Culture, engagement and nurturing employees the focus to tackle workforce challenges

Business, operations and technology leaders in broadcast and media are focused on nurturing, engaging and developing their workforces to help realise their transformation objectives.

That is according to the expert contributors to the DPP Leaders’ Briefing 2021 report, an analysis of the priorities of 36 leaders from 31 organisations who shared their strategies, initiatives and programmes at an event in London in November 2021, attended by more than 600 DPP members.

Some 16 of the 31 speakers made workforce one of their three themes. And when this area is expanded to include related themes of business values, remote working, wellbeing and diversity, equality, and inclusion, 21 of our speakers – or 68% – directly addressed workforce themes.

Download Leaders' Briefing 2021 report

Leaders' Briefing 2021

While expert speakers at previous editions of the Leaders’ Briefing had cited ‘workforce transformation’, recruitment and retention, diversity, skills and managing hybrid teams as critical to their agendas, DPP CEO Mark Harrison said that these elements were now wrapped together in a much broader discussion.

“In 2019 and 2020 leaders from major media organisations were concerned about workforce transformation,” he said. “How would they get the right people, with the right characteristics – including diversity, aptitudes, and skills – to deliver the company’s technology and business change priorities?

“But in 2021 it is no longer simply about transformation. It is now about something altogether more profound: not who will work for you, but how and why?”

A+E Networks EMEA SVP of Technology & Operations, Matt Westrup, and Vice President of Digital, Julie Mitchelmore, said that culture and purpose were core to the company’s success.

A+E Networks EMEA Vice President of Digital, Julie Mitchelmore, and SVP of Technology & Operations, Matt Westrup, at the DPP Leaders' Briefing 2021. Click image to view session on demand.

“We are in the middle of some seismic and profound change,” Westrup said. “The pandemic has opened up a debate on what work even means. We've always prioritised and celebrated our culture and we firmly believe that it is critical to our business success. The next year is going to be put to the test like never before.”

For Mitchelmore, culture and workforce engagement would be part of the platform for change.

“The benefits of an attractive culture are clear: better employee brand, better staff retention, more diverse thinking and happier people who know they contribute and are heard,” she said. “But we need to use our culture more than ever to manage profound change, build resilience and reimagine the workplace.”

Sheilagh Little, Director of Operations at IMG Studios, with David Shield, SVP, Global Director of Engineering & Technology. Click image to view session on demand.

Daniella Grayson, VP of Technology & Business Enablement at Thomson Reuters, said that nurturing staff had become a top focus as part of the post-pandemic recovery, a sentiment echoed by Sheilagh Little, Director of Operations at IMG Studios.

“Instead of us having a position of attrition with all the people that work with us, let's take a new position of attraction, and make a world that they do want to come back into,” Little said. “They do want to be developed, and they do want to be nurtured, and feel they're getting somewhere, and they're a part of a team again.”

While workforce was named the top priority, business transformation, technology transformation, cybersecurity concerns and supplier relationships emerged as the next biggest priorities for media and broadcasting leaders.

The DPP Leaders’ Briefing 2021 summary report can be downloaded by DPP members here, including full analysis of the top three priorities cited by all 31 contributing companies. If you are not a DPP member, and would like to know more about becoming one, please contact

Leaders' Briefing 2021


Exclusive business intelligence from 31 major media organisations to help you enhance your business in 2022.




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