Omnicom agency Rapp is taking a novel approach to encouraging staff to work in the office on a hybrid basis by launching a university-style “Freshers Week” of events, although those expecting booze-fuelled parties might be disappointed as activities centre more on mental health and training rather than traditional student antics.
The agency says that those returning to the office will be greeted with an array of stalls, catering for “every interest and community” within the business, with representatives to answer questions and discuss upcoming initiatives.
Staff will be able to attend one of the five days of activities and will wear wristbands to reflect their own social distancing preference.
The leadership team will be on hand on the “Tea with the SLT” stall, while a team called Feel Good will be promoting all the health and wellness benefits that Rapp offers its staff alongside the Mental Health First Aid stall manned by many of their 40 qualified people.
Other stalls include Culture Club, Disco (DE&I), The Academy – the home to Rapp’s learning and development offering, Creative Writing, Book Club, Climate Action and more. All come with suggestion boxes to help the agency build its culture and evolve collaboratively for the future.
Staff will have the opportunity to attend learning and development workshops on key themes that will help to ease them into a new world of hybrid working, which will focus on empathy, creativity, presentation skills, and confidence, all hosted by either senior staff or external professionals.
Towards the end of the day, Rapp says will be an optional hour of “silliness”, in the form of “RappMaster,” the agency’s very own take on the TV comedy challenge show Taskmaster, with all tasks being created by the real show’s creator and co-presenter Alex Horne. After all that, staff might well be gagging for “happy hour drinks” which are due to close out the day.
For many people, it will be the first chance to meet new colleagues in real life, as the agency merged with Proximity mid-lockdown last year.
Rapp UK chief executive Gabby Ludzker said: “A freshers week felt like an inviting and inclusive way to bring people together, and start the process of building back connection and collaboration in a way that will ensure that Rapp’s culture is safeguarded while also being given a chance to adapt for the future.
“And while we know that we are not over the pandemic and things can change very quickly, bringing people back together IRL is a long held ambition but we’ve done so with safety front of mind and purely on a voluntary basis.”
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