To retain top creative talent in a culture
craving stability over spirituality, companies need to
commit to fixing the basics and enable every day flow
France, June 20, 2022 /PRNewswire/
-- TBWAWorldwide has today released a global study on the
Future of Creative Work, revealing how creative talent feels about
the state of the workplace, and what companies can do to make it
better for employees.
Compared with the general employee benchmark, creative talent
are significantly less likely to be satisfied with their work/life
balance (55%, compared to a 64% global benchmark), and more likely
to feel burned out or discouraged a lot of the time. In a
culture where boundaries, mental health and stability are the most
important values, the time has come for change.
Analyzing data from three different global sources—a proprietary
TBWA global quantitative study which surveyed employees at creative
companies as well as a general employee sample; syndicated
resources such as Forrester and HBR, and by scraping content from
employee review sites—the study seeks to uncover just how much the
culture of creative work had changed since the workism-fueled
"Creativity has the ability to move the world forward," said
Ben Williams, TBWA's Global Chief
Creative Experience officer, who co-led the study with Agathe Guerrier, the agency's Global Chief
Strategy Officer. "But for agencies and creative companies to be
leading this progress, our work cultures need to evolve,
Added Guerrier, "As an industry, we have a tendency to use
creativity as an excuse, as if working in a creative field was
reward enough to forego such mundane notions as annual reviews,
career paths, functioning processes and fair pay. The findings of
the research should act as a wake-up call. Our talent is asking us
to respect their time and mental space, to provide financial
stability, and to deliver a better daily experience of creative
The full report is available now, and highlights
Today's Talent Works to Live,
Not Vice Versa
We are entering a new era when it comes to the culture of work.
To put this research into context, the study looked at relevant
Edges–TBWA's term for a meaningful cultural shift. The top three
Edges that resonated the most in the study across the general
sample of all employees, not just creative, all showed work being
put firmly back in its place.
- Work/ Life Boundaries, 80% respondents agree/ strongly
agree it is important their employer helps them achieve a good
balance between personal and professional life.
- Stability Pursuit, 79% respondents strongly agree it is
important their employer helps them maintain stability in their
work-life so they can confidently plan for the personal milestones
they care about. What's even more surprising is that stability
is most important to the youngest employees: 69% strongly agree
among 18-25s, versus 51% among 41-55s.
- Mind Maintenance, 77% respondents agree/ strongly agree
it is important their employer helps them care for their mental
health by avoiding unnecessary pressures or stress, and proactively
supports their emotional wellbeing.
The cultural value that mattered the least out of the nine
measured among all respondents, creative and the general sample,
was Activist Awakening–the idea that work should align with
a person's values or causes they care about.
Creative Talent Expects
The findings show that creative talent has stronger demands of
their employers than the general population sample.
● Work/Life Balance, 63% of creatives strongly
agree it is important that their employer help them achieve a
healthy balance vs 44% general population sample.
● Stability Pursuit, 59% of creatives strongly
agree vs 38% general population sample.
● Mind Maintenance, 58% of creatives strongly agree
vs 42% general population sample.
The Daily Grind Is Worse for
While creative companies earn high marks for placing a high
value on creativity (81% vs a 51% global benchmark), as well as
building cultures where employees feel respected by their coworkers
(86%) and receive praise and recognition for their work (71%), they
are falling short on the day-to-day employee experience.
Creatives are 2x more likely to say things like approvals
and authorizations, day to day schedule and task management and
daily commutes degrade their work experience than the global
Williams notes "The biggest problem is with the day-to-day
experience of creative work–the pain points and daily grind
standing in the way of flow. We're seeing talent increasingly ask
for their boundaries to be respected, help achieving their goals
and support with their mental wellbeing. They know what they want,
and we need to be giving it to them."
The findings point to some actionable changes all creative
companies can make.
#1 Creativity cannot thrive without daily process and
Creative industries are not delivering on the functions of daily
work–the approvals and processes and operational burdens that get
in the way of getting down to work. How can we improve the daily
experience of work to enable more creative flow? As one example,
TBWA is looking at different business models to incentivize faster,
smarter and more efficient ways of working.
#2 Talent wants work to stay in its lane.
While we used to think talent wanted work and life to blend,
it's clear they want boundaries. How can we better protect talent's
boundaries, or at least recognize when we overstep, especially when
the physical boundaries of life and work are blurrier than ever
with remote work?
#3 Stability matters more than spirituality.
Where we thought talent yearned for an employer who aligned with
their high-level values and worldview, we're discovering their
expectations are more pragmatic. Companies can focus on the
fundamentals, from annual reviews to growth plans to compensation,
and gain more satisfaction than offering quick fixes. TBWA agencies
including Shanghai, New York and others have invested in
transparent career planning and professional development plans to
give clearer career direction to talent.
TBWA is in the initial stages of a long term investment in
employee experience, exploring more efficient models and ways of
working and applying learnings to the company's operations. Anyone
interested in advancing the Future of Creative Work agenda can
contribute comments and ideas directly in the report.
About the Methodology
TBWA conducted a proprietary survey by TBWA fielded May 2022; representative sample of populations in
the United States (n=665),
United Kingdom (n=559),
Australia (n=441), South Africa (n=466), and Singapore (n=408), followed by voluntary
survey of creative marketing professionals in 40+ countries in
May 2022 (n=567).
The survey analyzed attitudes at three levels:
- Cultural attitudes
- Engagement drivers
- Employee experience
In addition, desk research was conducted via Forrester EX
research, HBR and other industry papers (specific to creative
industries and more general EX). Furthermore, TBWA conducted a
machine scrape of 68,000 employee reviews of leading creative
services firms and marketers at the world's largest brands (Indeed,
Glassdoor, US and Canada).
TBWA is The Disruption® Company. We use creativity to help
businesses challenge the status quo and capture an unfair share of
the future. Named one of the World's Most Innovative Companies by
Fast Company in 2022, 2021, 2020 and 2019, and
Adweek's 2021 Global Agency of the Year, we are a disruptive
brand experience company that uses trademarked Disruption®
methodologies to help businesses address their challenges and
achieve transformative growth. Our collective has 10,000+ creative
minds in 41 countries, and also includes brands such as Auditoire,
Digital Arts Network (DAN), eg+ worldwide, GMR, The Integer Group®,
TBWAMedia Arts Lab, TBWAWorldHealth and TRO. Global clients include
adidas, Apple, Gatorade, Henkel, Hilton Hotels, McDonald's, Nissan
and Singapore Airlines. Follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter and
Instagram. TBWA is part of Omnicom Group (NYSE: OMC).