Campaign UK - - PROMOTION -

Tal­ent is hun­gry to progress, so the best em­ploy­ees want to work for a com­pany that is com­mit­ted to de­vel­op­ing them; not one that cuts its train­ing bud­get at the first sign of eco­nomic dif­fi­culty. Em­ploy­ees don’t want generic, off-the-shelf so­lu­tions, ei­ther. They want tai­lored op­por­tu­ni­ties that grow them per­son­ally as well as pro­fes­sion­ally. Many em­ploy­ers have re­sponded by fa­cil­i­tat­ing work­ers to de­velop new skills and hob­bies, even if un­re­lated to their day job.

“Em­ploy­ees ex­pect to be nur­tured and sup­ported in their ca­reer – a ‘cookie-cut­ter’ ap­proach just doesn’t work when look­ing to fu­ture-proof and re­tain tal­ent,” He­len Tucker, HR global di­ver­sity and in­clu­sion di­rec­tor at Proc­ter & Gam­ble, says. “It’s not just a case of tal­ent re­ten­tion, though – by em­pha­sis­ing pro­fes­sional and per­sonal de­vel­op­ment, we know that em­ploy­ees will be more per­son­ally ful­filled and pro­duce bet­ter re­sults.”

P&G de­signs in­di­vid­u­alised de-

vel­op­ment pro­grammes, through a mix of class­room-based and dig­i­tal train­ing op­tions and a be­spoke work plan with one-to-one coach­ing from di­rect man­agers. “This, cou­pled with the vast range of as­sign­ments across cat­e­gories and ge­ogra­phies that are on of­fer, means we can of­fer em­ploy­ees a wealth of ex­pe­ri­ence both per­son­ally and pro­fes­sion­ally,” Tucker adds.

Com­pa­nies se­ri­ous about de­vel­op­ing their peo­ple are also mov­ing away from an­nual re­views to more reg­u­lar, as-you-go progress re­ports. Deb­bie Klein, chief ex­ec­u­tive of En­gine Europe and Asia-pa­cific, calls this “fast feed­back” and says “it’s what mil­len­ni­als want” be­cause it sup­ports “an open and col­lab­o­ra­tive work­place”.

for com­pa­nies in the ad­ver­tis­ing and mar­ket­ing sec­tor to stay com­pet­i­tive, they must de­velop a “clear strat­egy on how to source tal­ent from out­side the tra­di­tional places and spa­ces”.

Roche was ranked num­ber one in Thom­son Reuters’ first Di­ver­sity and In­clu­sion in­dex last year, with 34 dif­fer­ent na­tion­al­i­ties rep­re­sented in its Lon­don of­fice. Armes’ ad­vice for em­ploy­ers who want di­ver­sity to be­come part of the DNA is to tackle un­con­scious bias by pri­ori­tis­ing rais­ing self­aware­ness among the work­force. “We are rigorous about it,” he says. “We are very aware of bi­ases.”


What does “good lead­er­ship” in mar­coms mean to­day? Of course, there is no “one size fits all” and part of good lead­er­ship is de­vel­op­ing a per­sonal style. How­ever, there are some char­ac­ter­is­tics that crop up re­peat­edly in dis­cus­sions about mod­ern lead­er­ship. “Au­then­tic” is one. “Col­lab­o­ra­tive” is an­other. “Good lis­tener” is a third. “Hu­man” a fourth.

“Lead­er­ship is a crit­i­cal point,” Not­ting­ham says. “Peo­ple now rightly ex­pect stronger lead­ers who do more lis­ten­ing than telling. A key driver of a strong cul­ture and en­gaged staff is lead­er­ship, es­pe­cially now as a new gen­er­a­tion is bring­ing new val­ues into work.”

But lis­ten­ing on its own is not enough. Lead­ers must take ac­tion in re­sponse to what they’ve heard so em­ploy­ees feel their voice is val­ued. The best em­ploy­ers are cre­at­ing dig­i­tal plat­forms for em­ploy­ees to ex­press their views. J&J is one such com­pany. “Em­ploy­ees at all lev­els can voice and vote on high-im­pact ideas, re­gard­less of their busi­ness func­tion, hi­er­ar­chy or ge­og­ra­phy,” Barry says.

P&G en­cour­ages a sim­i­lar cul­ture of con­tri­bu­tion, which Tucker be­lieves is es­sen­tial for en­sur­ing that younger work­ers in par­tic­u­lar feel ful­filled: “The at­ti­tude of young peo­ple com­ing into the work­place has changed. No longer do they think they need to ‘pay their dues’ be­fore be­ing lis­tened to.”


The Edel­man Trust Barom­e­ter 2017 shows that global trust lev­els are at an all-time low. That means em­ploy­ers have to work harder than ever to gain em­ployee trust and over­come cyn­i­cism to gain loy­alty. But, as Gatenby says, if they don’t, they will not se­cure the best tal­ent: “Qual­ity peo­ple have choices. They can de­cide where they place their tal­ent and loy­alty. In the main, it will be in an en­vi­ron­ment where there is a deep level of trust.”

Em­ploy­ees to­day want more free­dom, to work more flex­i­bly in ways that suit them. This re­quires huge lev­els of gen­uine trust on the part of em­ploy­ers, as well as a cul­ture shift. Rick Hirst, chief ex­ec­u­tive of Carat and chair­man of the IPA Tal­ent Board, ad­mits he has strug­gled with this change in the past but, when he em­braced a more ag­ile, trust­ing way of work­ing with col­leagues, it paid div­i­dends: “This cul­tural shift chal­lenges you and your con­ven­tions. For ex­am­ple, you have to get over pre­sen­teeism. You have to trust peo­ple to find their way to be more pro­duc­tive.”

Ini­tially, Hirst found this way of work­ing un­com­fort­able but, through the process, he has re­alised that it helps every­one, in­clud­ing lead­ers, work bet­ter and that it is the fu­ture. “As em­ploy­ers, we’ve got to find ways to bring an un­der­stand­ing of how peo­ple work best and fa­cil­i­tate it,” Hirst says.


As well as giv­ing peo­ple more free­dom to work in a way that en­hances their cre­ativ­ity, there is also a grow­ing ex­pec­ta­tion that work­places will in­spire and fa­cil­i­tate cre­ativ­ity by their de­sign too. Break­out spa­ces, open ar­eas, so­cial hubs and quiet spots are all com­mon­place in the best work­places to­day.

As Hirst says: “Ad­ver­tis­ing is about ideas and strate­gies and think­ing and fric­tions – we need to cre­ate en­vi­ron­ments that make that feel eas­ier, or like­lier to hap­pen, or which fuel that to hap­pen.” And think­ing around best-prac­tice de­sign is con­stantly pro­gress­ing, as busi­nesses and tech­nol­ogy evolve, which is why brands such as P&G are “al­ways look­ing at how we can op­ti­mise the work­place”, Tucker says.


A sure­fire way to boost in­no­va­tion is to en­cour­age col­lab­o­ra­tion be­tween col­leagues and part­ners, which is why spa­ces that fa­cil­i­tate in­ter­ac­tion are also in­creas­ingly the norm. Again, while the shift to lock­ers from your own desk may be un­com­fort­able for some, ul­ti­mately small changes like where you sit, and who you sit next to, are good for col­lab­o­ra­tion by break­ing down hi­er­ar­chies and re­duc­ing si­los.

A grow­ing num­ber of agen­cies are invit­ing clients to use these type of spa­ces as their bases too. Oliver, for ex­am­ple, has launched the “co-lab” in Prague – a “hy­brid” workspace, li­brary and cafe. “Great ideas are of­ten blocked by a tra­di­tional work­place and it is vi­tal that agen­cies cre­ate spa­ces that are bar­rier-free and ideas-ori­ented if they are to achieve mean­ing­ful re­sults,” Mi­lan Seme­lak, chief dis­rup­tion of­fi­cer at Oliver, says. “Shar­ing this space with clients means we reach de­ci­sions quicker and co-cre­ate ideas, killing the time needed to write briefs or de­briefs.”


Mar­keters place a higher em­pha­sis than other pro­fes­sion­als on cul­ture when think­ing about stay­ing in a role or ac­cept­ing a new job, Hays re­search claims. For in­stance, 71% of mar­keters would take a pay cut for a bet­ter work­place cul­ture, com­pared with 62% of the work­force over­all. For this rea­son, Kem­s­ley says it’s es­sen­tial that em­ploy­ers take time at in­ter­view stage ex­plain­ing the “DNA of their busi­ness”.

“How­ever, it’s im­por­tant to re­mem­ber that the cul­ture con­ver­sa­tion doesn’t end at the re­cruit­ment stage,” she adds. “De­vel­op­ing an en­gag­ing cul­ture, workspace and at­mos­phere will not only at­tract the right tal­ent, it will also go a long way to­wards re­tain­ing tal­ent too.”

Not­ting­ham agrees. Cul­ture, she ar­gues, needs to be “con­sciously man­aged” and can, in part, be fos­tered by en­cour­ag­ing every­one to bring their “whole selves” to work. “Em­brac­ing our pas­sions and bring­ing our val­ues into work con­nects us all to our daily roles and the sense of a higher pur­pose to our work­ing lives,” Not­ting­ham says.


Mar­keters to­day are faced with tighter bud­gets, shorter dead­lines, an al­wayson cul­ture, greater com­plex­ity and re­lent­less tech­no­log­i­cal in­no­va­tion, to name but a few chal­lenges. The best em­ploy­ers will be those that recog­nise these chal­lenges and help their em­ploy­ees to over­come them.

For in­stance, a key threat go­ing for­ward, as the world con­tin­ues to speed up and au­to­mate, is burnout and ex­haus­tion. Savvy em­ploy­ers are al­ready putting poli­cies in place to com­pen­sate for the huge pres­sures that mar­keters are un­der.

Dig­i­tal agency Thought­shift is mov­ing from small project teams with two to three peo­ple per client to larger client teams of three to six peo­ple to en­sure its staff can achieve a health­ier work/life bal­ance and main­tain pro­duc­tiv­ity lev­els de­spite the pres­sure. Thought­shift is also look­ing at the pos­si­bil­ity of in­tro­duc­ing a four-day – or 28-hour – week.

“It’s not enough to say we pro­mote a work/life bal­ance or in­no­va­tion and col­lab­o­ra­tion – we need to en­cour­age and demon­strate to the team con­tin­u­ously these val­ues and, by rep­e­ti­tion, it has be­come an in­trin­sic part of our cul­ture, mak­ing it a great place to work,” man­ag­ing di­rec­tor He­len Tren­dell says. “Down­time can­not and should not be un­der­val­ued.”

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