Each team/department collaborates in the way that best suits the team and their workflow. We trust heads of departments to agree this with their teams. We also have a range of non-departmental collaboration opportunities such as Clay Club, Daily Doodle and drawing challenges. We have a Shorts Programme where anyone in the company can pitch an idea for a short animation film that Blue Zoo funds and is voted on using blind voting. We have recently introduced a new programme called Booky Wook to develop 6-10 of the best children’s picture book ideas from our studio. The hope is to get these ideas to print, hopefully published and possibly to screen. People across the studio can collaborate on the writing and illustration of the books.
We have quarterly company updates where we share our BCorp Impact Report, the company’s financial information, project roadmaps, new developments, R&D plans, D&I stats and new client projects. Transparency is extremely important to us as is trust so we are happy to share this information with everyone. We also have monthly company updates saying hello to new starters and sharing challenges & recent successes so everyone is aware of what’s happening across the company month on month. We also have regular studio showings where we share ongoing work that our team have been working on so we can share and celebrate the fantastic work everyone is doing.
Workplace culture is of the utmost importance at our studio. We have a staff feedback survey every 2 months asking for feedback on issues people are experiencing that we may not be aware of and how we can improve the experience of working at Blue Zoo. We try to respond as quickly as possible and if there are things we are not able to address or change we give an explanation as to why.
Over the past 2 years of the pandemic, we sent out additional surveys to make sure we understand what people need in terms of working conditions at home, any technical issues they are facing and asking if there’s any additional support they feel we could offer them.
We make sure that the junior artists learn from the seniors and team leads. We are constantly pushing the studio forward with new technology and ways of working.
Every new member of the studio has an end-of-probation review that includes a conversation about how they would like to develop and how we can support them. We also constantly review succession planning and identify new opportunities for our talent when they are ready for the next step in their career. We are developing a Career Paths programme to provide clarity and transparency around career development in the studio. We also offer Leadership training to talent that we feel are ready to take that next step in their career.
We are clear and open about our values and culture both internally and externally. They are front and centre in our processes such as recruitment, induction, training and internal communications. Our BCorp accreditation holds us to very high standards of social and environmental performance, transparency, and accountability.
BZShorts short-film initiative, giving artists a platform to get first-hand directing experience, often working on pro-bono charity films.
Our BookyWook project helps artists get their first children’s picture book published, linking artists to publishing industry mentors.
We have a range of programmes and initiatives:
Mental health and wellbeing programme
Pub of the month and studio lunches
Charity of the month under the 3 pillars of diversity, equality and environment. BZ matches donations from employees.
Social and clubs such as clay club, running club, book & film, daily doodle and life drawing.
Annual summer social and Christmas party
We have Re-Set days, which are mental health days for anyone who is struggling and needs a day to reset. This is not the only support we offer for mental health but our employees who have used them have found them very helpful when they have needed them.
Our CEO and the executive team model the company values by being accessible, transparent and supportive. We ask for regular feedback from employees and we openly encourage people to ask questions if they feel we could be things in a different way. We respect differences of opinion and thought, and believe it makes us stronger and more creative as a studio. A successful culture is one built on trust and mutual respect, where everyone helps each other grow and progress in their careers together, rather than climbing on each other to get there first, at other’s expense.
As a studio, our core aim is to put people first. Transparency is one of our core values which contributes to our overall goal to make the world a better place through animation.
We offer an Annual Profit Share program for all employees. The Profit Share Pot (PSP) is calculated at a %age of profit for the previous financial year. It is split between permanent employees and fixed term employees depending on the length of service. Half the PSP is split and allocated to permanent employees . All permanent employees receive the same amount. It’s simply split between total number of permanent employees. The other half of the PSP is distributed according to how many years employees have been employed, regardless of whether they are permanent or fixed term. The total number of years of service across all employees is calculated and the employees length of service is divided by the total number of years and the percentage is applied to the PSP.
Last year we offered a cost of living bonus in recognition of the financial challenges people were facing. We calculated the bonuses so that those on lower salaries received the largest share of the bonus pot.
Blue Zoo’s reputation for developing and creating charming, comedic and educational children’s TV shows is second to none, making TV shows such as Pip and Posy, Numberblocks, It’s Pony, and The Adventures of Paddington.
As a B Corp certified business, we strive to make characterful content to be proud of, with a focus on joyful, comedic stories and education content, contributing to a more enjoyable future for everyone.
As well as winning a host of animation awards, Blue Zoo has twice won the BAFTA for Independent Production Company of The Year and is a proud winner of the Best Places to Work in TV survey four times running by Broadcast and Best Companies Group.
Chesterfield House, 385 Euston Road, London NW1 3AU
Tom Box, Adam Shaw, Oli Hyatt MBE
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