Less than 1 in 2 Agency Employees Feel their Agency is Innovative and Creative

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Only 48% of media agency employees in Singapore felt their agency is innovative and creative, according to a joint study done by regional HR services firm for agencies - Bricoleur Consulting and 4As Singapore at the end of 2012. Bricoleur Consulting, a Singapore based HR services firm for the communications industry conducted this study to identify what makes agencies great places to work and how agencies can improve employee engagement.

Less than 1 in 2 Agency Employees Feel their Agency is Innovative and Creative

The study was conducted through an online survey by Greenberg Brand Strategy, among 146 people in Singapore who currently work for media agencies. There was a mix across agencies, staff levels, and gender to ensure that the data was balanced and representative. When the media talent pool was asked if their company delivered well on creativity and innovation, most felt their agency didn’t match up.

Also 51% of the surveyed employee base expressed an openness to exploring new opportunities. That’s 1 in every 2 people who are going to work everyday with a ‘one-foot-outside-the-door’ mentality. This sentiment cuts across levels from fresh recruits to managers. It is also gender-agnostic as both males and females expressed an equal level of openness. The lowest an agency scored on disengagement was 29% and the highest was 76%.

If an employee does not believe that the work the agency does is strongly differentiated from the competition then they are likely to look for external validation like high profile work and high compensation. There is a direct link between engagement and differentiation at the agency brand level. To that extent employee engagement through brand differentiation supersedes high salaries.

The Case for Agency Brand Differentiation
Agency consolidation, pressures on the traditional revenue model and longer work hours appear to have diluted perceptions of differences between media brands.

The disengaged employee is more likely to believe that media brands are increasingly similar; the study found that such employees might look for external validation through higher compensation and high profile clients. Being able to believe in the vision for their team and the company, as a whole would enhance engagement.

The study also resulted in the development of a Brand Asset Index that mapped how the various agency brands have fared on various attributes vis a vis level of engagement amongst the respective agency teams. Two agency brands seemed to have the strongest correlation between innovation and creativity and employee engagement.

According to Anu D’souza, Director, Bricoleur Consulting, the study’s findings have been revealing. “ I think the link between employee engagement and what the agency brand stands for is really interesting.”

For more details related to the study please reach out to the Bricoleur team.

HR Services for Agencies
Bricoleur Consulting is Singapore based but works across the region with advertising, media, digital and market research agencies. The company focuses on this subset of organizations as it feels they have unique characteristics and cultures. The company offers retention focused customized executive search (talent acquisition) and has a tie-up with Emergenetics to enable team mapping as a part of its talent engagement services. The company was started by Anu D’souza who comes from advertising and marketing having spent many years with companies like Ogilvy and Unilever and served on Boards of multiple organizations. The company also uses a panel of senior agency leaders for assessments for leadership roles. This panel includes senior executives such as Manpreet Singh who was CEO of Mindshare Singapore and UM China, Mike Foster who was Regional Planning Director with Leo Burnett, Missy Devlin, who has in the past been MD of Ogilvy One Singapore, Vaughn Davis who has been on the Cannes Direct/ Digital Jury and Rodrigo Toni, who was last Regional CEO for Australia, India and ASEAN with Ipsos.

For more information please visit http://www.bricoleurconsulting.com.sg or email Anu D’Souza on anu(at)bricoleurconsulting(dot)com.sg or Nitya Perera on nitya(at)bricoleurconsulting(dot)com.sg.

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