Whether your firm is small and speaks to niche-based needs or you are a large company that is trying to be everything to everyone, you won’t get far if you lose designers along the way! A good UX designer is hard to come by, and if you find them and keep losing them, you may need to consider some of the factors going into play as to why you’re losing quality professionals.
You’re Not Paying Enough
Everyone likes to talk about how a great work environment and perks really matter in the workplace, but at the end of the day, it’s all about money. If you are not paying a competitive wage, you are going to find that great professionals may end up at your company, but aren’t going to stay there. Design is an industry that is notorious about underpaying the people who work in it, and if you are guilty of this, word will get around. Make sure that you know what the industry standard is. Depending on the designer that you hire and what their experiences in the field might be, you can be looking at anywhere from $40,000 to $100,000 a year. Good designers expect to get paid for their efforts, and if you do not step up, they’re going to step out!
Though a designer is not a creative professional in the way that say, an artist or a novelist is, he or she is still someone who has a functional and useful role to play. When it comes to disrupting the creative process, few things are as counterproductive to getting the job done as micromanagement. Dealing with an endless chain of command can easily hamper the way a designer works. A good designer is someone who is always looking to improve the end user’s experience, and if he or she has to answer to a dozen different people to get “okay’d” on changes before they can proceed, they are going to leave as soon as they can for a better, more flexible environment.
Because most designers are salary workers rather than hourly workers, they understand that on occasion they will be asked to work more than 40 hours a week. The truth is that while most designers accept this, they still become frustrated and angry if they find that this is happening on a regular basis. Look at the hours your designers are working. Are they working long hours without pay? If they are, they are likely jumping ship for something that actually compensates them for their time. See what you can offer to help keep people on, whether it’s compensating their time with money or with free time off later on.
Poor Human Resources
No matter what size your company is, you still need a great human resources department. HR handles everything from discipline to satisfaction, and they are a key contact point for all of your employees. As the old idiom goes, there’s more to life than money, and your employees spend a lot of their time at work. If the work environment feels threatening, unwelcoming, uncaring or incompetent, the employees that you want to keep are going to leave sooner or later. Be willing to investigate your human resources to find out what is going and to make sure that they are treating your employees’ right.
Good designers are hard to find, and it feels terrible to realize that you have found a good one and then lost them. Many companies have an employee retention department that ensures that people are happy enough to stay in the company. If you are losing good employees on a regular basis, look into employee retention as a serious goal.
Robert Cordray is a former business consultant and entrepreneur with over 20 years of experience and a wide variety of knowledge in multiple areas of the industry. He currently resides in the Southern California area and spends his time helping consumers and business owners alike try to be successful. When he’s not reading or writing, he’s most likely with his beautiful wife and three children.