Award Category
People & Culture



OMD identified there were two groups contributing the most to the churn rate – Gen Y, who are notorious job-hoppers, and mothers returning to work (only 25% returned to OMD from maternity leave within a year). OMD set itself two clear objectives: to achieve a 15 % reduction in churn and double the percentage of women returning to work from maternity leave from 25% to 50%.


In an internal survey OMD asked staff what they expected from their workplace. Work days and times flexibility that didn’t compromise career ambitions was a priority for young mothers. And a significant number of fathers wanted parental leave so that they could take time off to support their female partners to return to work earlier.

Three areas needed addressing to retain staff; flexibility, paid parental leave and health & wellbeing. OMD engaged flexibility experts to objectively assess its state of flexibility and created a flexibility policy: the ability for staff to vary where they worked from and the ability to vary when they did their hours via ad hoc or formalised agreements. The agency made a commitment to support new parents with its Paid Parental Leave Policy Staff who have been with OMD for three years or more now receive 16 paid weeks of primary carer’s leave, doubling its previous offering. OMD invested over $150,000 on health and wellbeing programs in the last year.


Since implementation, OMD saw a 21% reduction in its overall churn rate, bringing it down 35%, (July 2016) below industry average and the number of mothers returning to work skyrocketed from 25% to 89% (at July 2017), an increase of 64%. These results led to a saving of $200,000 on recruitment fees, funnelling this back into wellbeing and culture programs.

Judges Comments

Judges thought this entry did a great job at identifying the key challenges and liked the ‘worklife belnd’ idea. With strong results and turnaround this entry was the most  comprehensive account of business impact and tracked result.