AFFINITY tops AFR BOSS Best Places to Work list

Jason Pollock
By Jason Pollock | 27 April 2022

Media agency AFFINITY has been named as AFR's Best Place to Work in the Media and Marketing category, beating more than 750 nominated organisations across Australia and New Zealand.

The Australian Financial Review (AFR) and BOSS magazine Best Places to Work awards are based on an assessment process managed by behavioural science consultancy Inventium, including a written submission and a staff survey examining policies, practices and programs..

AFFINITY, placed ninth in last year’s Media and Marketing list, catapulted to #1 thanks to innovative work practices and flexible working arrangements in the post-pandemic environment.

The agency was also recognised with a new award, Most Outstanding Practice – Employee Wellbeing, which it won in competition across all the Best Places to Work industry categories.

Key to AFFINITY’s win was its Thinking Thursday initiative, a designated meeting-free day that was developed to prioritise the uninterrupted time and space needed to solve client problems, improve internal processes and develop new tools or approaches.

“We’ve always invested heavily in our staff training and development, but this was really a response to the crush of meetings and sense of non-stop work the pandemic had engendered,” said AFFINITY CEO Luke Brown.

“As a business that’s rewarded for the quality of our critical thinking, we consciously built a clear space for the whole team to do what we do best – think. And it’s paid off big time in terms of outcomes for our clients and the happiness of our people.”

The top 10:

best places to work - afr 2022

Hatched recognised for people-first approach

Coming in at #2 in the Media and Marketing category was fellow media agency Hatched, thanks to the appointment of a Shadow Board.

This Shadow Board -- a junior leadership team that leads decisions within the business such as working from home policies -- was an important reason why Hatched ranked so highly.

“We’re thrilled to rank second in the Best Places to Work list this year. In an industry with an incredibly high churn rate such as ours, culture is the best point of difference,” said Hatched People and Culture Director Virginia Scully.

“This is a true testament to all of the effort put in by our Hatchlings to create a supportive, inclusive and unique culture.”

Porter Novelli and Paper+Spark in top 10

Speaking on the #5 spot that Porter Novelli Australia claimed in the Media and Marketing category, chief executive officer Rhys Ryan said: “We’re proud to be recognised in the 2022 AFR BOSS Best Places to Work List for the first time. Our people define our culture and the purpose-led work we deliver for our clients.

“Our employee offering centres on flexibility, diversity and continuous learning. Unpinning these principles are a range of benefits – from an annual Curiosity Fund of $1000 per person for self-directed learning and development, to a program of rewards to recognise those who go above and beyond in their roles with us.”

Paper+Spark was 7th in the Media and Marketing category, recognised for achievements and practices around health and wellbeing, remote and flexible working practices since pre-COVID and a culture where staff members are encouraged to design a way of working that best suits their individual needs and family commitments.

“We’re so proud to have been recognised for our efforts in creating a brilliantly inclusive, diverse, creative and flexible workplace, ranking #7 on the 2022 AFR BOSS Best Places to Work Media & Marketing list,” said Zeina Khodr, Managing Director of Paper + Spark.

“In under 3.5 years, we’ve prioritised creating a workplace where everyone is welcome, treated equally, can work flexibly and health and wellbeing is a priority – because who doesn’t want this?”

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