Asked to describe what sets their company apart, the management of Springdale ad firm Saatchi & Saatchi X doesn’t miss a beat.
“We transcend fun to make this a joyful place to work,” said Jessica Hill, talent director. “We celebrate every success, birthday and anniversary. We have a committee that finds different ways for us to give back to the community; we’ve held fundraising events and internal games or competitions to raise money, as well as donating our time. Additionally, we have a secret committee called X-Files that creatively executes fun activities throughout the year.”
Amid the entertainment value of crawfish boils, Halloween costume contests and charity Texas Hold ‘Em tournaments, the company is also achieving important team building benefits that show up most clearly during times of stress.
“What works for Saatchi X is creating a fun and engaging environment that is met through random surprises, rewarding the hard work frequently, encouraging learning and development and caring about the employee as a person, not a number,” said Hill. “When something happens to one of us, it happens to all of us; when someone has an illness or experiences a family tragedy, we show up in a big way.”
Such trust and commitment means potentially problematic conversations are handled with respect and are received constructively, particularly when fortified with an environment that encourages unfiltered, yet appropriate, conversations.
“Communicating with our co-workers and direct reports can be very challenging,” said Alison Nail, talent manager. “We encourage courageous conversations with our co-workers and direct reports. We train managers and teams on how to have ‘straight-talk’ conversations but also how to encourage inspiring conversations.
“We also have an open-door policy and encourage employees to approach a member of leadership if they have questions, ideas, feedback or concerns. This open dialogue helps our team to better understand the day-to-day challenges and opportunities our employees face.”
“Trust that your employees will do the right thing. Saatchi X has a very generous time off package and employees have the ability to use their PTO time from Day One. Rarely does an employee abuse the time off package and their teammates will call them out if they do.” — Alison Nail, talent manager
|Neat Things We Do|
|• Generous time off package, allowing for a better work/life balance, includes 18 holidays and a minimum of 12 paid days off for new employees.|
|• Regular “Joy Deposits” which are random acts of fun ranging from office-wide popcorn and soft drinks to a string quartet, a ventriloquist, a magician and even a camel in the office on Wednesday “hump day.”|
|• Domestic partners are included in benefits coverage.|
|• Referral bonus for any position.|
|• Yoga classes twice a week and meditation class once a month to combat stress.|
Saatchi & Saatchi X has received more than 125 awards since 2011 from clients and the advertising industry. It also enjoys turnover well below the industry average, while doubling the size of the company over the past five years.
“We believe our award-winning results and innovative marketing campaigns are successful because of our ability to create an employee-centric culture,” Hill said. “The combination of hard work, open dialogue, joy and a spirit of ‘one team-one dream’ contribute to the positive results and awards we have received.”