May 9, 2023

Kel & Partners named to Inc. Magazine’s Best Workplaces for 2023

How our Boston-based, intentionally-boutique PR & SM agency is working to abolish traditional corporate hierarchies 

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I know what you’re thinking – how does an intentionally-boutique agency like Kel & Partners end up beating out thousands of companies that applied to be named one of Inc. Magazine’s Best Workplaces for 2023

Part of the application process is a very thorough survey, sent to the entire staff at applicant companies. In it, we had 100% of our employees ranked as “highly engaged”, which according to Inc. correlates with “highly favorable, advocate, intend to stay, high discretionary effort.” 

I’m really proud of that. We’re winning this award not because we had a good entry, but because we’ve built a great culture that our employees are benefitting from. 

Co-Leadership has had a tremendously positive impact on our culture and our team’s morale: I wrote about co-leadership for our blog earlier this year. 

Co-Leadership means that no decisions are made in a vacuum, and that our employees’ voices are not just seen, but also heard and understood. (That’s our company tagline for a reason!) I was so happy to see that the top keyword for our employee survey was “collaborative.” I believe that collaboration is the key to success and happiness, and love bringing it to life for our employees. 

Something we work hard at, too, is to create a high-feedback culture. We have 6 and 12 month reviews for all new hires/newly promoted employees. As head of the company, I sit down with each employee for a quarterly 1:1 to get feedback on their working experiences here, and morale. Our full team earned certifications this year on giving and receiving feedback, and is encouraged to share both positive and critical feedback with other team members – even their supervisors – in real time. The only way to improve is to know what needs improving, and our leadership team is committed to this level of transparency at all times. 

While the employee survey is anonymous, Inc. does give us some pull quotes. This one stands out to me as the exact experience that every entry-level employee deserves to feel, at any organization they are giving their time to. 

The strong feedback culture allows me to always understand what is expected of me and how I can improve while keeping the team efficiently working together. Even though I work in an entry-level position, I feel that I have the space and opportunity to meaningfully contribute to the team and that my input is always valued.” 

This win means so much to me as the Chief Co-Leader (real title) of this organization. And, I hope, inspires other leaders to look at their company structure to see how decisions are made, if employees are empowered to be part of the process, and if everyone has a voice that they can use to improve SOPs, relationships, client services, and their everyday life at your company.

Julia McGovern - Chief Co-Leader of Kel & Partners, the anti-agency agency for public relations & social media.

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Kel & Partners is the anti-agency agency for public relations & social media. We craft and execute fresh strategies that increase full-spectrum awareness to help our clients achieve their overarching business goals. Our clients live & die based on their ability to get above the noise level. Our client-side DNA and radical transparency blend to create a kick-ass partnership with our clients.