UK Best Places to Work Awards 2019 winners - Large Agency

Brands2Life was awarded the Large Agency Award for its impressive dedication to employee welfare and career development. It also took home the Organisational Health Award. The Best Places to Work Awards are supported by CALM and REBA.

Large Agency (100+ UK employees) Winner: Brands2Life

Organisational Health Award Winner: Brands2Life

This independent agency, which employs 127 people in the UK, has grown consistently over its 19-year history, and its impressive dedication to employee welfare and career development has accompanied its success.

A 15 per cent staff turnover alone points to a winning formula. Employees tend to stay longer than the industry average – around three and a half years – and one third of staff, including two MDs, joined as graduates.

Brands2Life’s employee benefits won praise, including financial assistance – interest-free ‘life loans’, to be paid back over one year, are available to help employees with things like ingoing costs for moving.

The agency has a generous sabbatical programme, offering two months at half pay or one month at full pay at four years, and one month on full pay after eight and 12 years. Their jobs are often re-modelled when they return to provide variety and maintain interest.

In 2018 the agency spent £180,000 on staff training, or around £1,800 per person, with all staff having an average of one formal training session per month in addition to company-wide training events. Bespoke training programmes are designed based on feedback from twice yearly assessments of progress against goals.

Brands2Life’s strategy towards mental health is also extensive. Managers are trained to check-in with their reports on a daily basis and watch for signs of distress. Mental health awareness training is provided to all staff along with more in-depth training about how to manage mental health in the workplace training for managers. Private medical cover for individuals and their families is offered, along with a health care cash plan. An employee assistance programme offers phone and face to face counselling including mental health, family, financial debt and legal help.

Highly Commended: Lansons

A perennial Best Places to Work winner, Lansons continues to impress with its enlightened and generous employment policies.

The independent agency, with 104 UK employees, shares 25 per cent of profit with staff, and has done so in each of its 29 years of existence.

One third of staff currently own shares in the business, and founders Tony Langham and Clare Parsons aim to get their share down to 10 per cent each over the next 10 years. Other financial benefits include life assurance and critical illness insurance.

Lansons prides itself on career development opportunities. More than a third of people at account director level and above started at junior or account executive level, including five board directors. Almost half the team have been promoted in the last year.

The agency has no gender pay gap, and a 65/35 gender split in favour of women at every level of seniority.

Average paid holiday entitlement is 28.5 days, increasing by one day per year and an extra 10 days "milestone" holiday every five years. Medical checks are provided for employees, based on their age.


FleishmanHillard Fishburn
Publicis Resolute, Publicis LifeBrands and Real Science (PLBRS)

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