In 2019 we were delighted to feature in Campaign’s Best Places to Work. Little did we know that a year later we would all be facing a global pandemic and the world of work was about to look very different. So it has been an even bigger surprise and honour to once again be awarded a spot in this year’s Best Places to Work list.
It goes without saying that every organisation has faced its own challenges over the past two years. We have all felt the ups and downs of going in and out of lockdown, attracting new talent during turbulent times, and adjusting to a new (and now arguably better) way of working, whether that’s working full time back at the office, 100% remotely or a hybrid (whatever suits your lifestyle — we are open to all).
Now in 2022, we have more than doubled in size since we were last on Campaign’s Best Places to Work list, but still live by our motto of ‘where people matter’ (clients, patients, healthcare professionals and our own team). Before the pandemic, we offered flexible working around trust (being one of the first agencies to allow people to work from home whilst caring for a sick child). However, given the sudden immersion into working from home that most of the UK faced in March 2020, this benefit suddenly wasn’t quite so unique.
So how do you show you’re one of the best places to work when almost overnight everyone is offering home working, flexible hours, virtual socials and perks to motivate a workforce who have suddenly lost their face-to-face support network?
We know that attracting talent isn’t all about a free lunch (although this is on offer!). Yes, our private healthcare, annual bonus, enhanced annual leave, enhanced maternity/paternity, Christmas/New Year shut down, bonus birthday day off, pension scheme, cycle to work scheme, social events, focus on wellbeing and mental health support, running club, annual free trainer giveaway, and state of the art office are well received by the team.
But it’s fostering an environment that people want to be part of that we know has helped us achieve this position. It’s about getting the culture right. That starts with the team being part of our recruitment process and meeting candidates, promoting professional development, our Directors and Senior Managers actively living our values (often taking time for the school run or to have a run!), to keeping everyone informed through twice weekly team meetings and quarterly company updates sharing financials, strategy and direction where everyone can contribute.
One of the reasons each of our team members joined us was because they want to do meaningful work that makes a difference, in a place where everyone has the chance to develop. By having this common focus, we have built a sense of community and belonging. With our longstanding ‘no long hours’ policy, even pre-Covid we have always promoted a good work-life balance. But the last few years have highlighted its importance even more. So, if people need to take time out, whether as a parent, carer, pet owner, or simply a human being, our flexibility allows this.
We are proud of our culture and to have created a community of supportive people, where everyone can develop and make a difference. Our inclusion in this year’s list endorses what we hoped we had achieved for our team.