HR Generalist Wieden+Kennedy

Taking some time-off isn’t just fun: a growing body of research shows that it is an absolute must. Harvard Business Review even published an article about how taking time-off can contribute to more success at work. In addition, time-off can lead to enhanced creativity according to this article: after a holiday, employees come up with a wider variety of ideas. While creativity is very important for nearly all organisations, Wieden+Kennedy takes it one step further, for them, creativity is the driving factor for success. This advertising agency is operating world-wide and is well-known for its captivating campaigns for brands like Nike and Samsung. The agency employs many young, driven people – about 1500 worldwide, 160 of whom in Amsterdam. Among them is Irene de Jong, HR Generalist. We talked to her about employee well-being, taking time-off and more!

‘How would you describe the work atmosphere at W+K?’

We work with many different customers at an international level. They are A-brands that commission us with exciting, challenging campaigns. This offers incredible development opportunities for our employees and we have a lot of inhouse knowledge and expertise. That also means there’s a steep learning curve, so performance pressure can be high. With deadlines following each other rapidly and employees traveling abroad for shoots, it can all cause stress. We have a lot of young and ambitious people on board who find it challenging to set their own boundaries. We really need to slow them down sometimes, to prevent them from getting too stressed or even burnt out.

‘What do you do to help employees slow down?’

We support our employees in their personal health goals and (mental)well-being by offering several well-being benefits, like sports facilities, a meditation app, workshops or lectures on various topics, and online therapy sessions. In addition, we encourage our employees to regularly take a proper holiday. We stimulate this by closing the entire office twice a year, for one week at least, during both summer and winter time and we offer an open time-off plan. And finally, for the last three years, we have partnered with Onewave to organize the energy program!

‘What does the Onewave Programme do, and what are the benefits?’

The Onewave Programme helps people who experience stress and who find it hard to combine work and personal life. Onewave gives participants insight in their stress and recovery patterns during a full day. When do you expend energy? And how do you recharge? These insights help to make deliberate choices, that improve both health and productivity. The numbers tell the story! We see that the data-driven approach works well to stimulate changes in behaviour. We also see the long-term effects: the Onewave Programme continues to impact the people who followed it three years ago!

‘How would you describe Onewave as a collaboration partner?’

Onewave is an innovative vitality agency that supports behavioural change using a data-driven concept. Their vision that health and performance can reinforce each other really appeals to me. I appreciate the flexibility and the way they think along with me, as a customer. They communicate promptly; to me, the collaboration is a smooth and positive experience!