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Agency Leadership Decoded: Havas Media Group Singapore’s Jacqui Lim on cultivating meaningful work experiences

Agency Leadership Decoded: Havas Media Group Singapore’s Jacqui Lim on cultivating meaningful work experiences
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For Jacqui Lim, the CEO of Havas Media Group in Singapore, there’s nothing grandiose to excellent leadership where simply the values of good ‘ol humility and service are king. She says that a large part of the organisation’s culture stems from the top, and this means that the demand for transparency and accountability is higher from this level of the firm than anybody else. 

“If we are not transparent and hold even the most senior person in the organisation accountable to upholding the core values we stand for, we won’t be able to build motivated teams who truly believe in building their career with us,” says Jacqui. 

She said that in addition to active listening and transparent communication, it’s about “Exuding the right vibes.” What does this exactly mean?

Cultivating ‘meaningful work’ experiences

For Havas Media Group in Singapore, the goal is to nurture and create meaningful experiences within the team so that in turn, they are able to manifest ‘meaning’ and ‘substance’ through the work they do – a meaningful difference. 

As an agency network whose mission is to make a meaningful difference, we continuously strive to promote a positive work environment. All the initiatives we embark on for our staff are done with the sole purpose of creating a meaningful core to all that we do.

Jacqui Lim, CEO, Havas Media Group Singapore

Of course, in order to put forth notable work that shakes audiences, the agency must set up an environment that effectively breeds this ingenuity and Jacqui says that the Singapore team does this by prioritising inclusivity – where everyone has an equal voice – at all times. 

Regardless of how junior or new they are in the industry, we are often pleasantly surprised by their perspectives and ideas if we offer them the platform to be heard.

Jacqui Lim, CEO, Havas Media Group Singapore

This step pays off in multi-folds, shares Jacqui, as they cultivate a space of empowerment and inclusivity, where everyone has an equal chance to speak up and become more engaged and involved in the organisation’s journey.

Meaningful’ internal initiatives

When Havas says they aim to do meaningful work together, they literally mean being a team and engaging in valuable activities as a group.

One of the initiatives in line with this is pro-bono work. The aim is to marry multi-talented teams and their capabilities for a good cause to be able to give back to society. Doing ‘meaningful work’ also means helping to create a sustainable future together. One such activity is called Green Nudge where teams came together to clean up the Sembawang shoreline in Singapore and collected over 150kg of trash. 

Meanwhile, another initiative was the #OneDabaoAtATime where they encouraged agency members to maximise reusable containers for packing their lunches instead of disposables.

Jacqui said that while the agency has always had various employee initiatives in the past, the pandemic has taught them that more effort is required to promote mental wellness, work-life balance, and a sense of belonging. 

The collective of our initiatives are centred around achieving these larger objectives of providing motivation and appreciation to the people as teams and as individual.

Jacqui Lim, CEO, Havas Media Group Singapore

Keeping the Havas Village happy 

Havas Media Group is known for calling their integrated teams ‘Village’, and suffice to say, the Singapore village of the group is consistently being kept happy and empowered. 

According to its HavasSay Survey which serves as a report card after all the programs and initiatives are rolled out during the year, the agency has had a +35% overall improvement in scores across various categories such as sense of belonging to the agency, fairness, and confidence in the future, amongst others. The interactions among its people, in-person and online on the agency’s social pages, also show how the initiatives have taken effect to its Villagers having a happier and more fulfilling time at work, shared Jacqui.

She says that the key will always be walking with them and not ahead of them – the virtue of servant leadership

Be authentic and a servant-leader.

Jacqui Lim, CEO, Havas Media Group Singapore

For her, to be a servant-leader is to have the mindset of growing, learning, and thriving together with the team. “Only then,” Jacqui continued, “ will there be a sense of fulfilment and purpose for all that will invariably lead to a flourishing organisation. The heart always guides the mind to achieve greatness” 

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