When David Davies was looking for a new owner for the successful dance music magazine Mixmag there was no shortage of potential buyers, but he knew exactly which one to choose. “We sold it to Emap, because we thought Emap would look after the magazine and the people. And it did honour those promises,” he says.
Keeping promises may sound unusual for a media empire, but Emap is supportive of the 3,800 people it employs in the UK, and allows them lots of space to be creative and to develop their careers, while keeping a close eye on the bottom line — this is a very profitable organisation, with pre-tax profits of £86m in the last financial year.
Opportunities for development are not in short supply. The company publishes 65 magazines in the UK, including many market-leading titles such as FHM, Heat, Smash Hits and New Woman. Also under the Emap umbrella are 18 regional radio stations, including Kiss in London and Hallam FM in Sheffield, and seven digital music television channels. Business magazines and exhibitions in the UK, and consumer magazines in France make up the rest of the business.
Davies, who was managing director at Mixmag, has worked with Emap in an editorial managerial capacity for seven years, and is now editor-in-chief of the men’s magazine FHM. “I’ve had lots of jobs here. It’s a place that you can get on, that’s almost an implicit promise of working here,” he says.
People can move across publications and divisions and this seems to keep boredom levels at a minimum, as 71% say they found their work stimulating and 73% love working for Emap. Knowing that all of the current board were promoted internally must also be a motivating factor.
Staff feel managers support them: 72% say their boss shares important information with them, 69% think their manager cares about how satisfied they are in their job, and just 26% say they lack support from them.
Four out of five employees say they would miss the company if they left, and half the staff reckon that they have found their dream job, a top 30 score.
Emap offers a flexible benefits package, called Lifemap. Staff can “buy” or “sell” a week’s holiday from their 25 days basic allowance. They can also opt for private healthcare and a pension plan into which the employer pays up to 5% and the employee decides on their own sum. Free personal accident cover is included, and free life insurance worth four times salary comes as part of the pension. Travel insurance, health check-ups, gym membership, dental care and childcare vouchers are also options.
A high 83% of staff own shares, thanks to options for all and an incentive plan.
Although each division recognises good work, the big event of the year is the company’s annual awards ceremony. These are glittering events, with an external panel of judges and performances by pop bands.
Number of Staff:
Male to Female ratio:
Under 35 to Over 55 Ratio: