Delivering a decade of high engagement at an advertising agency
Sitting at the intersection of marketing, sales and Technology, award-winning Australian advertising agency The Zoo Republic changes behaviours by combining business strategy with creativity and technological innovation.
“As an advertising agency which prides itself on understanding our customers and consumers, it seemed only right we should put the same amount of emphasis on understanding our team”, says Nigel Murphy, Zoo’s People & Culture Manager.
The agency has used Thomas’ Behaviour assessment for a decade but wanted to further enhance its culture by applying the team’s behavioural profiles to team building. Nigel continues: “We were committed to understanding each other’s behaviours so that we can be more vulnerable with each other and work much more closely together.”
Customers of Thomas International for over a decade, The Zoo Republic chose Thomas because of the high quality of the assessments and their verification by the British Psychological Society. Nigel says, “We knew that our use of the assessments would work seamlessly with our mission of developing a mentally healthy workplace.”
In addition to using the Thomas Behaviour assessment to build self-awareness and in professional development on an individual basis, the agency now integrates the assessment into teambuilding activities, catalysing its impact on the business’ culture.
The Zoo met in department groups to share composite team behavioural profiles, identifying collective areas of strength as well as limitations. Building trust and further embedding an awareness of behaviour in the teams, the exercise identified growth areas and provided a shared, objective language with which to talk about them.
The Thomas Behavioural assessment facilitates high engagement among Zoo’s people, an effect that has been sustained over the last decade. Nigel says: “Undoubtedly, one of the biggest factors of our success is that our teams are engaged and have a genuine interest in understanding themselves, their colleagues and any employees they manage.”
In addition to the “unanimous belief” among Zoo’s leadership team in the value that the Behaviour assessment affords, Zoo also finds the assessment beneficial for managers. Involving the employee’s manager in conversations about their behavioural profile allows for “real-time commentary on where the employee shows the behaviours in the report and what that contributes to the team”, says Nigel.
Involving managers in this way has been “a powerful decision” that “stimulates an insightful conversation between the manager and the employee in a controlled and safe environment and almost most importantly, ladders back to our values of transparency”, continues Nigel.
The assessment supports The Zoo Republic fulfil its mission of effecting behaviour change through impactful communications. Due to the success of its implementation, Zoo now uses the assessment throughout the employee lifecycle. Zoo employees review their assessments regularly and revisit them in ongoing mentoring with their managers. This helps the agency offer development opportunities which is known to play a key role in employee retention. Nigel concludes, “We’ve seen that with more use, employees are more confident and comfortable with their reports and therefore they talk and share the contents of their reports more, meaning we are getting closer and closer to our mission of understanding our people."