Hi Ella! Tell us a bit more about you and your current role at M&C Saatchi Performance ?
Well, I’m currently based in our London office and am one of the Senior Directors on the Planning team. I have worked for M&C for nearly 7 years, both in London and in our San Francisco office. You may not know that I’m also a fully qualified florist and have a small side hustle creating floristry displays and beautiful bouquets for weddings and events alike.
You are part of the social committee in EMEA, the Culture Network, can you tell us more about it?
The Culture Network is made up of one or two representatives from every team across the EMEA business. The idea of the group is so we can provide a forum to discuss ways we can create a positive impact for everyone who works here, inside and outside of the office.
Next to the Culture Network operates The Together Network, this focuses on three pillars – raising awareness of our physical and mental wellbeing, providing support for those in need, and promoting positive wellbeing for all.
What’s been your favourite activity organized by the Culture Network?
Over the years we’ve had a lot of fun social events, but my favourite has to be the pub quizzes we throw to raise money for our chosen charity. Last year I even hosted! We got together with our media partners for a night of ‘pub grub’, beers, and some pretty ridiculous rounds. I’ll never forget the controversy of 2019 when our Trading Director was caught on VAR cheating in the chocolate challenge. An absolute scandal. I have to also mention our amazing Summer and Christmas parties, organised by Becki Shaw, which are always over-the-top and fabulous. A great way for the teams to let off steam and celebrate all their hard work.
Has it been hard keeping the team engaged during lockdown?
We had to adapt our strategy pretty quickly but our Culture Network came up with some exciting ideas that kept everyone feeling connected:
- We kicked off with quizzes that were led by Rob, our EMEA Business Development Manager
- We introduced a monthly Book Club for our avid readers
- We had Morning Yoga sessions and HIIT classes via Zoom
- To recreate the feeling of having a cuppa in the kitchen, we set up a channel on Slack where for 15 minutes every day, a Zoom link was shared and anyone could jump on and speak to one of our Chat Champions
- We introduced Virtual Coffees so that each of our team members has a catch-up every few weeks with someone from a different team. We wanted to find a way to keep in contact with people we wouldn’t necessarily work with.
- Vicky, our Assistant Executive Buying, hosted Saatchi Gets Craafti – a lunchtime arts and craft session including everything from sketching to origami!
- The Together Network shared out a weekly newsletter with tips to help ease working from home
- We introduced a no meeting morning on Thursday mornings to encourage less Zoom time and more focus time on work/projects