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Why are your top digital talent leaving and how can you retain them?

Why are your top digital talent leaving and how can you retain them?

Recently we surveyed 1200 working employees around Australia about their job role, skill development, career development and progression and there was one particular question which produced some interesting, albeit alarming results.

When employees were asked for the key reason that prompted them to leave their last job, the number one reason across the board was ‘Poor Management/Leadership’.

What was the key reason that prompted you to leave your last job?

Let’s take a look at what this means for agencies:


One of the root causes of leadership issues is that often people are placed in leadership roles as a result of a promotion or simply due to their industry experience — and not necessarily because they have ‘people’ skills. As a result, teams are losing that positive leadership momentum which can result in low performance and this has a knock on effect with employee engagement and job satisfaction.

“Companies need to acquire leaders who are about people — they must possess the ability to influence and motivate as well as drive momentum positively across their team”.

Organisations need to work out where the gaps are and find where they can impact change to help their leaders develop to be better at leading and driving successful teams.

Some agencies that we work with are tackling this issue head on and are training all staff, including juniors, with key management skills for effective leadership such as leading a team, managing projects, business acumen and managing strategic KPIs.

In addition leaders must take ownership themselves of their own self-development and training.

Vitamin T | Download 2018 TIR


There has been a great deal of movement within agencies this year — we’ve seen a lot of redundancies and management changes. So it’s no surprise that responses in our survey reflect this.

If employees struggle with one thing, it is change. Change can be positive or negative, however many of us see it as a threat which in turn can cause anxiety and stress. As we spend a lot of our time at work, changes in the workplace can be difficult to deal with.

Both the short and long term impact of different types of restructuring, including downsizing, closure, mergers, change in ownership or privatisation, or a combination of more than one type, can lead to a detrimental effect on employee wellbeing.

Although the extent of this can vary across organisations depending on the type of restructuring undertaken and the way it was managed, it has been proven that this has a negative impact whilst the restructure takes place and for some time afterwards.

“As managers, I think we need to really think about the way we manage company restructures and how we treat our staff throughout the whole process. What plans do we have in place after the event to support them? How do we answer any questions they may have? Communication is the absolutely key”.


In this year's report we can clearly see that company culture continues to be very important to talent. Since this ranked so high as a reason for leaving their last job, it suggests companies should not disregard the culture of their workplace, and should instead embed and embrace culture into their workplace strategy.

“When people feel like they belong, they will stay with an organisation, which means less turnover, fewer hires and improved chemistry among a stable and reliable team”.

Staff turnover at agencies is really high at the best of times, but clearly we’ve learnt from our Talent Ignition Report that there is plenty that agency management can do about it.

We’d love to hear from you. What’s your agency doing to retain their staff?

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