Best Places to Work

With mar­ket­ing and ad­ver­tis­ing fac­ing greater com­pe­ti­tion for tal­ent than ever be­fore, the search for that per­fect recipe of per­sonal and pro­fes­sional de­vel­op­ment, work­place sat­is­fac­tion and good, old-fash­ioned fun has never been more press­ing

Campaign UK - - CONTENTS - By Alex Brownsell

As mar­ket­ing and ad­ver­tis­ing face huge com­pe­ti­tion for tal­ent, which com­pa­nies are of­fer­ing the most en­tic­ing en­vi­ron­ments?

Do you work for one of the best com­pa­nies in our in­dus­try? As Cam­paign un­veils its first an­nual Best Places to Work sur­vey, in part­ner­ship with lead­ing train­ing provider The In­dus­try School, we shine a light on the in­no­va­tive blend of in­cen­tives and re­wards that or­gan­i­sa­tions are us­ing to re­cruit and re­tain the best tal­ent. What makes a com­pany a de­sir­able em­ployer? A quick scan through the 50 com­pa­nies who made the cut re­veals a few re­cur­ring trends. The first re­lates to lo­ca­tion. The vast ma­jor­ity (42) are based in Lon­don, with Manch­ester and Brighton the only other places to host more than one of the best­per­form­ers. If the UK gov­ern­ment’s vi­sion of a “North­ern Pow­er­house” is to be­come as true in cre­ative in­dus­tries as in man­u­fac­tur­ing, more must be done: only two com­pa­nies are lo­cated north of the Wat­ford Gap. Lo­ca­tion aside, well-be­ing is an­other key theme. More than a dozen com­pa­nies of­fer yoga classes, while dis­counted gym mem­ber­ships, on-site mas­sages and nu­tri­tious break­fast foods are be­ing de­ployed to en­sure em­ploy­ees’ phys­i­cal and men­tal health. Agen­cies and mar­ket­ing teams are of­fer­ing a range of hol­i­day en­ti­tle­ments and sab­bat­i­cal op­tions to en­sure staff recharge bat­ter­ies and ex­pand hori­zons, even if that means launch­ing a new-busi­ness ven­ture. And youth­ful teams de­mand so­cia­ble work­place en­vi­ron­ments. More than half of the fea­tured com­pa­nies of­fer treats on a Fri­day, from early fin­ishes to free drinks. All-staff par­ties and trips away are in­creas­ingly com­mon – a hand­ful, for ex­am­ple, run an­nual ski trips to the Alps. Gen­er­ally speak­ing, the smaller the busi­ness, the bet­ter it per­formed against met­rics such as lead­er­ship, plan­ning and work en­vi­ron­ment. Among the small busi­nesses mak­ing the fi­nal list, 97% of em­ploy­ees agreed that lead­ers are “open to in­put from em­ploy­ees”, drop­ping slightly to 96% among medium-sized com­pa­nies and 90% in large or­gan­i­sa­tions. Sim­i­larly, when asked whether their jobs pro­vide them with a sense of “mean­ing and pur­pose”, 93% of small busi­ness em­ploy­ees agreed, com­pared with 88% in medium-sized com­pa­nies and 82% of those in larger or­gan­i­sa­tions. There is still work to be done across the in­dus­try. Too many re­spon­dents are yet to be con­vinced by the po­ten­tial for ca­reer progress, for in­stance. A fifth (21%) of those at suc­cess­ful com­pa­nies dis­agreed that good per­for­mance would im­prove the prospects of a pro­mo­tion, while 25% be­lieved they are un­der­paid. Al­most a third (31%) of em­ploy­ees at our most suc­cess­ful com­pa­nies were dis­sat­is­fied with dis­abil­ity ben­e­fits, some­thing that re­flects poorly on an in­dus­try work­ing hard to im­prove diver­sity. A lack of den­tal cover is also a bone of con­tention, with 32% of those same re­spon­dents un­happy about it. Most lead­ers agree that the se­cret to a suc­cess­ful busi­ness is mak­ing com­pany cul­ture sec­ondary to the vi­brancy of its peo­ple. A great place to work is some­where peo­ple “know how much they are val­ued”, says Gabrielle Ludzker, chief ex­ec­u­tive of Prox­im­ity Lon­don, which topped the large busi­ness cat­e­gory. Ludzker in­sists is­sues such as hap­pi­ness and learn­ing should not be con­sid­ered “fluffy stuff”. Jonathan Trim­ble, chief ex­ec­u­tive of 18 Feet & Ris­ing, agrees: “Even to­day, voic­ing opin­ions that threaten the sta­tus quo is still a ca­reer­lim­it­ing op­tion. We need to find ways to al­low peo­ple to bring their whole selves to work.” Peo­ple and cul­ture are not KPIS that can be man­aged by num­bers, Jenny Biggam, found­ing part­ner of the7s­tars, ar­gues. “What mat­ters to us is that peo­ple come here to make a dif­fer­ence.” Dan Pimm, founder of De­cem­ber 19, urges teams to es­chew the “forced fun” of ta­ble foot­ball and Nerf guns. In­stead, it is about re­al­is­ing that a ca­reer forms only part of any­one’s life, and keep­ing work­ing hours to a min­i­mum. “An of­fice dog helps, too,” he adds. “Keeps every­one smil­ing.”

‘Voic­ing opin­ions that threaten the sta­tus quo is still a ca­reer-lim­it­ing op­tion. We need to find ways to al­low peo­ple to bring their whole selves to work’ Jonathan Trim­ble, 18 Feet & Ris­ing

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