70% of Agency Employees Want to Quit Because Their Managers Are Incompetent

A recent study conducted by Campaign found over one-third (37%) of the ad agency workforce described morale at their agency as "low" or "dangerously low" and 70% said they were "actively job seeking."

WTF? Seventy percent of the entire ad agency world is looking for a new job! No wonder everything is a mess. And things are not getting better. Close to 60% of survey respondents stated morale is lower this year than it was last year.

According to the study, the biggest problem is poor management. Survey respondents were quoted as saying management is filled with "ego-driven, self-fulfilling, all-about-me attitudes," work is filled with "rush projects, poorly planned projects and lack of project direction" as well as "politics and sexism."

Of course those making a healthy salary (over $100,000) reported morale problems at a lower rate (32%) as compared to those making salaries between $50,000 and $100,000 of whom 40% reported morale problems.

11 comments about "70% of Agency Employees Want to Quit Because Their Managers Are Incompetent".
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  1. Jim Meskauskas from Media Darwin, Inc., October 8, 2015 at 8:28 a.m.

    Surprise, surprise.

  2. Michael Hubbard from Media Two Interactive, October 8, 2015 at 9:04 a.m.

    Would love to see this survey during economic "good" times versus "bad" times.  In unrelated news - our agency was just ranked #1 places to work by the Triangle Business Journals, and we're currently hiring :) 

  3. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, October 8, 2015 at 9:04 a.m.

    Still more proof  that the agencies are doomed. Though I should note that when I was in the agency business, 85% of the "managers" were inept buffons and/or idiots----so, actually, the situation has improved.

  4. Christine Williams from DirayTV, October 8, 2015 at 10:08 a.m.

    Shameful state of affairs. We can, we must, do better!

  5. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, October 8, 2015 at 10:27 a.m.

    Typo alert:

    Make that "buffoons" not buffons" in my reply. Sigh!

  6. Rick Thomas from MediaRich Marketing, October 8, 2015 at 11 a.m.

    I would think you would get the same results at businesses that aren't in the ad world.  Let's be real.  If you can take a shot at your boss anonymously through surveys like this then you will.  It's like those who hide behind usernames and make critical comments knowing they will never be identified. 

    Some folks should just be happy to have employment and stop whining.  This coming from someone who complained about his bosses some 30 years ago.

    In other words we all as employees have considered our bosses idiots.

  7. Leanne Hoagland-smith from ADVANCED SYSTEMS, October 8, 2015 at 11:37 a.m.

    Beyond this is typical in many other industries, what this reveals is the following:
    1: The lack of development of managers
    2: The promotion of superworker into "super"visor (manager) without any development
    3: Misalignment between departments and strategic initiatives
    4: Failure of consistent execution of stratgegic initiatves
    5: Inconsistent hiring process and retention process
    6: Poor internal communication between all departments and within departments
    7: A workplace culture that needs immediate and quick assessment to find the major gaps

    This all boils down to both people and process problems.  People seeking new jobs has andhas always been a symptom and never the real probem.

    Leanne Hoagland-Smith
    People & Process Problem Solver
    219.508.2859 - CDT

  8. Leanne Hoagland-smith from ADVANCED SYSTEMS replied, October 8, 2015 at 11:39 a.m.

    What an interesting comment.  I did have bosses I never considered idiots. 

    I do agree about quite whinng. However if people do not have the attitudes and skills set to take action, then whining becomes a fall back behavior.

  9. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, October 8, 2015 at 12:47 p.m.

    Leanne, my post was intended to poke fun at this study which produces answers that have little meaning. Of course, most agency staffers will say they are discontented and blame "management" for this. What did we expect?

    I wouldn't get too worked up over these "findings" as there's little to be done about it. If agency "managers" did all of the things that might be suggested to cure this "problem", I doubt that next year's study would produce a much different result. People love to complain, but doing something about it---like really hunting for a "better" job, with "smart" managers, at a higher salary, of course---that's something else. Most of the complainers will be at exactly the same shops next year---and still complaining.

  10. Bill Koenigsberg from Horizon Media, October 9, 2015 at 6:07 a.m.

    Come to Horizon... Business is Peersonal we care about emotional and financial growth and provide an atmosphere of inspiration. 

  11. William Cosgrove from Devcode Services, October 9, 2015 at 10:25 a.m.

    Unfortunately, this is the case across all industry sectors as Leanne stated in her comment and one of the main reasons I have been self-employed most of my life.

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