So Advertising Age has published their annual list of great places to work. Congratulations to everyone who made the list. It must be a big deal, because the Twitterverse is abuzz with self-promotion and congratulations by companies that made the list. I haven’t worked at any of those places, so I’m not really in a position to contend the results. What I think is important, however, is to acknowledge that there are bunch of really great places to work, like bloomfield knoble, that aren’t eligible to be on the list.
Let’s start with how Advertising Age picked the winners:
“Because every firm has its own strengths, we turned to New York-based Buck Consultants to help us level the playing field. With nearly a century of experience in employee and human-resource consulting, Buck crafted two surveys to help us find the companies with the best benefits and most-engaged employees. We used employee engagement as a measure that’s proved to work across industries and pay grades. So what is engagement? Employee engagement is an indicator of the degree to which employees feel involved and committed to their work. Key factors include open and transparent management, clear communication of company goals and obvious paths to promotion.
Who was eligible?
Any agency, media owner or marketer with more than 50 full-time employees was eligible. There was no cost to the companies to participate in the program.
How did we rank them?
Buck Consultants developed surveys for the employers and the employees. The employer survey contained nearly 75 questions and the employee survey comprised 50 questions covering 13 topics. Nearly 185 companies applied, and more than 100 completed both rounds. The employer portion included quantitative issues about pay, promotions, health care and other benefits, hiring practices and more.
More than 15,000 employees took the survey. The employee survey measured aspects of the workplace environment that contribute to an engaged staff, including matters such as fairness of pay, vacation time, relationships with management and co-workers, career development and other workplace issues. Providing great benefits gets a company only so far if no one likes working there, so we weighted the employee survey results as 60% of the overall score. That said, some companies had such great benefits that they were able to pull up less-awesome employee scores, and some companies with employees that were off-the-charts happy fell out of the top 40 because of low scores on the workplace-conditions side.”
We don’t have 50 employees, so we were out of the running. Truth is, we don’t want 50 employees. We have some really big clients and we offer really good service. We use a ‘Tiger Team’ model so we don’t feel we need a lot of employees, or the overhead that goes with them. I’m not knocking larger agencies – just not what we want to be. So, please don’t take this as a knock against big agencies, but to me, a great place to work isn’t just about vacation time and career development and stuff like that.
To me, finding a great place to work is as simple as looking forward to going to work in the morning. There are days when I dread a meeting or some task or deadline, but I don’t think I’ve ever woken up and wished that I didn’t have to go to work (which isn’t the same as wishing that I was rich enough that I didn’t have to work).
OK – back on track. My point is that just because an agency doesn’t have 50 employees to make it to the Advertising Age list doesn’t mean it’s not (pardon the double negative) a great place to work.
I’m fairly compensated. I have plenty of vacation time (even if I don’t use it). I am able to take advantage of educational training and we have a bunch of other things that make our office a great place to work. I, like most people, recognize that different benefits have greater impact than others. For me, I place tremendous value on the fact that I don’t have to show up for work until 9:30. This lets me walk my son to school every day – something that is very important to me. I also get to wear shorts (except when clients are in the office), which is worth a lot to me. My only real complaint is the inability of our office building to offer a consistent temperature (older building), but that isn’t really our fault.
So when it’s all said and done, there are a lot of great places (agencies) to work that aren’t going to make the Advertising Age list, and we’re one of them.
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