Angie Moxham is an award-winning founder of PR consultancies, selling 3 Monkeys to Zeno, part of the Edelman Group. She has now launched The Fourth Angel, a full-service consultancy which is testing the boundaries of traditional PR and marcomms thinking and execution.
What does an employer brand mean to you?
It's everything. A lot of companies just simply don't get it but it's critical and it has to tie in strategically with where the business wants to go. It's essential if you want to retain and get the best out of good people.
How do you create a sustainable employer brand?
You've got to decide what the values are that your company believes in. When I set up 3 Monkeys, the values that we decided on were pretty much a reflection of who I am as an individual. So, typically if you're the founder of a company, the business's values will be your values.
Is there a danger of this then becoming a cult of personality?
There can be. It is hard, particularly in the world that I operate in – public relations and marketing – not to have some soft cult of personality. However, if you hire the right people around you, they should be people that you believe share the same values but have skills that perhaps you don't. Building a really good team isn't always going to be about getting lots of people like you.
Is there a financial impact of culture and value beyond the PR value?
Yes, not least because the cost of recruitment and acquisition is so expensive. It’s all about relationships in a business like mine: it’s about the RQ, the EQ and the IQ. If you treat people well and they stay with you, you’re going to have a better bottom line.
Retention is everything because not only does that make your culture richer and deeper internally because you're a family but it’s also good for clients. Clients don't like revolving doors, they don't want their account teams changing every two months.
It stands to reason to me that if you’re going to be at work, you want to work with people that you love and regard as a family so you support each other through thick and thin. Of course, you’ve got to have some structure, but in my view everybody’s equal.
What importance do you place on employee benefits above and beyond the salary?
What’s crucial is to ask your employees what they want, what they value. How do you know what motivates people, what they want, unless you ask?
Flexible working is key. We’ve got to give employees the trust and empowerment to run their careers in a flexible way, whether they’ve got children or not, whether they’re a carer or not.
My businesses are set up to be lifestyle-like businesses, by which I mean a business that allows you to live a full and balanced life. A lot of people work better if they're at home or late at night or not early in the morning or really early in the morning. You need to let your people work around their life because, again, it’s family and you've got to support people through thick and thin. And if you do, they'll always love you for that remain loyal.
How important is diversity in company culture?
Diversity is absolutely critical and it's something that's very, very close to my heart and something I instilled from day one of 3 Monkeys. Trying to attract the right people from all different minorities is crucial, but it is tough and again that comes back to your culture.
I want people from all backgrounds. The only thing I care about is attitude. I don't care if you've got a degree, because I can train you. If you’ve got the right attitude I want you to be part of my business and I know that I can learn as much from you as you will from me.