Opinion

Best Employer case study: Spring, winner of innovation award

In 2012, Suffolk creative agency Spring scooped the Best Employer, Eastern Region award for innovation in employee engagement.

As a medium-sized agency, Spring proved to everyone that it’s not just global corporates that are able to be innovative in encouraging loyalty among its staff (who are known as ‘Springers’ in this case), while creating a great place to work.

Innovation means different things to different employers, but it does have a place in all kinds of organisations, and across all industries. The East of England is home to very talented professionals who want to be engaged and motivated, and employers certainly don’t need a trendy London postcode to justify injecting creativity into their engagement strategy.

In fact, Spring’s home is the bustling town of Southwold, and is an example of how East Anglian businesses can deliver fantastic work for clients, while providing a positive working environment, regardless of size.

The Best Employer award is a stamp of quality

Spring is clearly very proud to win the award, and believes it is evidence of the support that they give to its most valuable asset – its Springers. The agency has mentioned the accolade in marketing materials, demonstrating to customers that it knows how to look after the team, which is responsible for producing quality marketing programmes for local and national brands.

Since the award-win, Spring hasn’t had to alter their strategy, which in itself is a sign that they have been getting it right all along. Erika Clegg, Founder and Executive Creative Director, says: “As an employer we always strive to ensure Springers feel like an active part of the company's growth and management.” And this long-term vision is one of the reasons that their 2012 survey results were so impressive.

What is innovative employee engagement?

Innovation isn’t just for hi-tech firms, although it does take an imaginative mind to give employee engagement that unexpected twist! Spring’s approach to investing in its team’s sense of belonging involves a spectrum of original initiatives. The agency’s cultural expansion grants get its employees out and about, broadening their cultural horizons. Twice a year Spring pays for individual staff members to travel within the UK to an event, see a show or get involved in other activities. Lunch is even part of the deal.

The ‘Spring Hero’ lectures see senior experts from other organisations visiting the office to give lunchtime talks. With the firm also offering fitness training and making long-term workers shareholders, Spring is certainly taking exciting measures to make Springers feel “motivated, rewarded and inspired”.

Taking the proactive approach

With all of its focus on engagement and success to date, you’d be forgiven in assuming that Spring wouldn’t bother doing the survey again. Yet, Erika is taking the proactive approach and is asking staff to take part in the 2014 BEER survey in the coming weeks. She explains: “I have had an enforced absence from the business over the last few months, and this is a good opportunity to gauge whether that has had any impact on morale.” It seems the award is a bonus, but, only in its second year, the Best Employer survey has already become a vital HR tool.

Top tip for other Best Employer survey participants

There is no doubt that Spring has benefited from the survey and award on many levels. So, based on first-hand experience, what would Erika advise to other employers in the region?

She says: “I believe that the best companies, irrespective of their output, should respect and nurture their people. This is my top tip for a shipshape business, as well as a happy life.

“I highly recommend that other employers take part in this survey. We found staff very happy to answer the questions, and it’s really helped us keep track of what our employees feel about working for Spring. We were delighted with the results in 2012, and we look forward to receiving the Springers' feedback in this year’s survey.”

Thanks Erika, we couldn’t have put it better ourselves!

A big thank you to Erika for contributing to our blog, and everyone at Pure and eras ltd would like to wish the Springers the best in this year’s Best Employer survey and awards.

Would you like to win a Best Employer award? Why not ask your employees to do the free, 15-minute survey? Find out more from Anna Hill, Pure’s Marketing Manager: 01223 209888 or Anna.Hill@prs.uk.com