Blog Culture/Agency Life

5 Ways We Made PAN the Best Place to Work

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Phil NardonePresident & Chief Executive Officer

It has been an exciting month for PAN. Spring has finally arrived in Boston and the mountains of snow from February are like a distant memory. As those of you that follow us on FacebookTwitter or LinkedIn may already know, PAN was named as one of the Boston Business Journal’s “Best Places to Work” and was named a finalist in the Holmes Report as “Best PR Agencies to Work” for in the small agency category. To say that I am proud is an understatement. These two recognitions are truly a testament to the hard working individuals at PAN who not only strive for excellence in their day-to-day client work, but also in helping make PAN a great place to come to work every day.

When I started PAN 20 years ago, my vision was to create a firm that not only did exceptional work and helped clients meet their goals, but I wanted an agency where people were accepted for who they are, were as passionate for their craft as I was, a place where people could grow their careers, was free of office politics, and a place where company culture and employee opinions matter. Here are just a few things that I personally think make PAN a best place to work and keep smiles on my staff’s faces.

  1. Bi-annual Breakfast with the President – Twice a year, I take each level of employees (i.e., Assistant Account Executives up through the Vice Presidents) to breakfast, out of the office so we can have an open and honest discussion about the good, bad and everything in between. I initiated this program because even though we have monthly staff meetings and my staff has a dedicated Vice President who helps with their career trajectory, it was important to me that I hear from each group of individuals personally about what questions they had and what they’d like to see at PAN. Regardless of age or experience, I want to have a connection with everyone who works at PAN and these breakfasts allow me to connect with my staff on a more personal level.
  2. The Great Move to Macs – It was during one of these breakfasts with the President that I started to hear rumblings from my staff that our old laptops were outdated and a move to Macs would improve the productivity and efficiency of day-to-day tasks (I still believe they also preferred walking around with a sexier looking device). After much research and deliberation, we decided it was out with the old and in with the new and set out to equip every employee with a MacBook Air. Although my staff had heard rumors about transitioning to Macs, it wasn’t until our holiday party in December, when I presented each employee with his or her own iPad, that the news was finally official.
  3. PAN Pub – One of the most important things for me when I started PAN 20 years ago was making it more than a place that people come to work. I wanted to create a culture that fostered an environment of collaboration and innovation. I also wanted PAN to be a place where people shared a bit of their souls with one another and where people made life long friends; a place where team members had a chance to kick back and relax together. As such, every Thursday at 5pm you can find my entire staff gathered in the PANtry with pizza, snacks and wine for what we call PAN Pub. I love seeing everyone coming together and getting to know one another over a glass of wine and piece of pizza.
  4. PAN Pulse – This is probably one of the newest additions to the culture here at PAN, but it is by far one of my favorites and I didn’t even know it was happening! Two weeks ago, I was sitting at my desk, minding my own business, when all of a sudden, an email came through from PAN’s very own Kyle Tildsley with the title PAN Pulse. I immediately stopped what I was doing and read through this new newsletter. PAN has always had an external newsletter (“shout-out” to Mark and his marketing team), which is distributed to clients, prospects and friends of PAN, but we have never had an internal one. PAN Pulse is sent to staff every other week with updates about what’s going on with people in the office. For example, yesterday’s PAN Pulse highlighted one of our employees who is running a marathon this weekend, shortcuts for using the Macs and a spotlight on our newest intern. To me this is just another great way to build culture and camaraderie.
  5. PAN Awards – In addition to being recognized by two prestigious industry awards, here at PAN, we have internal awards that recognize staff members on a weekly/monthly basis. Every week, we recognize one employee who scored a great hit for his or her client in our Hit of the Week award. At staff meeting every month, senior staff members recognize one junior staff member who has knocked it out of the park that month and the junior staff does the same for a member of the leadership team. We also have – my favorite award — what we call our PANtastic award, which recognizes one employee every week for just being awesome and embodying the PAN way. My favorite part about this award is that it is passed from employee to employee each Friday afternoon via email and it always comes with great commentary that demonstrates just how PANtastic the new recipient is. I started this tradition 20 years ago and I’m so proud to see it going-strong today!

It’s hard to not go on about what I think makes PAN a great place to work and so worthy of the recent awards its won.  I know we are on the right track for the next 20 years.  If you’re interested in joining the PAN team, we’re hiring! Check out our careers page for current openings and come join the PANtastic guys and gals who make PAN one of the best places to work.

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In our annual Brand Experience Report, we asked marketers and customers how they are using and experiencing AI to better understand how the technology is changing that relationship.