Mid-Sized Agency (30-99 UK employees)
Bronze winner: Octopus
UK staff: 58
Agency staff receive more than 50 hours of training each year, through a combination of mentoring, job-shadowing, ‘lunch and learn’ sessions with journalists, clients and others (25 were held in 2017), and performance reviews. The equivalent of seven per cent of staff salaries are spent on training, on average.
Octopus’ generous sabbatical programme allows employees with more than five years’ service to take up to eight weeks paid leave (unpaid leave is available after three years). Ten employees have taken sabbaticals in the past three years. Like several agencies, Octopus works with the Taylor Bennett Foundation to increase the number of employees from BME backgrounds.
But with 24 per cent of staff from these groups, it is fair to say Octopus has gone further than most to have an ethnically diverse workforce.
The intern scheme developed by Octopus, which gives hands-on PR experience, has also proved successful; all eight interns hired over the past 12 months have secured permanent roles at the company.
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