The founding principles of Aspectus (by none other than our founding fathers!)
When two of us set up Aspectus Group more than ten years ago we didn’t have a business plan. Not even sure we had much of a vision either, come to think of it. And we certainly had no financial targets or anything sensible like that on the day we launched.
But what we did have was one clear reason for starting the agency: we wanted to create a work environment that we both would enjoy and thrive in. We needed to be challenged intellectually, to be valued by our clients and each other. We wanted openness and honesty; a culture of sharing ideas, success and rewards.
Our philosophy was clear: in a people business, you must put people first. And that means dealing with everyone as human beings in the round. We set out to focus on what people were good at, rather than their weaknesses. We strived to help and encourage people when they struggled and support them when they were ill, mentally or physically. Equally we felt it was important to create an environment that rewarded and promoted hard work and talent. And we wanted everyone to have a lot of fun along the way.
Now that Aspectus Group has almost 50 people in London, New York, Aberdeen and Switzerland, I think most would agree that our starting philosophy is still at the core of our brand. Walk round the office, listen to how people communicate, talk to them, read the group email exchanges and the founding approach to creating a vibrant but caring work environment is immediately evident.
This has undoubtedly helped the agency succeed. And we have been true to our word in backing and promoting talented people, no matter what their age, race or gender.
We have also continued to develop our philosophy. For example, some years ago we established one of the best maternity packages in the industry. We have seminars on mental health and a range of other issues. We also support community and charitable projects chosen by our people. We have several working groups, two boards and easy, open access to all senior staff at any time. Yes, we have management structure but it’s so flat it could come from IKEA.
Above all, we have succeeded with our commitment to honesty, idea sharing, recognising successes (great and small) and rewarding people fairly.
Many of our people have been with us for more than five years. Some much longer. Our staff churn rate must be one of the lowest in the agency world.
Why? Because we have created a genuinely great place work not built on gimmicks and false jollity, but on proper, enduring human values. And the two founding directors are still around to make sure that continues.