Over the last two years, an incredible amount of work has been going on behind the scenes on various initiatives relating to People and Talent within our sector.

A report published by MRS in 2022, led by Daughters of Sailors, pointed to a number of challenges we face in both retaining and attracting talent, but also ensuring that everyone working within the sector feels fulfilled, supported and able to be at their best at work.

The challenges raised in this report are still very relevant today, and this was reinforced by the lively and detailed discussions at the Agency Leaders Summit hosted by MRS at the end of 2023. The whole afternoon was devoted to presentations and discussions on everything to do with people and culture, and the key topics discussed included (amongst others):

  • Ways of working – remote/hybrid/office as well as flexibility and part-time
  • Balance – effective wellbeing at work and balancing client and commercial demands
  • Multi-generational workplaces – being fully inclusive and embracing different needs and preference

The workstreams that form part of the People and Talent programme within MRS are the result of much hard work, commitment and energy by a wide-ranging group of volunteers who are passionate about these areas and bringing together resources for the good of all the sector. All of these can be found on the People and Talent hub on the MRS website.

Resources and initiatives

Some key recent resources and initiatives of note include:

  • Positive Retention Report – frameworks and ideas for improving retention through embracing positive working practices and workplace culture
  • Research Career Finder tool – an interactive exploration of the wide variety of roles within the sector, brought to life with first person video perspectives
  • Becoming Employee Owned – a video interview with Danny Sims of DJS on a new model for company ownership that embraces positive employee engagement
  • Barriers to Wellbeing – a report which explores the challenges around wellbeing within the insight sector specifically and how to start finding ways to manage this more effectively
  • Cost of Living and Inflationary Pressures – suggestions on how best to support your staff and business in this cost of living crisis
  • Amplifying Colleague Voices - a breadth of practical ideas for listening to and amplifying your team members’ voices

There is a lot more to come in this space, including an MRS-run Employee Engagement Survey launching on 27 February, which will offer an independent benchmark of employee satisfaction and engagement across the sector, and increasing collaboration with the MRS Senior Client Council to take the broadest possible look at the challenges and identify joined-up client/agency solutions.

For more information please do visit the many resources available on the website, or contact Jane Frost, Debrah Harding or myself if you would like to dig deeper and have a chat!

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