In January 2020, no one could imagine the challenges the year would present for agencies as they attempted to recruit and retain talent. Seemingly overnight, remote working became the norm and workplace culture had to be reimagined for a mostly virtual word.
Few companies rose to the challenge as successfully as The Martin Agency of Richmond, Virginia. Monthly learning and development meetings and virtual events kept employees engaged, and the firm recognized the need for concrete assistance in the form of additional $250 stipends. Every employee has received five since the start of the pandemic for a total of $1,250, as well as occasional $50 gift cards from Doordash (a client).
The agency’s talent and culture team responded to the other seismic event of last year -- the social injustice protests after the death of George Floyd -- by joining calls for a civilian review board for the Richmond Police Department and participating in #CommitToChange and the Time to Vote Initiative.
The headline stories have not distracted the talent and culture team from its ongoing goal of building a safe community that promotes employee well-being and allows them to maximize their contributions. Central to its mission is creating a diverse workplace and being transparent about those efforts. In the last year, half of new hires were BIPOC, and currently 24% of employees agency-wide and 25% of the executive committee are people of color. Programs such as the Network (a 1:1 mentorship program), financial counseling through IonTuition and customized well-being resources designed specifically for Black talent have also been key in keeping talent at Martin.