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At Voice Live on 19 November, our Best Companies To Work For panel session will explore how your principles and approach can help attract and retain the best talent.

Blood is thicker than water. And in business, when the culture is familial, the strong bonds between colleagues are good for business.

Creative agency DRP scored highly on the Sunday Times Best Companies To Work For list in 2019, thanks in no small part to its collaborative approach to work. At Voice Live in November, CEO Dale Parmenter will be talking about how open leadership and values of trust, passion and belief are core to DRP’s success.

“Families are open with each other,” reflects Dale. “They’re honest. They say what they think. At DRP, we encourage that transparency and openness – that’s the most important thing.

“Families fall out and have arguments behind the scenes, but the forward face has to be that you are strong together and positive.”

Healthy honesty

There are two sides to any organisation, says Dale. ”Internally, you’ll have squabbles and disagreements – and that’s healthy. You have to be honest when things are going wrong. I will often stand up in from of the team and admit when there are issues. You have to sort it out together.”

A few years ago, DRP trialled a new appraisal system. “A consultancy had spent weeks working on it and Dale was getting frustrated.

“It just wasn’t us,” he recalls. “I brought the whole team together and said I’d give them 30 minutes to discuss it. In that time, we came up with a solution that we are still using 10 years later.

“When you encourage the team to be part of something and you ask for their opinion, you make them feel part of a family – and they buy into whatever it is you are doing.”

Building a company people choose to work for

At Voice Live in London, Dale will be part of our Best Companies To Work For panel, where he will share his insight on how to build a culture that can make you a company of choice.

Every month, all 330 DRP colleagues come together to celebrate successes, reflect on things that haven’t gone so well and discuss future projects. It’s live streamed for people working remotely. Dale admits it takes a bit of planning and the whole company stops working for an hour, but it’s worth it.

“We’ve done research on our channels and that’s the one our people love the most. They enjoy the team coming together. They like that they can input.”

It’s that collaborative approach that makes people want to stick around; DRP has a retention of more than 90 per cent. Dale insists the culture unites colleagues and makes them protective over one another.

“When the chips are down, you want this team around, supporting you. You close ranks, pull in and make sure it works. Clients pick up on that and know that they are working with people who are committed to getting it right together.” 

Dale Parmenter will be speaking on our Best Companies To Work For panel at Voice Live on 19 November, and will be joined by fellow Best Companies listee representatives Kirsty Bowen, senior internal communications manager at Coventry Building Society – talking about the Society's community engagement programme; and Robert Hicks, former MD of Explore Learning – talking about the importance of hands-on leadership; and Jennifer Thomas, director of internal communications and experience, DLG – on diversity and inclusion.

Click here for more information on Voice Live and to book your place.

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