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After dipping my toes in the Work Away water with a stint in Vancouver last year, I decided to live my dolce vita fantasy in Italy for this year’s edition of Work Away Life™. Now that I’m back to reality and inevitably romanticizing the end of summer after my month-long spell in Europe, I’ve been doing some major reflecting—about work, life and how Media Profile has done an admirable job of supporting employees in balancing BOTH. 

It’s a tale as old as time, “Happy employees are strong employees,” but the key to sustaining that happiness comes from the intention behind the perk more than from the perk itself. *Talent wars hot take alert!*

I recently read a post by Bloom, a leading Canadian recruitment, HR and DEI consulting firm, that cautioned against using the term talent war. According to Bloom, “referring to talent acquisition as a war is misleading and perpetuates a negative and adversarial mindset. The true definition of war entails conflict, hostility, and destruction—certainly not qualities we want to associate with the search for talented folks to join our teams.” The post goes on to discuss how the term: talent war “reduces individuals to mere commodities, resources, or trophies to be won. It fails to recognize the mutually beneficial relationship between employers and employees.”

I couldn’t agree more and it’s a position I’ve been ruminating on since returning from my second Work Away adventure with Media Profile. Many assume that the best benefits, pay, clients, etc., are the prime factors in attracting and retaining talent. Retaining being the keyword, IMHO. And while those things certainly help, it must go beyond that. The genuine care employers show and the intention behind the stellar benefits offered set an organization apart for potential and current hires.

Why does Media Profile offer $3,000 to support employee travel for Work Away adventures? Sure, free travel is great! But MP’s Work Away is ultimately about so much more: Broadening our perspectives with exposure to new cultures, forms of communication and lifestyles to inspire fresh thinking for ourselves and our clients. It’s about empowering and motivating talented people to be their best selves and do their best work.

I tell anyone and everyone who will listen how lucky I am to feel empowered by my company. Empowered to be brave, do scary things and achieve success. That’s how I felt in Italy, wandering and eating my way through the streets of Rome, Florence and Cinque Terre—excited to admire, explore, learn and bring that revitalized energy back to my team and client work. But the feeling persists long after landing back in Toronto. Remember that mutually beneficial relationship between employers and employees? Well, relationships aren’t built on one-off experiences; they need to be consistent to last, which is why the intention behind offering shiny benefits is key.

In an industry as tight-knit as ours, the power of word of mouth and networking is incomparable. The happier and more empowered your current employees are, the more likely they will spread the good word about your organization and encourage their talented friends to join. I had strangers I met while sipping wine on a boat in Italy ask for my contact information to learn more about Media Profile after hearing me drone on about how obsessed I am with the company. And if that isn’t a testimonial for Media Profile’s Work Away benefit and the intentions behind it, I don’t know what is!

Curious to learn more about MP’s adventures abroad? Stay tuned for future Our Take #PassportToMP blog posts where employees will share their work away experiences..

Alex Shinnan
Senior Consultant

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