Lansons won praise for its approach to staff wellbeing, which includes allowing employees to take control of their working day; offering flexible working to suit people’s individual needs; and introducing a ‘break between meetings’ policy.
Parents were surveyed so Lansons could understand the issues around balancing work and homeschooling and arrive at policies that included reducing individual workloads, and promoting understanding of the specific pressures they faced within teams.
Staff were also surveyed about how they want the mix between home and office working to look following the pandemic - their opinions will guide the agency’s policies.
Lansons also demonstrated how it rewards staff with benchmarked salaries and a profit share system, as well as by inviting them to become partners in an employee-owned business. Judges applauded Lanson’s decision to become employee-owned and said it showed the agency’s commitment to staff extended beyond mere words.
It was clear from Lanson’s submission that it had made a strategic, long-term investment in its people and their wellbeing and that it had spent years building up to this point.
The agency offers staff long-term career development - more than one in three staff were promoted last year.
As one of the only financial and corporate agencies in the running, judges felt Lansons matched its peers for creativity and innovation in terms of staff welfare.
Lanson’s progressive staff policies, including managing the demands of its clients, were a beacon for other financial and corporate agencies to follow and it was a leader for change in the working practices of agencies in this sector. In all, the strategy and structure of its approach to people felt considered.
For the judges, the overriding sentiment was that Lansons exemplified integrity - and that staff could trust the leadership was sincere and committed to their wellbeing.
Highly commended: Hope&Glory
Hope&Glory’s mantra - that it wants people to bring their whole selves to work - took on fresh meaning during 2020, when home working became the norm and the agency moved quickly to prevent staff wellbeing becoming a case of "out of sight out of mind".
The agency’s policy is that staff only work beyond the core hours of 9am-6pm if it is genuinely needed, and no emails are sent between 7pm and 7am.
Flexible hours in the form of earlier or later starts are offered to everyone to accommodate parenting or caring responsibilities, or passion-projects and ‘side-hustles’; 40 per cent make use of the offer.
The agency publishes its maternity and paternity policies on its website so staff and potential recruits can view them without explicitly asking the management. It offers all staff, irrespective of seniority, the same package. This begins at full salary for the first 12 weeks and drops down to unpaid leave for the final three months if someone decides to take a full year off.
Judges were highly impressed by the agency’s clear commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion and they felt the team ethos was palpable. Beyond that, the agency treated its people like grown-ups and exuded a sense of transparency, which lent it additional authenticity.