Brill Street + Company’s number two “2011 Top 50 Chicago Generation Y Employers” goes to Digitas, an integrated brand agency with an emphasis on all things digital. The second you access the Digitas website, you know you’ve hit Generation Y gold. The interactive website highlights a quote from Digitas Lead Creative Paul Greer, “Only in Chicago are sweatpants considered business casual.” C’mon, this is right up Gen Y’s alley! Between the agency’s laid-back approach and dedication to its employees’ well being, it’s easy to see why this company ranks high with young professionals.
Vice President/Group Director of Talent Operations Nicole Stanley says, “In our industry, we get inspired with what Generation Y loves in life. We are in a unique position to embrace Generation Y graduates more so than other industries. For us, it helps us stay on top of the evolution of what we do for our clients and culture for our people. It’s definitely a plus.”
At the Chicago Digitas office, there is no shortage of creative space for employees to tackle their work. Employees can gather around for a quick brainstorming session in one of the many meeting spaces placed in every nook and cranny of the office. Beanbags are clustered around circular tables that have giant notepads build into the tabletops. Groups can meet for a quick brainstorming session, draft ideas on the gigantic circular notepad, tear off notes from the table, and so concludes the meeting.
Stanley adds, “Our office is a perfect example of how Generation Y inspires us to be better at what we do. We moved into a new space in 2010; we met with architects and pulled together employee volunteers who wanted to inspire how the space was designed. We thought of everything from the individual perspective.”
This agency isn’t only creative with its workspace; it is creative with how it treats its Gen Y employees to fun. In office, young professionals can enjoy a relaxed atmosphere, complete with scooters for easy travel. Itching to get involved with internal event planning? New hires are encouraged from day one to join a committee or forward on their ideas for events or fundraisers. The company has a wide range of club and committees including culture, sports, community, and family. The Family Team, a club unique to Digitas, plans events like children’s Halloween party and quarterly parent meetings to share best practices.
In regards to their Community Club and giving back to the community, Digitas has created a day where the office shuts down and all Digitas employees volunteer in the community. They have done everything from painting to treating the kids of the Off the Street Club to a carnival day. In addition, employees can also create their own opportunities for the company to engage in. The most recent opportunity stemmed from Digitas’ supply of free soda for employees in the office. They now collect all of the pop-tops for the Ronald McDonald House Foundation.
“More and more, employees want to spearhead their own community service initiatives,” mentions Stanley. “Any time an employee comes to us, so long as there’s not a conflicting effort or event, we do whatever we can to empower employees to get the word out.”
Digitas understands people and what it takes to make a company successful. Their website notes that Digitas “markets for people, not at them” and this idea proves to be consistent through their work and work environment.