Learn from Google to keep staff says MFA

By Brendan Coyne | 6 March 2013

Google's 80/20 rule, Ernst & Young's hot desking, McKinsey's mentoring programmes, GE's succession planning. These are the companies media firms need to learn from if they want to keep staff from joining competitors.

The examples were thrown up by media companies at an MFA meeting in Sydney yesterday examining retention issues. Skills, communication, retention, progression and time were common themes identified by some of Australia's biggest media companies. They also offered up solutions that already exist outside the industry.

Encouraging staff to work on projects that interest them personally for 20% of their time is Google's way of keeping engineers happy. Ernst & Young employs hot desking. If staff sit beside a trader one day and a strategist the next, it breaks down silos and gives a better overall view of the company to individuals. Consultants McKinsey partner give potential juniors access to a senior executive somewhere across its global network.

Physics governs the nature of time, but Skype was touted as one way to cut down time spent travelling.

The MFA was promoting its Ngen programme for the next two years and wants media firms to sign up to boost staff retention, skills and learning.

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