Officially a Campaign Best Place To Work 2024

We’re delighted to have secured a top spot in Campaign’s Best Places To Work Awards 2024, scoring 8th place in The Best Small Workplaces category. It’s been such an exciting time to work in employee engagement, as businesses address and embed the changes, challenges and incredible benefits that hybrid working has presented.  

While “beer taps and beanbags” live firmly in the pre-pandemic world (and we’d know, we had them both!), “benefits and perks” are still often what springs to mind when you think about employee engagement. But in reality, there’s a lot more to it than that. Campaign’s Awards dig into the holistic employee experience for each person within an organisation. Their analysis method includes a two-stage assessment:

  1. information about the companies’ benefits, policies and practices.
  2. a confidential questionnaire, consisting of 80 statements and 2 x ‘open textbox’ questions, completed anonymously by everyone in the organisation.

In the spirit of transparency, these are our team’s Campaign Best Places To Work scores for 2024: 

Employee engagement area

Average percentage of Propellernet employees who agree

1.     Good diversity & inclusion


2.     Good training, technology & professional development


3.     Good relationship with manager


4.     Good employee benefits


5.     A good core employee experience


6.     High job satisfaction


7.     A healthy work/life balance


8.     Strong leadership


9.     Good communication & good workplace culture


Firstly, there’s a lot to celebrate in there. So please indulge us for a moment while we do just that!  We’ve got to shout out the biggies: scoring 99% on Work/Life Balance & Leadership, and 100% on Culture and Communication – we’re super proud of that. When we analysed the data and feedback from the team around why they’d scored us so well in these areas, a lot of it boils down to our ‘trust and autonomy’ approach.  

What ‘Trust and Autonomy’ looks like for us 

In a nutshell: We hire great people, with incredible skills and knowledge, then we give them the tools*, the time** and the freedom*** to do great work for our clients in the way that works best for them; without tracking their every minute, without needing to get sign off for every decision and without mandating where and when they do their work. 

*The tools (to name a few)

  • £1k L&D budget per person, to spend as they choose on upskilling or training
  • Sanctus Coaching: 100% confidential coaching, accessible every month to all employees
  • Budgets for tech, conferences, software and tools that will improve their work
  • £600 a year to spend on ‘anything that will improve their health and wellbeing’
  • Mental Health First Aiders across the biz 

**The time

  • Everyone is resourced to 65%, allowing time for people to focus on their own L&D
  • Our Q&I board run monthly retrospectives and deep dives on big projects or industry changes, to ensure we’re constantly learning and innovating
  • Every team have a monthly F2F ‘anchor day’ for collaboration, innovation and planning.  

***The freedom: 

  • A flexible working policy that is truly flexible: our policy is “work where you work best” and our team spend their working hours between their homes, our Brighton office, out and about with clients, in co-working spaces or working abroad, with the time to head to a gym class or take the dog for a walk as they see fit.
  • We offer and encourage part time working. Currently 1/5 of our team working part time hours, which includes two of our Heads of Department and one of our MDs.  

Importantly, all of the above leads not only to high employee engagement scores, but to incredible work for our clients too. 

What this means to our team

“It feels good to work for a place that takes its people and the planet so seriously.” 

“There’s a huge amount of trust – which means there’s no micro-managing. You’re free to be creative and do your best work.”​ 

“I’ve seen not only a vast improvement in my professional life over my 2.5 years at Propellernet, but also in my personal life too. It’s so nice to be supported.” 

(All anonymous quotes taken from our Campaign questionnaire.)

That all sounds lovely, but what next?

While scoring 90%+ in every area is something we’re really proud of, there’s definitely room for growth and improvement. Since analysing these results, I’ve been squirrelling away on some projects to do just that.  

The first area of focus is our Diversity and Inclusion. I’ve based our approach to this on the recommendations in the CIPD’s Inclusion at Work report, which is a really useful resource for anyone else who’s looking to improve their approach to DE&I.   

We’ve set up a process to track our current diversity data across a range of benchmarks that the CIPD recommend. This benchmark of data will help us set targets and track the effectiveness of the changes we implement.   

We’re setting up an internal DE&I working group, with representatives from each team, who will be working with me to research, implement changes, and continue to raise the bar for how we encourage and celebrate diversity at Propellernet.  

The second is around how we further support professional development and relationships with managers.

When I dug into the context around “Training, Technology & Professional Development”, it was the ‘training’ and ‘long-term career development’ that our team wanted more guidance and support on.   

We have a relatively untraditional approach to “management” at Propellernet. Instead of a traditional ‘management’ hierarchy, we take a coaching-led approach, where everyone has a Mentor who supports them with their career development, but ultimately, it’s down to each person to direct and drive their development in collaboration with their Mentor.  

This year we’ll be running more training and guidance for Mentors, alongside a 6-monthly structured conversation between Mentor and Mentee. The aim here is to dedicate time for our people to think bigger-picture about their long-term career goals, and to plan out the smaller steps they’ll put in place to get there – Rome wasn’t built in a day and all that! But ring-fencing the time to have these conversations will strengthen those Mentee/Mentor relationships and support people with their professional development, with as much (or as little!) support from their Mentor as they’d like.  

While the last few years have been a period of rapid change for us as a business, we’ve really found our groove with hybrid working, and we’ve loved the (…for want of a better word…) *journey*. We’ve overhauled our policies, our benefits, our socials, our internal comms methods and our approach to L&D to ensure two things: 

  1. That we’ve got a really strong foundation of trust and collaboration as a hybrid team (more on that in the Digital PR podcast!).
  2. That our culture, benefits, policies and development opportunities are accessible to everyone in our team, regardless of whether they choose to work in the office, from home, or in the back of a campervan overlooking a gorgeous lake (…that’s next on my “WFH” bucket list!).  

If you want to hear more about life at Propellernet, connect with us on LinkedIn or check out our career opportunities, we’d love to hear from you!