creating a better culture / climbing trees

Creating a better culture with the People Pulse survey

Published on February 26, 2023 by Alex Holliman

When was the last time you checked in with your team?

Our people are our foundation and we’ve been on a mission to make Climbing Trees a place people want to work. And even better, they’re proud to work!

The People Pulse survey has been a key tool in this. The survey allows our team to openly share their views on subjects such as job-related roles, communication, and socially relevant issues. It lets us know how we’re doing, benchmarks us against other agencies, but most importantly tells us where to improve.

In the name of transparency, we’re sharing our 2022 results and plans for improvement.


We were really happy to see our employees feel proud to work for Climbing Trees.

The pride score varied over the year, however, stayed securely above the national average, showing us we’re doing something right! “Climbing Trees is a business with a purpose. Working here, I feel I am making a difference beyond just making a profit. And that’s something to be proud of.”

While the positive feedback is something to boast about, the last quarter of 2022 was emotionally and physically tough on our team and led to a more directive culture, which reflected in our scores.

Open communication

We want to maintain an open and inclusive environment that nurtures proactive minds and brilliant ideas. For that reason, we’ve decided we need to improve our communication and create open spaces in meetings specifically for opinion and idea sharing.

It’s also clear we need to be more effective at communicating how the agency is moving forwards, including progress on issues like sustainability and diversity.

Diversity & inclusion

We’ve been stepping up our Diversity and Inclusion efforts in hopes of bringing new ideas, fresh thinking, and opening opportunities to all.

Currently, we’re utilising blind recruitment, removing any bias-triggering information from CVs. We’ve also decided to make our future opportunities fully remote, opening them up to the whole country and encouraging a wider pool of applicants. However, performance marketing has traditionally been a male dominated field. Reflecting on this, we realised if we want to attract more diverse talent we need to help create it. We’ve started discussing potential initiatives like talks at universities and running graduate schemes aimed at encouraging more women into the industry.

Current Issues: Recession worries, Mental Health & Hybrid Working

78% of our people expressed concern over the cost of the living crisis. We knew we needed to react. We decided to offer a business-wide pay rise to strengthen our team’s feeling of financial safety.

We’ve also provided Mental Health Training and access to professional support to increase our people’s wellbeing.

As for improving hybrid working, we’re currently working with our team to improve their home working spaces and meet their individual needs (e.g., providing new equipment).

Training and Development

Skilled staff is the core of our business. We could see we needed to improve our training and development efforts if we want to create and retain outstanding talent.

To provide growth opportunities, we now have a dedicated team member researching available trainings and encouraging participation.

We’d encourage other agencies to do the same by keeping up with what’s on offer from organisations such as the Alliance of Independent Agencies or Agency Hackers.

Giving your people a platform might lead to surprising insights, but at the end of the day the people are what makes any business and they need to be nurtured. If you are an agency sign up with the Alliance of Independent Agencies and get your team involved in the People Pulse survey.

If you are looking for opportunities within SEO or PPC at a purpose driven organisation, check out what we have on offer on our careers page.