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The Digital Publishing Award for Employer Excellence

Congratulations to Raconteur Media who are the winners of The Digital Publishing Award for Employer Excellence


Your Elevator Pitch

Raconteur has undergone huge positive change and growth since a difficult 2016. We have fully changed our outlook and investment towards employee engagement and wellbeing, resulting in a 32% engagement score uplift, reduced churn and an operating profit swing of £1.35m, which we believe is directly correlated to these changes.


Tell us the story

The first step was to listen. In 2016 we launched a print / digital magazine which we subsequently had to close due to lack of advertising revenue. It lost the company money and resulted in a pretty negative environment, with a high churn. We introduced an anonymous engagement survey (initially Engagement Multiplier and then Peakon), and committed to changing a few things per quarter based on staff feedback.


Positive changes / introductions include:

  • Introduction of "Weekly Wins" companywide presentation to celebrate and recognise the successes from different teams and individuals each week
  • Introduction of a mentor scheme (to coach new starters and help them achieve their goals and overcome problems)
  • Significantly increase to our holiday allowance
  • Introduction of a work from home policy
  • Mental Health training for all employees (through Mind)
  • Appointment of internal “Mental Wellbeing Champions” who act as a support network for staff, and hold monthly internal events to promote mental wellbeing
  • Introduction of “Raconteur of the Month" recognition award
  • Creation of “Future Leaders” 12 month training programme to promote and champion the next generation of leaders (large majority female) and prepare them for progression
  • Tweak to company values, introducing a value about caring for one another
  • Creation of "onboarding guide" to explain benefits package and policies to staff


We have also signed the “Time to Change” pledge to demonstrate our commitment to mental wellbeing, and now work with Media Trust to volunteer help to charitable organisations through our expertise in strategy, design, marketing etc.


We have also moved office (a significant investment), making sure the new place had ample “quiet space” to promote mental wellbeing.


Most recently we made “Improve diversity in recruitment” one of our 2019 strategic objectives, and now carefully brief recruiters to make sure we see equal quotas of male / female, and candidates from diverse backgrounds.


The Results

Employee engagement score has risen from 54% to 89%

  • 79% of staff classify as "company promoters" (engagement scores >90%)
  • Churn reduced by c. 20% from 2017 to 2018, with very little churn at a mid-senior level in the company now
  • Feedback about our Mental Wellbeing Champions, and investment in Mental Health training has been overwhelmingly positive
  • Launching a new careers site with big focus on values, wellbeing, benefits and culture
  • Improved diversity amongst new hires
  • Meanwhile Raconteur has experienced a £1.35m profit swing since we started treating engagement and wellbeing differently


Contributing Companies


Engagement Multiplier

Mind (Mental Health Charity)



The Digital Publishing Award for Employer Excellence is sponsored by Project 23.

In Partnership with


In Partnership with

AOP - Association of Publishers