Sector Spotlight: Digital Out Of Home

Published on 23rd August 2022

Today, we’re delighted to release the findings of our digital out of home sector spotlight.

The largest study of its kind, we analysed 1,007 pieces of in-depth employee feedback collected via the New Possible platform as well as Glassdoor. 19 companies that operate in the digital out of home sector were included in the study, with data benchmarked against 27 UK-based ‘new tech’ firms founded within the last 10 years. All data was captured from employees working in the UK.

What is out of home (OOH) advertising?

OOH advertising is one of the oldest forms of advertising. It’s traditional (non-digital) and generally includes any ad that you see while out and about, whether that be on a billboard or the side of a bus.

DOOH advertising is out of home advertising, but supercharged by AdTech. Today, static posters and billboards are being replaced by dynamic digital frames hosted on a range of formats. These frames are increasingly using programmatic automation, meaning that marketers have more control than ever in selecting the perfect location, screen size, and moment to reach their ideal audiences.

Digital out of home advertising spending in the UK is expected to grow by more than 34 percent in 2022, so it’s a fast growing sector, keen to attract and retain great talent.

Headlines:

  • 67% of digital out of home employees highly rate their place of work, compared to 69% across new tech firms.
  • Culture is the biggest driver behind employee satisfaction. Firms with healthy cultures are benefitting from happier and more loyal employees, while those with unhealthy cultures are driving their people out of the door.
  • Digital out of home companies are generally regarded by employees as having healthy cultures and are frequently described as friendly, supportive, inclusive and fast-paced. However, some employees describe feeling overworked and some firms were described as having an 'old school' approach.
  • Weaknesses in leadership were also a noticeable driver of dissatisfaction for a few firms, with some employees commenting that senior management appears ‘cliquey’ and disconnected with the wider workforce.
  • Pay is an increasing source of dissatisfaction, attracting 21% of negative employee feedback in 2022. Junior staff are at the forefront of this dissatisfaction, with higher pay being the most common suggestion across this group.
  • Development and progression are strongly linked to employee satisfaction. Many employees across digital out of home value the opportunity to work on ‘exciting’ new technology, particularly when it’s paired with a strong training programme and opportunities for personal growth.
  • Employees talked more about flexibility in 2022, than at any other time since 2019. Companies that offer the ability to work from home are seeing a noticeable boost in overall employee satisfaction.

67% of employees working across DOOH highly rate their place of work

New Possible - DOOH Sector Spotlight - 67% of employees are satisfied

67% of digital out of home employees highly rate their place of work, compared to 69% across new tech firms.

However, the difference in the employee Net Promoter Score (a strong indicator of loyalty) is more noticeable. Across DOOH, it’s +17, vs. +35 across new tech.

As the chart below illustrates, the reason for this difference is that a higher share of DOOH employees are sitting on the fence when it comes to rating their place of work. They're less likely than their new tech counterparts to award the top score.

In this sector spotlight, we'll deep-dive into what’s driving satisfaction across DOOH.

New Possible - DOOH Sector Spotlight - Satisfaction Distribution

While 59% of new tech employees award full marks when asked how satisfied they are with their employer (on a 5-point scale), just 34% of DOOH employees delivered the same rating.

What matters most to DOOH employees?

In this section, we’ve mapped the themes highly satisfied and less satisfied employees are talking about, allowing us to clearly see which themes are having the greatest impact on satisfaction and loyalty.

In the charts below, you can see the key drivers behind employee satisfaction across digital out of home. For simplicity, we’ve only included the most talked about themes (our AI identified 16 themes):

New Possible - DOOH Sector Spotlight - Drivers of satisfaction

Healthy cultures are a key reason why employees stay (and leave)

Culture is the biggest driver behind employee satisfaction. Firms with healthy cultures are benefitting from happier and more loyal employees, while those with unhealthy cultures are driving their people out of the door.

But what do we mean by culture? The below word cloud helps illustrate what digital out of home employees are talking about most when it comes to this theme:

New Possible - DOOH Sector Spotlight - Culture Word Cloud

Digital out of home companies are frequently described as friendly, supportive, inclusive and fast-paced. They’re generally seen as having healthy cultures.

However, not everything is positive when it comes to culture. Some employees complain about feeling overworked and others describe a ‘sink or swim’ environment that often involves ‘plugging leaks’. Some employees also described the firms they work at as ‘old-school’, possibly reflecting the challenges that some century-old incumbents have faced as they adapt to the tech-driven world of programmatic advertising.

Weaknesses in leadership are also a noticeable driver of dissatisfaction for a few firms, with some employees commenting that senior management appears ‘cliquey’ and disconnected with the wider workforce.

Despite there being some opportunities to improve, digital out of home companies are generally regarded by employees as having healthy cultures. Where there is disconnect, our NP360 people experience survey can help close this gap, by providing leaders with clear actionable insight into what’s working and what’s not.

Pay is a growing source of employee dissatisfaction

New Possible - DOOH Sector Spotlight - Pay is a growing source of dissatisfaction

With the cost-of-living crisis only set to get worse, our data indicates that pay is an increasing source of dissatisfaction, with 21% of negative employee feedback mentioning it YTD. As the key drivers illustrate, it’s also the fourth biggest reason why employees provided a low score when rating their place of work.

Junior staff, whose lower incomes are particularly sensitive to inflation, are at the forefront of this dissatisfaction, with higher pay being the most common suggestion across this group.

Offer a clear path to career development

As our key driver analysis suggests, development and progression are highly linked to employee satisfaction. Many employees across digital out of home value the opportunity to work on ‘exciting’ new technology, particularly when it’s paired with a strong training programme and opportunities for personal growth. Our data also indicates that when employees feel supported in their career development, they’re 12% less likely to talk negatively about pay.

Companies that lack clear learning and development programmes are facing much higher levels of dissatisfaction – this is the second most common reason why employees provide a low score.

Flexibility is improving work-life balance and inclusivity

Employees talked more about flexibility in 2022 than at any other time since 2019. Digital out of home companies that offer the ability to work from home are currently gaining a noticeable boost in overall employee satisfaction.

Flexibility can also be a positive sign of a firm’s culture. To be successful in practice, it requires leaders to listen and trust their people and it can also help make workplaces more inclusive while improving work-life balance.

‘I enjoy working from home because it has made my home life easier and I can participate actively in my family. I feel that I'm more than just an employee, I'm a person who can enjoy their life too.’ – DOOH employee verbatim, 2022

Key takeaways

  • 67% of digital out of home employees highly rate their place of work, compared to 69% across new tech firms.
  • Culture is the biggest driver behind employee satisfaction. Firms with healthy cultures are benefitting from happier and more loyal employees, while those with unhealthy cultures are driving their people out of the door.
  • Digital out of home companies are generally regarded by employees as having healthy cultures and are frequently described as friendly, supportive, inclusive and fast-paced. However, some employees describe feeling overworked and some firms were described as having an 'old school' approach.
  • Weaknesses in leadership were also a noticeable driver of dissatisfaction for a few firms, with some employees commenting that senior management appears ‘cliquey’ and disconnected with the wider workforce.
  • Pay is an increasing source of dissatisfaction, attracting 21% of suggestions in 2022. Junior staff are at the forefront of this dissatisfaction, with higher pay being the most common suggestion across this group.
  • Development and progression are strongly linked to employee satisfaction. Many employees across digital out of home value the opportunity to work on ‘exciting’ new technology, particularly when it’s paired with a strong training programme and opportunities for personal growth.
  • Employees talked more about flexibility in 2022 than at any other time since 2019. Companies that offer the ability to work from home, are seeing a noticeable boost in overall employee satisfaction.
  • We recommend having an employee insight strategy in place that promotes honest and regular feedback, so that leaders can quickly understand what’s working and what’s not at all levels of their organisation.

New Possible Dashboard

About New Possible

New Possible is on a mission to help every leader unlock the competitive advantage of their people. We work with a range of firms (inc. digital out of home) to provide clear, actionable, and benchmarkable insights across the employee lifecycle. Our NP360 survey helps leaders gain meaningful insight into the broader people experience, measuring 7 themes, including satisfaction and wellbeing. Read about our mission, or book a demo to learn more.

If you’d like to discuss this research further, please email hello@newpossible.io or call 0161 706 0618.

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