While the timing might seem tricky given the emergence of the new omicron variant, Sadoun says the holding company will adapt as needed.
“We thought a lot about whether this was the right moment to launch an initiative like this given the emergence of another new variant and we realized that actually the right moment doesn’t exist as we will be living with this virus for a while,” Sadoun said in the video to his employees. “But we can’t afford to wait any longer to give you new opportunities to grow, explore, and experience fresh perspectives, even as we adapt to what is coming next. So to be clear, 'Work Your World' might be postponed for a few months next year if things get worse. But what won’t pause is our commitment to making sure that every one of you has the possibility to progress in this hybrid world we are living in.”
The holding company is currently leaving work policies up to local and national mandates. Its U.S offices are currently open and people are allowed to come in on an optional basis.
Read more: Agency debuts quirky recruitment rap video
Sylvie Ouziel, CEO of shared platforms at Publicis, has been spearheading this effort since she joined in June, and she will be in charge of the program, as she is with Marcel.
The same way Marcel can be used to find the right talent for a project; which employees would be best for certain surveys; or even to recommend potential lunch partners for employees when they are in the office, the platform can be used to match employees with other employees or offices that best match their destination interests, Ouziel said.
While the company won’t be paying for employee flights, employees will be able to align their time in other countries with holidays or business trips. Employees will also have access to a 24-hour call center where they will be able to get in contact with an actual person to answer questions around visa obligations and work authorization paperwork necessary for working in a particular country. Marcel will also provide emergency COVID alerts for the country and if a health accident occurs, Publicis will help pay for treatment if needed, Ouziel said.
In an industry that has struggled to attract and maintain talent, especially in an environment where employees have relocated during the pandemic, Publicis believes the program will give the holding company a leg up.
See Ad Age’s 2021 Year in Review here.
“We think it will become a competitive advantage that's unique to Publicis because we're the only people that can do something like this, especially with the experience because of Marcel,” Serrano said.
”Our first priority is retaining our talent right now. What we’re seeing is our talent is relocating instinctively and this is us opening up that experience even more and giving them the freedom to connect. People's lives have become kind of small. So if we can give them that experience of expansion and openness we think it's absolutely a reason to stay and, and continue to grow and learn and be happy here. people talk about the future of work and, and we really think this one is much more future-ready.”
Sadoun will share more details about the program during an internal virtual seminar called “Viva La Difference,” taking place next week.