"Not everyone can say they were flown to Ibiza for a night of dinner and dancing courtesy of their company. Not many can drink for free in the firm's bar on a Thursday evening or win ""a grand in the hand"" for good performance, but staff at the TBWA advertising agency can.
Employees at the agency, which boasts John Smiths beer and PlayStation as clients, work hard — 50 hours a week on average and only 54% claim they are happy with their work-life balance. Only five companies in our top 100 score lower on this measure.
They do, however, get lots of holidays (up to 37 days) and the job is exciting — 77% say working in their team gives them a buzz and 78% say they find their work stimulating, the fifth- and eighth-highest scores respectively of all organisations in this survey. Just four companies recorded a higher positive score than TBWA's 63% for ""this is my dream job"".
Employees like what they do and believe in themselves and each other — 74% say their managers regularly express appreciation for a job well done while 81% have confidence in the abilities of colleagues.
As one says: ""When you see a snooker player in action he is always thinking two to three shots ahead of the game, and I think myself and the rest of this agency are like that. That is what makes it so exciting.""
TBWA has one of the highest rates of staff who say they would miss the company if they quit at 85% (a top 10 score across all companies), although employee turnover is relatively high at 21%.
A creative art director/copywriter picks up £62,000 a year and 32 members of staff get paid more than £100,000 — seven of them women. The firm provides free breakfasts as well as the company bar (free on Thursday nights and half-price on Fridays). High achievers are recognised with cash or a weekend in the company's Paris flat. There are also free reiki massages, duvet days and flexible benefits through which staff can reduce their health insurance and life cover and buy another benefit, such as travel insurance or dental cover.
Anyone can put forward a creative viewpoint either through e-mail or popping in to see a manager. Andrew McGuinness, the chief executive, meets all the new starters in their first week and runs a skills school session. Anyone in the company can book an appointment to see him in person.
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