The Two-Year Itch

02 Mar 10:00 by Brianna Paton


Working as a talent consultant and meeting many ambitious young people every day, you do tend to notice a few trends. One I would like to contemplate a little more today. 

Me: So why do you want to leave your current role?  

Candidate: Well it’s been over 2 years and I just think I need a change 

Why is it that we think we need change to continue growing? 

Wouldn’t moving up in your current role also be change, building on what you have spent two years working on to leverage a pay-rise or a promotion? As an employer you would think so, as an employee unfortunately not the case. And yes, you guessed it - this is generational so it’s only going to get worse!

Today, the average person changes jobs ten to fifteen times (with an average of 12 job changes) during his or her career” 

So how do you build a business if your people are wired to want to leave in two years’ time, for no other reason than a change?

The answer: Be the change!

Creating a dynamic work environment tailored to the individual’s stage of life is a way to align the business and their personal/professional goals, therefore keeping them motivated and engaged. 

Think of it as a relationship, they need to change and develop with honest communication over time to continue to grow.

One of my favourite agencies, not going to name name’s but it’s a boutique events agency. Has the highest staff retention I’ve ever seen, and the staff absolutely live for the agency. 

So, what's their secret?

By treating everyone as exactly that - an individual!

When their Events Manager (who had been there for two years’) boyfriend got transferred to Melbourne, did they say well that’s sad off you go – no! They sent her to open the Melbourne office, she was so grateful for their loyalty and open mindedness she worked her arse off to build it to the success that it is today.

When their Account Director fell pregnant did they start recruiting for her mat leave and moving her off the business? No – they hired her a PA/Nanny so she could work from home and be in the office when needed.

When their junior wanted to go back to study one day a week did they bat an eye? No because by her bettering her education she would in turn bring a wealth of knowledge to the agency.

Do you see a trend here? 

People are ever evolving and growing. The trick is creating a business that grows and evolves with them. If you hire the right people and you can accommodate their personal and professional goals they won’t go anywhere – because they won’t need to. Never be afraid to think outside the square when it comes to managing your people because no two are the same.

Adapting your work culture to accommodate your employees’ needs is how you retain them. Work culture is an important factor to our candidates and to the iknowho team. That’s why we’re proud to announce that we’re the founding sponsors of the AdNews People & Culture Award, to celebrate those companies that go above and beyond.

If you would like some more tips on retaining your staff and getting the best out of them by doing the best for them to get in touch with iknowho we are always here to help.