourage leadership


Taking on leadership roles can help some people feel like an important part of the company. In addition, it is a way to train leaders who could take on executive positions in the business in the future. If you are a Director, invite a project manager to a board meeting, if you are a project manager invite a senior designer to different coordination meeting, if you a senior invite the junior drafter to you schematic design meetings.


If you are the only one in your firm that can do something, encourage other people to join and learn.


7) Create new challenges - RESPONSIBLY


Today's professional is attracted by challenges. Therefore, it is necessary to keep employees motivated by creating challenges that help them develop professionally. Most firms nowadays are receiving a ridiculous amount of projects, as a directive you have to choose the right projects that will encourage and motivate your team to keep growing. Do not be afraid of turning down typical projects that might not be a significant addition to your portfolio, pic the one that is challenge for you and your team to expand their competences.


8) Use feedback


Constructive criticism contributes to the development and evolution of a person's skills. DO NOT BE DESTRUCTIVE. The error of an individual of you team is an error of all the firm!


Do not focus on who did what! and use the time that you will use blaming or shaming someone and focus it on finding a solution. Older generations are used to intimidation and conflict, but new generations are about learning from mistakes and solving as soon as possible. It takes a great leader to build a team that can spot their own mistakes and fix them assertively.


9) Generate good communication


Maintaining good communication between the leaders of a company and its collaborators is very important not only to ensure good performance, but also to generate trust and commitment.


10) Make each collaborator feel important


No collaborator should feel that their work is superfluous in the company or that it is less important.

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