As voice technology has continued to develop into a viable tool for marketers, Australian agency VERSA has been leading the way when it comes to enabling such technology.
At the helm is company CEO and founder Kath Blackham.
The agency has rebranded from Deepend Melbourne and is now considered the world’s largest voice and conversational AI agency.
By adopting a ‘Blitzscaling’ strategy, Blackham and her team have leveraged their existing experience in voice technology and conversational design and certified relationships with Amazon, Google and Microsoft.
In 2019, she helped grow VERSA’s global footprint, opening offices in Sydney, Seattle, Singapore, Japan and Mumbai; as well as growing teams in Nicaragua and New Zealand.
But Blackham’s most notable recent achievement was the implementation of VERSA’s four-day working week, which made headlines around the industry.
Under the arrangement, staff work 37.5 hours over four days, with the office then closed on Wednesdays.
It is an initiative by Blackham and her team to improve mental health and ensure staff are healthier, happier, more efficient.
Since implementing the four-day week retention is up, sick days and mental health issues down and profit has tripled.
Blackham has continued her “obsession” with mental health and gender equality innovations, adding initiatives such as 3pm staff walks, rate your day and gratitude checks, dogs as mental health tools, quiet areas to work or meditate on noise-cancelling headphones.
She has also overhauled the company’s parental policy to improve gender equality and give parents, particularly women, work-life flexibility.
All new parents now receive 16 weeks additional pay, $1,000 baby bunting voucher; a free cleaner, nappies and meal service for the first 10 weeks.
Staff can bring babies in or work from home two days a week during the first six months.
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