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Continental/Middle East/Africa | UK | Network | About/FAQ
The Holmes Report’s Best Agencies to Work For are determined by a comprehensive survey of agency employees at more than 25 consultancies throughout EMEA. The process solicits employee views on a wide range of issues ranging from the integrity of senior management to the quality of professional development, from empowerment and risk-taking to compensation. For more information on the methodology — and how you can order your own agency's results — visit this section's About/FAQ page. The top winner in each category was recognized at the 2017 EMEA SABRE Awards, at the Roundhouse in London on May 23.
1. APCO Worldwide (Independent)
For the third year in a row, APCO Worldwide makes a showing on the Best Agencies to Work For (winner in 2015, finalist in 2016). More impressive is the caliber of the work the firm continues to churn out after more than three decades, and now, with 300-people across EMEA. Nearly all of these employees are part of an international team, working alongside colleagues in other countries. And even within each EMEA office, its global scope is apparent — there are 16 nationalities in its Brussel office, 14 in London.
The APCO Global Exchange Scholarship rewards rewards 15-20 employees each year with an all-expenses paid trip to work in another APCO office abroad to share best practices and cultural learnings. The European team also connects at the annual pan-European Christmas Party. Flexible working arrangements has resulted in most of its employees who take parental leave returning to the firm. Benefits also include robust security offerings from life insurance to disability coverage, in additional to private medical insurance and pensions. European offices close between Christmas and New Year and individual offices have their own perks, on top of generous leave allowances.
2. Text 100 (Next 15)
After undergoing some changes in the region (including two mergers), Text 100 has emerged with a stronger presence than ever across the region. The 35-year-old agency also recently restructured its regional offering into five groups — strategy, content, influence, social and digital. Its culture centers around three pillars: collaboration, creativity and passion. There are a few ways the firm lives up to this employer brand promise, but mostly it comes down to treating employees like adults with generous time-off, flexible hours, the ability to work from wherever and tracking time in a more efficient way than the clocking in and out grind. There’s the Text 100 week-long office exchange programme where team members are selected to work from another office.
Returning new parents may have reduced hours at full pay, extra child care allowances and a flexible benefits that include a pot of money for things like spa days. Everyone has an annual allowance which can be used in any way they decide. All of the European offices have benefits that reflect the local culture.
3. Golin (IPG)
Golin rolled out “Lifetime” last year as part of its ambition “on being the most progressive and flexible employer in our industry” by doing away with the antiquated 9 to 5 work day. “Lifetime” includes unlimited paid holiday, more flexibility to work remotely or from home, and a £50 per month health and wellbeing allowance. Golin also has a 50/50 gender balanced team of MDs globally and is committed to encouraging more women to take on senior leadership roles.
The firm also provides enhanced paternity and maternity leave, including education sessions on sharing the parental load, newsletters to help new parents feel connected to the firm, and mentoring for new parents. The ‘Golin Returnship’ is a back-to-work training and paid placement programme for 30 women returning to the industry after a break of three or more years – is now in its second year. In London 2016, the firm hired Laura Weston, on a three month paid returnship and she’s now a permanent Golin marketing director. There are plans to roll-out of this programme across multiple markets. Other unconventional options include the ‘unternship’ in which an intern gets paid not to come to work for two months and go on an adventure of their choice (then come back to work at Golin); subsidized MBA programmes; the Golin B&B helps with housing for interns in London; and the Taylor Bennett Foundation for mentoring opportunities for people of color.
4. Cohn & Wolfe (WPP)
The cultural focus at Cohn & Wolfe is an "entrepreneurial culture that emphasizes creativity and imagination, and rejects mediocrity." To deliver on this,the firm has moved away from traditional hierarchy and borders to foster a collaborative culture where ideas can come from all levels of the organization. The agency's calls this approach "Cohn & Wolfe and You" with a focus on 1) investing in people’s individual development; 2) ensuring that everyone has a voice; 3) enabling employees to support each other and their local communities; and 4) fostering a culture of spontaneity and fun.
BEST AGENCIES TO WORK FOR EMEA 2017:
Continental/Middle East/Africa | UK | Networks | About/FAQ
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