Canvas Worldwide Constructs A Prize-Winning Workplace

By Canvas Worldwide InSites Archives
Cover image for  article: Canvas Worldwide Constructs A Prize-Winning Workplace

What's necessary to generate an ideal workplace environment that earns annual best-in-class honors recognition, no matter what industry your business resides? For Canvas Worldwide chief executive Paul Woolmington, it all begins with a mission and a belief system, then living the game plan on all fronts.

"We describe the mission as challenging the comfortable," continues Woolmington. "Essentially it defines the type of people that we want to come and work, and the type of culture we want to create and have created." A few weeks ago, Advertising Age magazine named Canvas one of its 2024 top 10 "Best Places To Work" among media advertising and marketing outlets. It's the first citation of its kind for the company, whose hundreds of employees work at or remotely from six offices across the nation, including New York, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas and Denver.

Besides the #4 top 10 national ranking, Ad Age also named Canvas' operations in the Western half of the U.S. tops among companies based within that half with more than 201 employees.

The lengths Ad Age goes to in making these worthy workplace selections, such as considerable input from employees at prospective candidates through anonymous questionnaires, makes both honors even more special for Woolmington and his executive team. "The best award you can get is one that has depth of diligence," he says. "Success can only come from people that are motivated, who feel a sense of mission and accomplishment. It's about turning up every day. It's not about some nice little words on a plaque in your reception (area). It's about reinforcing through every means you can throughout the organization every day."

At Canvas, employees operate under a "One Canvas" framework where they are empowered to go beyond their comfort zones at work, whether face-to-face with clients on creative matters or learning to incorporate artificial intelligence into their specific skill sets. Employees are free to work in teams of their choosing and take time out on the spot to brainstorm strategies for specific clients together. Training sessions and off-site workshops on a variety of topics from media landscape innovations to transparency when difficulties arise are conducted on a regular basis. Employees who go above and beyond qualify for above and beyond financial bonuses and merchandise rewards. One unique example: $2,500 for buying a new car from any Canvas auto client -- Kia and Hyundai to name two.

Woolmington makes a point every Wednesday to e-mail Canvas employees about anything and everything impacting them, from new best practices at one location to potential workplace hassles at another. The weekly e-mail started in 2020 during the coronavirus pandemic, and neither rain, snow nor gloom of job stops Woolmington from conducting this appointed round.

"I lead by example. Nothing is too little or too much for this executive team," he maintains. "That filters all the way through our organization. You nourish the mind and nourish the soul. We're all united here."

Another thing Canvas promotes throughout its employee universe is playing together as well as working together. Post-pandemic, the company schedules an annual three-day event at or near one of its offices, mixing meet-and-greet sessions with a town hall-type forum and evening activities. More than 500 employees came together for the 2023 edition in Los Angeles.

Achieving both innovation and consistency among every Canvas workplace is the big goal Woolmington has set in motion for this year. A new task force is in place to launch a variety of artificial intelligence-triggered strategies among employees and clients. "One way we can use AI is to make the work that we do less rote," explains Woolmington. "As a result, we'll elevate the work we're doing on behalf of clients. We're also exploring how we can personalize messages and commercials based on consumer behaviors through AI and analytics. What's the next frontier of that? How do we make the creative emotional as well as rational?"

Demystifying the AI environment will be vital to Canvas building on its new best-in-class laurels throughout 2024. "We're going to give permission to our employees to play with AI in their own personal and professional lives. Be AI natives for the fun of it, and then bring that experience into the workplace." Woolmington says. "We're just at the end of the first innings in the game of AI's future. It's going to bring about a profound change over the next decade."

Photos courtesy of Canvas Worldwide.

Click the social buttons to share this story with colleagues and friends.
The opinions expressed here are the author's views and do not necessarily represent the views of

Copyright ©2024 MediaVillage, Inc. All rights reserved. By using this site you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.