Boosting Profits and Productivity: How Investing $150 Per Employee in Talent Retention and Education Yields $1,000 in Cost Savings

By Thought Leaders Archives
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In light of recent Supreme Court rulings on affirmative action, gender equality and college loan relief, corporations now have a unique opportunity to fill the leadership void created by the Court. This is particularly relevant for advertising supported media companies, which can address costly truths that leave the industry vulnerable as progress in diversity and inclusion faces reversal. By investing in team education and retention, these companies can not only eliminate billions in annual costs but also add substantial profitability. This article presents an overview of the challenges faced by the industry, a model for eliminating these costs and driving profitability and a ready-to-implement solution with zero impact on the bottom line.

Challenges Facing Advertising Supported Media:

1. Inadequate Investment: Compared to other major industries, advertising and media companies invest less in team education and readiness on an individual basis.

2. Unattractive Career Choice: Among graduating college students, careers in advertising rank among the least desirable options.

3. Lack of Educational Opportunities: Advertising is not offered as a learning opportunity at high schools, many community colleges and most predominantly Black and Hispanic colleges.

4. Weak Workforce Attraction and Retention: Advertising is among the least effective industries in attracting and retaining a modern workforce.

5. Negative Perceptions: Consumers perceive advertising and media similarly to Congress and the Supreme Court, impacting the industry's reputation.

Continuing to neglect these challenges puts the advertising industry at a growing disadvantage in building a modern workforce and incurs unnecessary costs in the billions. The estimated annual talent turnover among employees with fewer than seven years of experience in the advertising business is 15% to 20%, higher than the national average of 12.5%. Shockingly, advertising and media companies invested less than the average of $1,299 per employee spent by U.S. organizations on team education, training, psychological safety and professional development in 2020, with estimates as low as $250 per employee.

It is long overdue for every company to evaluate its investment per employee in various aspects such as team education, college loan relief, stakeholder learning tools, employee preparedness programs and continuing education scholarships. By increasing the investment by a mere $150 per employee, advertising supported media companies can expect an average return of over $1,000 per employee annually, resulting in several billion dollars of incremental industry profitability. Let's explore the mathematics behind this model and how the $150 per employee can be generated without impacting the bottom line.

Model for Increased Profitability:

1. Cost of Replacing Employees: Replacing a junior-level employee costs an organization between 30% to 50% of the employee's annual salary, considering recruitment, onboarding, training and team integration expenses.

2. Annual Turnover and Savings: With an average junior-level turnover rate of 15% in an organization of 6,000 employees, approximately 900 employees are lost each year. Assuming an annual income of $90,000 and an average replacement cost of $25,000, investing in professional development can retain 30% of these employees, resulting in savings of $6,750,000 annually (900 employees x 30% retention x $25,000 replacement cost).

3. Cost of Increased Investment: By investing only $900,000 ($150 x 6,000 employees), the company can generate an ROI of $6.75 million, directly benefiting the bottom line. Larger organizations stand to gain even more significant returns.

When scaled across 100 media and advertising companies, the ripple effect of this investment is expected to reduce talent attrition from 15%+ to at least the 12.5% national average, leading to billions in increased profitability for the industry. Over the next decade, these investments will compound, leading to an improved and healthier industry.

Addressing the Investment Realities:

While the notion of investing $150 per employee may seem unrealistic for an industry cutting budgets and under-investing in talent, there is an available solution that is already implemented and ready to leverage.

Solution: MediaVillage 501c3 Education Foundation

The MediaVillage 501c3 Education Foundation, supported by industry leaders such as the Association of National Advertisers (ANA), American Association of Advertising Agencies (4A's), Media Financial Management Association (MFM), major advertising agency holding company media groups and more than 30 leading media companies, is the advertising supported media community's leading collective resource for talent retention and advancing a modern prepared workforce. Through successful programs like the and Knowledge Exchange B2B marketing platforms, on-demand online learning hub, Thought Leaders self-publishing platform, Resume Review Program, College Loan Relief and Continuing Education Fund, DEI platform, and The Myers Report team preparedness assessment and tracking research, MediaVillage has proven its ability to deliver effective and cost-efficient solutions.

By investing in MediaVillage membership, companies can achieve their B2B marketing, market intelligence, and talent development goals within existing budget parameters, potentially resulting in billions of dollars in increased profitability. To learn more about how your organization can participate in the MediaVillage Education Foundation and improve your bottom line, visit and contact

The challenges faced by the advertising supported media industry require urgent attention and reform. Investing in team education and readiness, enhancing the perception of advertising careers among college students, promoting advertising education in schools, fostering diversity and inclusion and rebuilding public trust are crucial steps to revitalize and reshape the future of the advertising and media industry. The recent Supreme Court rulings create an opportunity for corporations to step up their programs and investments, ultimately reaping significant and long-term rewards.

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