IPG Mediabrands closes offices for a day to focus on its people

Rosie Baker
By Rosie Baker | 17 March 2017
Efi Richter

IPG Mediabrands is closing its offices temporarily to give its people a dedicated day to focus on personal development.

The initiative is part of an ongoing people and talent programme designed to give 100 hours back to each of its people in recognition of the hard work they put in.

Instead of answering emails and calls from clients, partners and suppliers, everyone in the business will spend time writing personal and career development plans, having mentoring sessions with board members and focusing on themselves.

There will also be meditation, health and nutrition sessions. The aim is for everyone in the business to have a stated goal by the end of the day.

It's a trial session but the intention is for it to become an annual activity. 

Efi Richter, Mediabrands' chief talent officer, says the initiative comes right from the top of the organisation with global CEO Henry Tajer and local boss Danny Bass on board.

Watch the video interview with Efi Richter as part of the AdNews People and Talent series 


The initiative recognises a shift in how IPG Mediabrands' senior management's performance is measured, with people metrics included alongside business and financial metrics.

It takes place in the Sydney office on Monday 20 March and in Melbourne on 22 March. Senior leadership will attend both.
Following the one day initiative IPG Mediabrands is introducing meditation sessions each week, and from 1 April is introducing concierge-style services, such as dry cleaning, that aim to make life more convenient for its people.

To make the day possible Mediabrands has been in touch with all clients so that they are aware staff will not be available for the day and to ensure there is no negative impact to client relationships or necessary work to be actioned.

It has also been providing tips and tools to help staff prepare and facilitate stepping back from cleint work for the day.

Richter tells AdNews: “This is a commitment to putting people first, to engage and empower our people and give them the ability to perform better. We consider the business impact of our people and the people impact of our commercial initiatives. 

“The only thing that isn't renewable is time, so this is about giving that time back to people by making things easy.”

In January, AdNews rolled out a three part video series looking at how agencies are focusing on their people. It was produced for us by Shootsta.

Watch the episodes here:

Have something to say on this? Share your views in the comments section below. Or if you have a news story or tip-off, drop me a line at rosiebaker@yaffa.com.au

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