A winning culture
“AxiCom makes its debut on our list in the #1 spot.” – PRovoke’s 2020 Best Agencies to Work For, EMEA Network When the PRovoke Best Agencies to Work for story went live it was brought to my attention by an industry peer, who doesn’t work at AxiCom. I scrolled through the article about three times before I saw we had the number one spot. We had actually won. Because I didn’t instinctively search for our name in the number one position, does it mean that I didn’t think we could win? Do I doubt what we offer employees, the culture we thrive in, our mentoring, or our inclusion? No. But I was blown away that little old (25 years old to be precise) AxiCom made it to the number one spot. Over the years I have felt that we’ve let our staff down in terms of how loud and proud we are about what it’s like to be an AxiCommer, the way we work with clients, the way we all rally to support each other. Our voice to the industry at large has been humble and demure. The wallflowers of the PR world. But our people have spoken, and now we’re going to join in the dance. This award is special. PRovoke Media surveys employees directly, asking them to rank their employer across 14 areas of agency life: engagement, management, client service, empowerment, people, culture, diversity, work, communication, professional development, ethics, compensation, work quality along with some open-ended questions. Our people’s responses put us at number one. That’s quite something. At AxiCom we’re founded on three core values – intelligence, integrity and initiative. We believe these are truly inclusive values, they form the foundations of what we look for in our people and our clients, and anyone from any background can embody them. They form the very backbone of our agency-wide culture. But ‘culture’ can also exclude people. It can become a clique and can alienate. I am always cautious and mindful of that. We do have a very distinct culture and I have sometimes worried if we hammer it home too much that we inadvertently exclude individuals who are different from us. Diversity and inclusion has never been higher on any business agenda than it is today against the backdrop of the current climate. And whilst I have always-on fear and doubt that we’re somehow getting it wrong, the PRovoke award should tell me that actually, we’re getting a lot right. In an effort to be as self-reflective as possible, we ran a diversity and inclusion survey amongst our employees. Almost 90% of those that responded either agreed or strongly agreed that they feel included and respected at AxiCom. No-one disagreed. Somehow we have unlocked the secret sauce to building and maintaining an open and inclusive culture. As we journey forward, we’re looking at how we can build on what we’ve got, push further and harder to bring in more diversity, and ensure we do everything we can to create and maintain a safe space for all of our people. I would describe people at AxiCom as all being a unique part of the jigsaw puzzle that makes us who we are; everyone fits perfectly into place but they all have a unique picture, which when put in place makes the overall picture incredibly powerful. We are all strong individuals, but together we’re a force. We are AxiCom.
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