Having worked as head of people in the media industry for more than 10 years it has been fascinating to see how much the landscape has changed. In 2007 Manning Gottlieb OMD had nine departments, with 20% of people working in our online department and one person working in search. Advertising was on television, radio and in print – no-one had ever heard of Facebook, Twitter or Snapchat, the iPhone didn’t exist, and tablets were medication not technology.
Fast forward 10 years and we now have 26 departments, a huge percentage of people working in digital or data, and new job titles and divisions continually emerging.
With all this change it is no surprise people are questioning the jobs of the future. Will automation, algorithms and robots take over? Manning Gottlieb OMD firmly believe no: we still need that human element because it enhances creativity, uniqueness and fresh thinking. However, it's imperative that we all embrace change and make a pledge to transform ourselves to be able to work alongside automation, algorithms and whatever comes next.
In line with all of this we have launched The Gym. The Gym is our training programme to ensure everyone is transformed and fit for the future. Every new joiner goes through a three-month gym induction when they start. Everyone is then a member, and while people have some choice about the classes they attend there are many that are compulsory. Everyone has a Gym programme they have to complete, which is monitored throughout the year to check on progress.
The Gym is split into four areas: Bootcamps, Core Strengthening, Personal Training and The Spa.
Bootcamps are intensive training in keys areas to achieve fast transformation. A lot of the classes are high-intensity interval training (HIIT) sessions to ensure short bursts of learning. The main areas of focus for these are data and digital.
Core Strengthening is about working on the fundamentals to ensure excellence in performance. These sessions are targeted at areas such as presenting, managing, negotiating and core skills.
The Personal Training is all about individuals' needs, be it coaching or mentoring. Also included in this section is the option to be a part of our Circuit Training. This allows people to work in different departments to gain better understanding of that discipline.
Then there is the final area, which while a part of The Gym, actually underpins it and ensures its success – The Spa. The only way we can get our people to truly transform is by ensuring they are mentally and physically fit. The Spa offers sessions and treatments to support this, be it classes in stress management and resilience, yoga, pilates or massages. We even have a pop up barbershop to help take the stress away from employees trying to book a haircut.
All of this requires high energy and passion, which is exactly what is expected from all of our people. Ultimately it will make us the most progressive media agency in the industry – that's our ambition.
We will not stand still, in fact far from it, we are racing to keep ahead.
Amy Robbins is an executive director and head of people at Manning Gottlieb OMD