‘I don’t think I’ve ever had as much freedom anywhere else at work,” says Ged Doherty, president of BMG UK’s music division. “The freedom of expression, the freedom of choice, the freedom to participate in what you want to do.”
Doherty reflects the music company — he is perhaps even the embodiment of its atmosphere — and about four-fifths of employees feel he is full of positive energy, have faith in his leadership and are excited about where the company is going.
BMG, the world’s third-largest music publisher, is the creative home to Christina Aguilera, Will Young, Faithless, Whitney Houston, Dido, Pink, Santana and even Elvis Presley. Internationally, the firm has more than 200 labels, including such legendary names as Arista and RCA.
Some 74% of staff say managers talk openly and honestly, 79% have confidence in the abilities of colleagues, and 80% say they can have a laugh with them.
There is free healthcare and all employees are eligible for life insurance and the company pension. About 20% of staff — mainly executives and A&R — earn performance-related bonuses. Last year, because profits exceeded expectations, a bonus was extended to all permanent staff.
Childcare vouchers are offered to employees earning less than £35,000. Last year the company held a summer party for employees and their families.
“It really is a mother-friendly environment,” says finance director Michelle Breeze.
Employees who requested it have been given their own free computer to have at home. There are stereos in all offices, and music TV in the staff restaurant, which is transformed into a candlelit bar every evening, and hosts pop quizzes, comedy nights and occasional live acoustic gigs by BMG artists.
Louise Hart, head of pop and R&B marketing, says: “We work hard, but we also have a giggle. We do work very much as a team, it’s a good place to be.”
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