Freshwater celebrates PRCA Dare Awards win

Freshwater has won a coveted staff engagement award at this year’s PRCA Dare Awards.

Freshwater beat tough competition to walk away with the Covid-19 Employee Engagement Award, which recognises outstanding internal communications that engaged staff and achieved significant business results during the pandemic.

The Cardiff and London-based communications agency responded swiftly to the global pandemic by reviewing its business continuity plan and launching a number of initiatives keep staff engaged while working remotely.

The company’s FW Fitness and Wellbeing internal communications campaign included weekly company-wide lunches and quizzes, an employee-run monthly book club, daily morning huddles, online yoga and fitness classes, regular one-to-one catchups with HR and a competitive walking challenge to lift spirits.

At the end of 2020, every employee also received a thank you gift with a handwritten message from CEO, Angharad Neagle. Freshwater also enhanced its mental health support programme for employees and made online training more accessible with changes to its continual professional development offering. On a more social level, the company arranged afternoon tea sessions for the team to interact with colleagues in a way that wasn’t just about ‘work’.

From March 2020 – March 2021, Freshwater’s daily employee attendance improved and its risk assessment reviews showed that every employee felt supported.

Sarah Whittle, HR director of Freshwater, said: “Together, we prioritised colleague and client safety. Our agreed goals allowed us to introduce key steps to help morale, motivation and retention. Our vision was to be positive and proactive, in full consultation with staff, to emerge as a stronger workforce and business despite the challenges of Covid-19.”

Angharad Neagle, Freshwater’s chief executive, added: “We are thrilled to accept the ‘Covid-19 Employee Engagement Award’ at the PRCA Dare Awards after such a challenging year.

“The team effort and collaboration of all Freshwater colleagues has been positive throughout the ongoing FW Wellbeing programme. A huge thanks has to go to our staff members responsible for all the initiatives that have kept us connected, while working remotely.”

The Dare Awards are the UK’s leading regional PR awards and are run by the world’s largest PR association, PRCA. Decided by a panel of industry experts, the awards reward the very best PR and communications professionals within each of the regions and nations of the UK.