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Why every day is Employee Appreciation Day at Beattie

By Laurna Woods

It’s Employee Appreciation Day today. But at Beattie, we don’t set aside a single 24 hours to celebrate our people – we do it every day.

The reason for that is simple: our clients deserve the best, and they only get the best if we can attract and retain the best performers in the public relations, marketing and communications sectors.

We only employ extraordinary people, because they deliver delight for clients, not merely satisfaction. Extraordinary people get more done and cost less than two ordinary people. And they take more satisfaction from a job well done.

As a leading integrated communications agency, Beattie is more than the sum of its parts. We play together as a team and sign stars in every position so we can win for our clients, our company, and ourselves. We employ people with good judgement, courage, passion, honesty, selflessness, the ability to make an impact and to innovate, and the desire to continually learn and improve themselves. And we support them at every stage of their progress.

But we don’t cosset them – responsible people thrive on freedom. Our team members are self-motivated, self-aware, self-disciplined and self-improving. They act like a leader and don’t need or want to be told what to do. They are the kind of people who pick up litter – literally and figuratively.

We start with the simple things, such as pay. We pay our high performers more than anyone else is likely to. We pay them as much as a replacement would cost and as much as we would pay to keep them if they had a better offer from a rival communications agency.

At rival PR and marketing agencies, market compensation rates don’t apply at pay review time but they always do at Beattie, so that top of the market compensation is re-established each year.

And staff are eligible for a bonus if the company meets its overall annual target – and another one if their office or division hits its annual target. Then there’s a £1000 finder’s fee for any employee they introduce, five per cent of the first year’s fees for any client the introduce, cash rewards for Employee of the Month, and the chance to secure a spontaneous Beattie Bonus for going that little bit further.

We go beyond the standard company benefits – pension, healthcare, generous holidays, etc – and give our people an extra half-day before their summer holiday and another one for Christmas shopping. We support their personal charitable endeavours, most often matching what they raise. And every employee gets a bottle of champagne on their birthday.

Our social committee stage many interesting events and outings including barbecues, a book club and bake sales. Then there’s the ad hoc benefits – daily free fruit in each office, end of week drinks, and our focus on health. Our annual Wellness Week opens up activities such as HIIT classes and mindfulness sessions. And weekly running and walking clubs get the endorphins pumping.

We also realise that our people need to be able to progress in their careers to feel rewarded and valued. So we train them at our own on-site training facility in Falkirk, where everyone gets at least three days of residential training from in-house experts and training consultants. Or we take them to our training facility in Spain, where they can refresh their skills in workshops, brainstorm ... and then relax in the sunshine.

Our online training platform enables team members, at every level, to take additional courses and learn at their own pace. The curriculum covers everything from personal development and problem-solving to client management and advanced digital strategies.

And our experienced senior staff work closely with their team members to pass on their skills and experience to mentor, coach, motivate and inspire more junior people on a one-to-one basis.

But appreciating our employees is about more than what we can give them – it’s about listening to them, too. It would be ludicrous to work in the communications industry and not communicate clearly with our people. As well as regular team meetings and get-togethers in each of our offices which give our employees the opportunity to have their say, we regularly canvas the views of our workforce on significant company decisions.

We also operate an open-door policy which allows each team member access to everyone from the chairman down. Our regular brainstorming sessions allows team members to contribute in a real and meaningful way to the way that we both run the business and work for our clients.

We share our news and achievements – personal and professional – in a monthly newsletter and, every two years, we gather for the Beattie conference, when the whole staff discussed where we are and where we are going.

And the last Friday of each month is Fabby Friday. One team member prepares a presentation to share with their colleagues on an inspiring, educational subject of their choice whether it be a new learning, best practice or innovative process. Another team member organises the entertainment or team challenge which can be anything from a quiz to a charity bake-off.

It is only by growing our people, letting them evolve and helping them develop, that we can continue to grow as a business and continue to provide innovative services to our clients.

Beattie is nothing without its talented, inspiring, extraordinary people. My thanks go to them.