Millennials cinch win for Publicis Health Media in 'best places to work' ranking

Millennials and their desire for community work helped drive Publicis Health Media's employee engagement scores, agency chief Matt McNally says.

Publicis Health Media won "best place to work" honors for the second year in a row, jumping to number 11 on the list of the 50 top advertising agencies, adtech firms and media companies ranked by Advertising Age. Last year, the healthcare media agency ranked number 24.

Among the honorees on the 2016 list, which included Foursquare and Pandora Media, Publicis Health Media was the only healthcare company. The list is a combined effort of Ad Age and the Best Companies Group and is scored in a two-part survey process that weights employee input along with executive opinion.

That means the win is likely thanks to millennial employee feedback, considering that 80% of the agency’s workers are in that younger demographic.

“What makes a place a great place to work in my Gen X or in the boomer generation view were the perks. But perks have been redefined.” said Matt McNally, president of Publicis Health Media. “It’s not just about flex time or do you have a ping pong table anymore.

"What I think really drove our employee engagement is our involvement in the community. One thing we hear again and again after we interview millennials, after they ask about the agency and the day-to-day job, they ask us ‘What’s your community involvement? What charities are you involved with?’ ”

The millennial desire to give back and be involved in something more than just earning a paycheck syncs with the healthcare industry as well. McNally said his employees tend to have parent, grandparent and even their own health stories that drive them to want to help others.

Publicis’ young agency crowd might also be helpful to pharma company clients in helping them engage with millennials. One recent study found that neither millennial doctors nor patients trust pharma companies.

Of course, Publicis Health Media still has old-fashioned fun perks like an ugly sweater holiday bar crawl, a flag football Turkey Bowl, and National Donut Day celebrations, as well as maintains “good work-life balance policies,” Ad Age noted in its article.