Best Places to Work Asia 2021: Best Small Agency

This intimate outfit in Tokyo scored top marks for its clear communication of values, diverse make-up, and efficient pay structures.

Best Places to Work Asia 2021: Best Small Agency

APCO Worldwide
13 employees

A company's values are the reason a company exists in the first place. And in the case of majority women- and employee-owned APCO Worldwide, its values greatly contribute to the reason staff tend to stick around—a 2020 retention rate of 90 per cent to be exact. A significant 88 per cent of employees in the Tokyo office cited having a strong understanding of how their daily work aligned with the company's purpose and the same percentage of employees have a strong awareness of the company's values in the first place.

Japan may be a homogenous market, but APCO's office in Tokyo is anything but. The team established an initiative to bring global talent to the office long-term such as the case of Dale Vieregge, senior director of digital strategy, who was transferred to Tokyo from the APCO headquarters in Washington.

The diverse make-up of the company office is also bolstered by its global exchange programme where 20 employees are selected each year to work at another office around the world. The selected individuals are expected to contribute to the host office by sharing best practices, review client engagement, experience the local culture, and upon return, share learnings with their colleagues.

On top of that, the company conducted a gender pay equity analysis in each market last year, and the data was shared globally among staff. Commendably, bonuses and pay rises are not limited to senior staff; junior and mid-level employees are eligible to receive a 'spot bonus' in the range of JPY$70k (US$855) to JPY$105k (US$1,283) anytime throughout the year.

In October 2020, Charlene Wheeless was appointed APCO's global senior advisor for equity and justice and provides counsel on employee engagement as well as client matters.

See the full list of winners for Best Places to Work Asia 2021. 

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