VMLY&R Unifies 12K Global Employees

VMLY&R Unifies 12K Global Employees

Company Profile

Marketing agency

12,000+ employees

Support Hybrid/Remote Work
Create a Cullture of Feedback

Recognition & Rewards
Goals & Feedback


VMLY&R is a global full service marketing agency that has been rapidly growing over the last few years. With more than 12,000 global employees across 100-plus offices, the company looked for a performance management solution to allow them to become more centralized and consistent in creating a culture of feedback.


VMLY&R U.S. has used WorkTango for Recognition & Rewards since 2015 and last year had an 86% employee engagement rate with the platform. They saw an opportunity to capitalize on the great usage they have with WorkTango’s Recognition solution by bringing their performance management program into the same platform. VMLY&R launched Check-Ins, Feedback, and Talent Assessment with their US employees and will be rolling the full WorkTango platform out to their entire organization in the coming months.


Today’s employees want more from their employers than ever before — and VMLY&R knows this firsthand. Through a series of mergers and acquisitions, the global full service marketing agency has been rapidly growing over the past few years, causing  their employee experience across their 100 plus offices to become increasingly siloed. VMLY&R knew they needed to focus on their employee experience and employee growth opportunities to continue to scale. 

“The number one thing we heard from people leaving is that they’re not getting the feedback they need from their leaders and that’s driving their decision because they don’t know where they stand,” said Ellen Cobb, Global Director, People Platforms & Insights, for VMLY&R. 

With this employee feedback in mind, a few years ago the company moved from a very traditional approach to performance management focused on annual performance reviews to a more ongoing feedback approach. “We weren’t finding a lot of value in it and felt like it would be more beneficial to our teams to get that feedback closer to the moment and give them tools to exchange feedback,” said Cobb. 

After a few years on another platform, VMLY&R realized that it wasn’t working for them as they started to evolve into a larger organization administratively. On the border of an enterprise-level organization, the company needed more complex functionality than what they were currently using. During this same time period, the world shutdown in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. As the company moved their entire operations remote, they knew they needed something to bring everyone together and create alignment amidst the unknowns happening in the world. 

As a WorkTango Recognition & Rewards customer for five years with high employee adoption for their PROPS program–their internal name for WorkTango, VMLY&R saw an opportunity to capitalize on their great engagement by adding WorkTango’s Goals & Feedback solution to their platform. “The Recognition & Rewards piece, for us, really helped us break down those barriers of distance,” noted Lisa Bridgers, Chief People Officer, North America, at VMLY&R. “It’s a great piece of the culture and a much more modern solution.”

“We were really looking for a modern performance management platform that was flexible in the way that we needed it to be, but also had the more enterprise structure that we could grow into,” said Cobb. “This is one of the tools that we’re looking at strategically as a way to help drive more engagement within the organization across the world, literally.”

“Where WorkTango comes into play really, is building on the connectivity between our offices. I would say we’re still really decentralized and we’re working to become more centralized and more homogenous where it makes sense,” said Cobb. “One of the ways we can do that is to enable more connectivity, especially where we have global offices working on clients together, or various things like that, where there really is partnership between offices across borders.”

VMLY&R added WorkTango’s Check-Ins, Feedback, and Talent Assessment features last year to their platform and rebranded their internal name to PROPS+. In the first six months, the company set baseline metrics for each module to measure their growth throughout the year. 

To encourage employees to use their new performance management features, VMLY&R added incentives into the platform for completing a Check-In and giving feedback to help drive more engagement and knowledge about what the platform can do. The agency also looks to their senior leadership to encourage usage of the platform. 

“None of this is possible if we don’t have buy-in and support from leadership,” said Bridgers. “We have very solid senior leadership support around all of this and what makes it more impactful is our global CEO recognizing people and giving them points.”

Strong support from VMLY&R’s executive leadership ties into their culture of feedback and creating a positive employee experience that’s consistent across all their office locations. “We’re trying to cultivate a sense of belonging and we want to make sure every interaction that a person is having with us across their entire lifecycle, that they feel like they belong, that they’re part of our family. And that even before they join us, that they can see themselves here,” said Cobb.

“Our aspiration is that feedback is exchanged freely and often and in many different ways,” said Bridgers. WorkTango supports that goal for us…. This should be what our entire culture is like. So if you go into any VMLY&R office, no matter where you are, the same core tenets are visible at each location.”

VMLY&R ran a “PROPS+10” Incentive to launch their performance management features:

You know PROPS, but how well do you know the PLUS? The first 10 eligible claims every day over the next 10 days will win 5,000 points and public recognition for doing EACH of the following:

  1. Access PROPS+ LEARNING and completing at least one course in the PROPS+ Library
  2. REQUEST FEEDBACK about either yourself or someone else
  3. GIVE FEEDBACK to someone else or respond to a feedback request
  4. COMPLETE YOUR CHECK-IN(S); Individuals must Submit their responses; Managers must complete both their own Check-ins and conduct and Sign off on all team member Check-Ins. 
“Our aspiration is that feedback is exchanged freely and often and in many different ways. Kazoo [now WorkTango] supports that goal for us and this should be what our entire culture is like.”
— Lisa Bridgers,  Chief People Officer, North America VMLY&R


With WorkTango, VMLY&R saw:

0 %

Increase in platform engagement year-over-year

0 %

Manager engagement in first talent assessment


Feedback requests in the first 6 months

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