Just one change from your best workplace
Just one change from your best workplace
Everybody’s keep on waiting: experience shows that agency workers these days are not taking the risk of changing jobs, preferring to stay, even under worse conditions. Forgotten promotions, unclear expectations, too few tenders, stuck in the wrong job. But we take care of our team: an internal coach helps from day one and the feedback is important. And perhaps most importantly, you don't have knots in your stomach on Sunday afternoon when you think about Monday. We need people constantly, but the labour market has slowed down.
A year ago, we had an exciting campaign, with a powerful vision, with black-and-white short films of managers talking about what it's been like to work at Progressive for ten or six years.
Orsolya Szabó, Solya: We wanted to create an employee-focused campaign, because the traditional channels hardly work. We told the potential applicants why it is good to work here. The campaign was very successful, we got a lot of new employees, even referring to specific parts of the videos, and we even won a prize.
Let's start with the most important thing: why is it good to work at Progressive?
Tibor Hodik: For me, it's probably the balance - we're maximising performance at a huge heat level at the forefront of a super-intensive industry, but here we have the security of the fundamentals and the people-centric approach that smoothes out the workload and the nerves.
Bence Buzási: To put it even more simply, at Progressive, you won't have Sunday Scaries just because Monday comes again. We have Mondays when you have new and motivating tasks to do, not just the treadmill.
Q: What gives you the safety?
Bence: I'm sure others will make rational arguments like the company is stable because we work on a lot of brands, that we do both advertising and events and that we've been operating for 23 years. I would rather look at the emotional side. In advertising, we are dealing with applied art, everybody wants to create, but here there are external limits: time, client needs, budget, etc. We want to compensate for that in-house. It seems to work.
What are those rational arguments that Bence mentioned?
Solya: Planning is important part of running a company and you can build on that in the long term with brands and employees. For example, our division heads are all experienced managers. We rely heavily on our internal coach, who works in the office twice a week. Employees might not talk to their supervisor, but it's good to have a few words with someone. For example, it could be an economic or personal challenge, the coach can also help you through such difficulties. We listen to our colleagues, we ask them, and our managers can learn from that.
Ricsi Lengyel: It is also quite unique that we have advertising and events division within one organisation. We always try to integrate the event into the client's overall communication. This is true for events with thousands of people and for the smallest client party. We have been working together for a long time, with customized individual career goals and motivatig for all involved members.
Bálint Buzási: Yes, this is a good example of our integrated mindset: we understand marketing, digital challenges and live communication. This has helped us during the epidemic - we are a generalist agency with deep knowledge, so we can react and adapt quickly in all areas, so anyone who comes to us can expect to have a stable and varied job.
Tibi: We have traditional clients. For new opportunities we consider which of the many tenders to enter. We are looking for partners that can develop into mutually beneficial partnerships in the longer term. Our clients' business objectives are our priority, but we also focus on the development of the agency and ourselves, as opposed to the ultra-short term that is typical of the market.
What happens if, despite such a multi-level, professional system, the employee cannot find his or her place in the system?
Solya: On the one hand, our selection process is relatively long with three rounds, this helps both the candidate and the company: we get to know each other better during the interviews. The candidates always meet with a supervisor and a member of management, so they can better assess who we are and what's important to us. On the other hand, we don't let go of the new employee's hand after recruitment: we have e-learning-based onboarding, integration on the first two weeks and getting to know the team and managers, with the coach's involvement.
Bálint: From day one you start straight away in a team where everyone knows what they are doing and what is their job. We work with a well-thought-out workflow, orderly information sharing, software and process-level operational optimisation. A good example is that our enterprise resource planning (ERP) system controls the project administration process and sends automatic notifications when there is work to be done - so account colleagues don't have to constantly check their administrative tasks. The system tells them when there is a new task.
Ricsi: It also happens that we find a new place for our colleague in-house. For example, we had a colleague who started as an account, but she tried live communication and seemed to be inspired by the events field. We quickly found a place for her and she was able to apply her previous experience to the events side.
I see a good division of roles on the board.
Solya: All five of us are different. We ask for each other's opinions because we look at the same issue from different angles. What matters a lot is that two of the five partners came from the bottom, as associates, after 10 years. We bring a different approach from the founders, which helps to connect management and colleagues. On top of that, we are all part of the day-to-day work, we have our own projects, tenders and our doors are open to everybody.
Bálint: We also have a diverse team, including teachers, lawyers, pharmacists, geographers, engineers and political scientists. I, for example, first graduated as a computer engineer on university of technology.
Is it important to have a diverse team?
Bence: Yes, and we also develop ourselves and the company, because it's good for everyone: partners, customers, colleagues. So, in the end, everyone spends most of their time doing what they love. Of course, there is toil work, but we do so many things that everyone can find their joy. I'm in charge of innovation - we've brought in a number of digital solutions under my leadership, from AI-based exhibition installations to automated newsstand workflow. If someone has an idea, I'm always receptive to it, and if management and I see that it has business potential, we make it into a project. Solya, for example, is strong on the gastronomy line, and Progressive benefits from that in many ways.
Solya: Yes, my personal interest in gastronomy and it is growing into more and more projects, which makes more colourful the portfolio with exciting, not "classic" multi-brands. In addition, I hold bi-weekly joint client-employee wine school with 20 people, where we have the opportunity to have a casual chat. I believe that wine brings people together, and at a recent client meeting I discovered that the managing director is also a winemaker.
Tibi: I represent sustainability in the company, which is important not only in environmental terms, but also in business and human terms. We take care of nature, our employees and the good partnership we have with our customers.
Bálint: We have order and system in our life. We have been using our own ERP system for 20 years: it gives us input for quick business decisions, we log all working hours, we can analyse how many hours we spent on projects per client, so we can optimise team scheduling, for example. Data visualisation has been part of the operation for years.
Bence: But aren't we trying to convince candidates?
Bálint: What I'm saying is that our systems support and protect creativity. No matter how many projects there are, you don't work in chaos. You always know when you have a job to do. There is a constant dialogue between manager and staff member, as well as between management and controlling. The divisions work together and think together. Solya mentioned the experience of the divisional managers, I'll tell you in a moment what the average is... 10.5 years: 14 managers in the top 3 levels have been with the company for more than 10 years on average.
Bence: And did Bálint mentioned that he started as an IT engineer?