The Drum’s Agency Wellbeing Census lays bare the reality of life in UK agencies
From policies to principles, landmark new research project shows how agencies handle their staff and the issues they encounter.
When we’ve asked agency bosses about their foremost challenges this year, time and time again they’ve cited the struggle to find and retain talent among their biggest headaches. All anecdotal evidence points to the global movement known as The Great Resignation sending shockwaves throughout marketing. But what’s driving this trend for job-hopping?
To answer this question, we wanted to uncover what life is really like in agencies in the UK. Beyond the unquantifiable promises of great ‘culture’ that have become a prerequisite of corporate mission statements, we wanted to see some definitive data on the steps agencies take to keep their staff satisfied. More than anything, what we wanted to uncover was this: do agencies’ policies live up to the pledges they’re making their employees?
So, throughout 2022, we have been conducting a major piece of research which we’re introducing to you today as The Drum’s Agency Wellbeing Census. This has involved surveying around 200 marketing agencies across the length and breadth of the UK to find out exactly how agencies deal with the issues that can determine whether staff stay or go.
Thanks to their candidness (and we’d like to say a huge thank you to the many heads of people, HR and culture who took the time to participate) we’ve been able to unfurl a comprehensive picture of agency practices. The data, which we’ll be revealing over the course of this week, offers a revealing insight into the guidance managers are given to handle serious issues like bullying and harassment right down to whether they’re even given any management training at all. DE&I, menopause, maternity and paternity policies are also laid bare.
One of the starkest stats to emerge from our research is that the average staff retention rate in our sample was a mere 42.4%. Plainly, this number could and should be higher, and if it were, agency managers may find themselves having to devote less time to the costly and often forlorn endeavor of recruiting great new people. With this piece of research, we hope we can help you to do just that.