Digital Speak-Easy Series: What Makes Digital Talent Leave Their Jobs?

This infographic explores the factors that contribute to digital professionals leaving their jobs and what makes then unhappy at work…

Digital Talent

A successful agency is nothing without its people, but retaining employees is a battle many companies face on a regular basis. Poor staff retention rates are not only bad for morale but also a huge expense for the business.

The reasons digital employees leave their roles are vast; it can be unsatisfactory salary, lack of opportunities, poor company morale or something more personal.

Seeing a regular churn of digital professionals leaving their roles, we wanted to explore the real reasons behind their departures. So as part of our Digital Speak-Easy Series we surveyed over 500 of our digital professionals and the results were really insightful.  We asked them – “What factors contribute to you wanting to leave your role?” And this is what we found…


What we found most surprising from these results was that ‘unsatisfactory salary’ came second to ‘lack of progression’ opportunities when asked why digital talent left their jobs. We’ve always known that progression is a vital factor of any career but the fact it’s ranked (even if only slightly) higher than finance is an important message to take away, as it shows that a new job title and progression could be enough to maintain a happy work force.

Also what was striking was that a negative company culture also featured as a hugely important factor contributing to digital professionals leaving their jobs – which we never believed would be so strong. This proves that having a great company culture is no longer just a ‘nice option’, it’s imperative to a happy work force and something employees value highly.

It’s obvious that every individual will have their own reasons for leaving their job, but what was also interesting was that across the digital spectrum there are differences.  For example those working within Technology, are more likely to leave over a ‘negative company culture’ and ‘lack of progression’ – suggesting salary is not so important to them as atmosphere and role within the business. Compare this to those working within 3D, for this group ‘unsatisfactory salary’ was the biggest factor contributing to them wishing to leave, as well as ‘lack of managerial support’ being a key factor to this specific group.

Less surprising was the differences between Permanent and Freelance workers – as ultimately they have very different requirements from their roles and work very differently. For permanent digital roles, ‘lack of progression’ and ‘low pay’ would contribute to their departure, compared to freelancers, who stated a ‘negative company culture’ would affect their choice to stay in a role.

The data also explored if the level of employment you hold would effect the reasons you wish to leave your job. It seems the differences are vast with those in junior roles being far more conscious of ‘progression and promotion’ earlier in their career. For the higher level (senior and managerial levels) ‘company culture’ becomes a bigger factor to the happiness within a role.

The key summaries we can draw from these findings are that digital talent have a range of needs to ensure they are happy with their employment. It’s no longer, just about the money – it’s about the energy of the workplace, the positive attitude and support of co-workers and management plus the opportunities for personal development.  Many of these factors do not have to come at a big cost to an agency or organisation  – they are things that can be added to your current retention strategy very simply.  Look past the pound signs and find out what really makes your employees happy and motivated and then you can make sure you hold onto your superstar creative for a lot longer.

If you are unhappy in your current role and are considering leaving your organisation, why not explore our current digital opportunities across the globe. Or if you want to hire some fresh talent to your team and boost morale and company ethos talk to our team today.

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