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GingerMay is shortlisted for three UK Company Culture Awards

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Published Date 15.04.2024

GingerMay is a global agency for PR and integrated B2B tech communications. We work with leading and emerging digital advertising and tech clients across the UK, EMEA, APAC, and the US.

Since our foundation nearly 15 years ago, GingerMay has employed a people-centric approach to business that prioritises the wellbeing of staff over profits.

We are incredibly proud to have been nominated for three UK Company Culture Awards: Best Mental Health in the Workplace Initiative (Agency), Best Flexible Working Policy, and the Leadership award for our founder and CEO Victoria Usher.

These nominations stand as proof of our commitment to creating a working environment that gives every member of our team the platform to grow and flourish – no matter their requirements.

Over the last year, we have revolutionised multiple business practices to build even firmer foundations for our team to succeed. Our approach is underpinned by B Corp Certification. This was not only a recognition of the sustainability work undertaken so far, but a pledge to continue to strive to prioritise people and the planet.

Forging a new standard for mental health in PR

PR is experiencing a mental health crisis. Nine in ten UK PR professionals struggle with mental health issues. This worrying figure cannot simply be explained by the rigorous and often high-pressure nature of the job – it’s clear that mental health support is severely  lacking across the entire industry. We saw the urgent need to be proactive in our approach to mental health in the workplace.

Catching the first signs of potential mental health stress is vital to ensure it doesn’t worsen. So that our staff can recognise the early signs of mental health issues, we hold regular training sessions on how to better deal with stressors and manage mental health. A number of our team are also trained as Mental Health First Aiders (MHFA). These members of staff are able to more effectively spot early signs of mental health issues and make themselves available for one-to-one support. They are also a visible point of contact for anyone wanting to talk through any issues both in and outside the workplace.

There is no one-size-fits-all solution to mental health. We are careful to work with our team in a way that is best for them – for example, we extend a personalised approach to neurodiverse team members to ensure their strengths are maximised and offer behavioural coaching to better understand the most effective way for them to work.

Most importantly however, we simply make time for each other. Alongside the one-on-one support of MHFAs, we organise a range of events to ensure staff are engaged. Setting time aside for regular Walk & Talks ensures team members get out of the office with colleagues, as do volunteering days throughout the year.

Building flexible working into our DNA

Flexible working was part of the GingerMay DNA since our foundation – but that doesn’t mean we’ve stood still. We have long offered all staff the option to work in the way that feels most comfortable to them. However, in an ultra-competitive market, we understand the need to continually review and enhance this commitment.

Our flexible working policy is open to everyone. Whether they are looking to more easily meet childcare commitments, visit family abroad, study part time, or simply leave early for a concert, staff are encouraged to work in a way that is best for them.

These initiatives are successful because we have given staff the tools to succeed. All team members are equipped with an up-to-date MacBook alongside homeworking accessories. This is not a nice to have, it is a must have – especially in a fast-moving industry like PR.

We are hyper-aware of the issues that remote work can cause such as increasing loneliness and isolation, which without effective systems in place, can lead to mental health deteriorating. Our MHFAs help to manage this by monitoring the team for any adverse signs, and organising focus days – on which staff are encouraged to attend the office –  which have also helped to build a unified company culture and foster greater collaboration.

Our team is overwhelmingly positive about our flexible working policy. Account Director, Geneviève Benoit stated after the birth of her daughter: “The juggling act isn’t always easy, but having a supportive work environment allows me to thrive in both facets of life. It’s a balance I deeply value.” Senior Copywriter, Max Drinan, recently written about his invigorated outlook on full-time work and how flexibility boosts his overall wellbeing.

Leading From the Front

Victoria built GingerMay nearly 15 years ago around one key principle: to achieve sustainable commercial success, not in spite of having people-centric values, but because of them.

This outlook was shaped by her own experiences within PR, seeing first-hand the pressures placed on those within the industry. As a mother, she repeatedly saw her career path blocked and vowed to create a company that was more open and equitable to all.

In 2023, Victoria wanted to reach even greater heights, increasing GingerMay’s already stellar client Net Promoter and client satisfaction scores, and become 100% carbon neutral. The most important thing for Victoria was to prove that these goals were achievable without sacrificing the wellbeing of her team.

Her singular focus, drive and determination ensured not only that GingerMay attained these goals, but exceeded them. The icing on the cake was gaining B Corp Certification. A long time goal for the company, this certification acknowledged Victoria’s drive to have GingerMay be sustainable in everything it does – environmentally, socially, and economically.

What truly sets Victoria apart is her ability to keep driving forward. While many would have sat back after the astounding achievements of 2023, Victoria is working even harder to ensure that GingerMay is a supportive place for its staff, a positive influence on the environment, and a leader in delivering PR and communications.

Victoria said of the nominations: “It is always an honour to be recognised personally, but I am even more proud that we have also been recognised for our efforts as a company to create a more positive workplace for all staff. Profits should never come at the expense of people. We have proven that GingerMay can not only attain the highest standards for our clients, but do so while giving our staff the space to flourish.”

Find more about GingerMay via our website or on LinkedIn.

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