Liberty Marketing stand out as one of the few marketing agencies in the UK to not only make it through lockdown, but to thrive – seeing growth, increased employee satisfaction and a flurry of awards.
Liberty have taken home three prestigious awards at the 2020 Employee Experience Awards 2020, including Gold at Best Company to Work For (SME), Silver for Employee Engagement and their HR Manager, Emily Webb, was crowned as HR Professional of the year. One judge commented:
“A very impressive project, tying in so well with the business strategy. A happy and growing workforce. Well done Emily for tying all these initiatives together and for maintaining the love and respect of your colleagues along the way.”
Maintaining employee satisfaction throughout a time of crisis is challenging, yet Liberty have achieved remarkable growth and improvement. This is down to a revamped Health and Wellbeing strategy, an office refurb to suit the needs of all employees, a strong office culture and the introduction of Flexible Responsibility Groups.
Over the past few years, Liberty had failed to meet its growth targets, and the leadership team believed this was down to staff engagement and the lack of company culture. Last year, they decided to completely overhaul its Employee Engagement Programme.
Liberty introduced initiatives to ensure employees were mentally and physically fit, including the use of a corporate nutritionist, paid-for weekly personal training sessions and regular team events such as Tough Mudder and the Movember 5k.
Team events and socials are scheduled quarterly to promote team-building, and to celebrate the hard work of the Libertines. Previous activities include paddle boarding and cheese and wine tastings. Socials have continued through lockdown with events such as virtual Murder Mystery and Escape Rooms.
The office refurb was not only designed to serve growth targets, but to give employees a space to relax, go at their own pace, and choose a working environment to suit their needs:
- Pods for an individual or small group working.
- A bustling open-plan office for more collaborative work.
HR Manager, Emily Webb, says:
“One of the final pieces of the engagement puzzle was progression opportunities. Being a smaller agency, restricted by resource and budget, linear progression opportunities in the more traditional way aren’t as accessible. We wanted to make the progression purposeful and meaningful so we looked at ways to provide more opportunities for growth, allowing staff to feel valued and have an impact.”
“It is important to us that staff feel like an integral part in company growth and success. To enable this, we developed the Flexible Responsibility Groups. This is where employees are given opportunities to take on senior responsibilities that lie outside their current roles. These groups or responsibilities may rotate or move every 6-12 months. They allow personal and professional growth for staff, and crucially, tie in with business growth too.”
It has been reported that a third of agency employees in the UK have had pay cuts, while one in four members of staff have been made redundant since the beginning of lockdown.
However, Liberty is one of the few agencies that, rather than making a loss, furloughs or redundancies, has instead seen near record growth as they’re now up over 30% in billings on where they were in March, making them on track for their annual growth target.
Rather than making furloughs, the business instead onboarded ten new members of staff and are hiring several more. These new positions cover service delivery roles such as SEO, PPC, and digital PR, as well as support roles in project management and account management.
As well as hiring new members of staff, Liberty also created new roles and made new promotions, including Paul Hunter who is now Head of Innovation, and Emily Benwell, who sits as Brand Manager.
Gareth Morgan, Founder and Managing Director of Liberty Marketing, believes that the agency is only in this situation due to the passion of the team. He says:
“An agency is only as good as it’s people, so we needed to make sure that not only are we attracting the best talent available, but we’re also allowing them to play to their strengths and do their best work. By focussing our efforts on the team and putting the employees at the heart of our growth strategy, we’ve seen huge success.”