Both Sides of the Equation

Creative Talent, recruiting, career services

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Having sat in the nexus between employers and talent, we know that there is a lack of communication and growing dissonance between the two. In all my years speaking to creatives, most professionals want the opportunity to grow within the company that they are at, but no matter what they do, they are never seen or heard. We also hear from employers that they want their teams to grow and evolve within their organization but instead, they find that top talent leave unexpectedly.

This of course, is a massive issue. Every manager and business owner knows top talent leaving puts the department and the company in the lurch. Programs, projects, and progress stop. Business loses money and the company has to rehire new talent and start over again. This process takes years and costs a great amount of money. When you lose top talent, the system is interrupted and everything even tangentially connected in the business is affected.

Conversely, more and more professionals are finding themselves struggling with strategically navigating and growing within their career. These days, it is not only about capability. Developing a career involves so much more than just having the right skills and when people don’t have other aspects dialed in, this not only thwarts professional career trajectory, but also affects income and lifestyles.

In creative industries, talent retention is a massive issue for both employers and for creative employees themselves because employers don’t notice the talent within their department, and talent can’t identify the right opportunities to grow within their organization.

Moving talent up to the next level with ease continues to be more difficult than it needs to be for all parties involved – which is ironic given that employers and employees alike share the same goal: the desire for talent to progress within the same corporation.

Janet* was the Program Manager for a major financial institution facing this same issue. She was in charge of identifying new avenues of business for one of their top product lines. Prior to her current position, Janet came from the MBA world. She had been highly successful Digital Director for seven years before entering the industry as a Senior Design Strategist.


At her review, Janet was delivering great results. She was developing and launching new product lines that resulted in opening new channels of business for her company. No one in the company had better credentials.

She was eager to move up to management – and her superiors saw that potential and wanted her to give her steps to progress up to that next level. But after trying various traditional professional development programs, Management still didn't see the improvement that they needed at her next two quarterly reviews. After 2.5 years attempting to progress, Janet didn’t receive the promotion and felt stuck on the corporate ladder.

What the employees and employers fail to realize is that there are two sides to the equation.

Janet researched other ways to unlock the key skills necessary to move up in her company and eventually, she found Thrive by Design for both herself and her employer. Unlike other career development programs she had tried, this seemed like an attractive option because it was customizable and creative-centric. The company saw this too and decided to invest in the TBD program in hopes to not only further Janet’s career but to properly plan ahead.

Once in the program, Janet realized that while she had some strong skills to execute her projects, she was still missing certain design leadership skills. She was an effective individual contributor but she wasn’t connecting to the rest of the team. In fact, she was actually building tension because she didn’t know how to build consensus across divisions.

Through the TBD program, Janet and her company identified what she needed to do to grow professionally to continually support her employer at a higher level in such a way that it truly merited the promotion she was looking for. She and her supervisors identified the unique growth path for her within their company. Soon, Janet saw significant improvement with not only her leadership and management skills, but also with her ability to effectively communicate with people on her team.

Because of this marked improvement in Janet’s leadership & management capabilities, the company finally felt that she had what it took to get to that next level – their years of grooming her for a leadership position paid off! Within the next 4 months, Janet finally won her long-awaited promotion and joined the C-Suite as Managing Director of the design division of the company. Her division has since been yielding fantastic results under her leadership. It was the ideal outcome for both parties.

Having decades of experience in the design industry, not only as a designer but also as a business owner myself, allows me to fully understand each of my client’s goals. We’ve gathered so much expertise and data surrounding the disconnect between talent and employer that I felt compelled to build an executive coaching program to help talent bridge that gap. What sets Thrive By Design apart is that we are able to touch on points that other generic career development programs don't typically address. This 8-module program is designed to identify strengths and weaknesses in your career and find opportunities within and beyond the marketplace.

Talent retention is one of the top issues most employers have. Luckily, the decision for businesses to keep talent and for talent to stay within their company doesn’t have to be a difficult one. Whether it’s restructuring your design teams to reallocate the best talent to the correct initiatives, identifying hidden talent within your team, or cultivating your teams to retain the best, you can't afford to keep guessing at the costly art of maintaining your dream team. Talent today needs to be seen to love where they are working. The job they accepted when they joined you might not fulfill where they are today – are you tapping into their full potential so you’re maximizing on their value for the company, while they are continually growing?

If you’re ready to set your company apart from your competitors and want to attract and retain the best, our Thrive by Design program offers both corporate and individual packages to help you grow the quality of your talent teams. To learn more, schedule a Strategy Call today!


*Names and identifying details have been changed to protect the privacy of the people involved.

Tagged: Creative Talent, recruiting, career services

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