As agency dog, I tend not to write too many blog posts. (For one thing, if they find out I can use a keyboard guess who’ll be next pitch bitch?) However, if there’s one thing I feel strongly about it’s the place where I work – there’s more to it than a comfy sofa, some biscuits and the occasional stroll round the streets of Clerkenwell.
That’s why I commissioned a survey into how happy the humans are at AML – not just two-legged work colleagues, but those lovely people called clients. They come from all over the world mainly to bring me treats (bitteballen, sushi and sausages for example) but also for simple ideas that solve their complicated marketing challenges.
The survey was done by a nice (except she prefers cats) lady called Annabel from an independent research firm called Q&R, and she says our results are quite remarkable. I came out top dog – but that’s hardly a surprise. What it did reveal is that the humans are 87% happy with the place they work in – and clients gave us exactly the same happiness rating. And 78% would recommend AML as a place to work. Which is, apparently, quite good.
So what makes working at AML better than a run in the park on a sunny day? Well there’s me, for a start. And my friend Hobie, who is AML’s head of wellbeing – I’ve had a sniff around and no other agency has one. Don’t they care about wellbeing? Trot into the building (past the flowerpots, yummy smells) and she’s the first person you meet.
She takes her job very seriously. Not only is she a trained counsellor (I’ve been known to chew over a few issues with her myself) but she’s also in charge of making AML Group a better place to work. Simple things like birthdays off, Juan the masseur, the welcome pack, rooftop barbeques and Friday beers. Weekend Words, the weekly chance to talk about anything on our minds. The Thrive Fund, £100 to spend on something useful.
Hobie’s suggestion box produced the Simple Ideas Fund, where we invest our own money for charity in simple, smart ideas. Along with cake sales, training courses and healthier snacks. And better biscuits. My idea of a sleeping basket under everyone’s desk was unaccountably rejected though.
We do some work, too. We’ve won lots of awards for it – they’re behind Hobie’s desk (the Chip Shop ones are tastiest). We are winning new clients all the time, from startups to global giants. And we’re doing our bit for the future with projects that do good for others, like trying to fix financial exclusion with The Big Issue using something called blockchain. Unless that’s a new sort of dog lead?
I’m not saying that me joining the agency made it a great place to work, and I’m not taking all the credit for the run of successes that started around the same time. Can’t be a complete coincidence though, can it? But I do know that AML is fun, inclusive, creative and productive. A place where everyone’s contribution is welcomed and recognised, from the humblest human to the top dog.
It’s definitely a better place to be than the park, even on a sunny day.