It shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone that one of Chicago’s leading web design firms is alluring to Generation Y web design specialists. With over ten years of business in Chicago, Orbit has built a reputation that is desirable to clients and new hires. It is for that reason that over 30% of their staff is composed of Generation Y employees. Strategic Director Andy Crestodina accredits Gen Y for the liveliness brought to Orbit Media Studios and businesses in general.
Crestodina says, “It’s a blast of energy, creativity, positive attitude, and resourcefulness. It’s strength of Chicago; it’s strength of the overall economy. I think there are some people who have preconceptions about this generation; I don’t believe any of it. They’re smart, hardworking and kickass people. Age isn’t as much of a factor. It’s an extremely positive impact on the economy, Orbit and Chicago.”
It’s easy for Orbit’s Gen Y employees to have a positive attitude given the workspace that they’re provided with at the web design firm. The office is designed to be collaborative, so walls are far and few between. Some position holders maintain a personal office, but those spaces are often used as back-up conference areas. The Orbit Media Studios office has a lofty feel to it, employees feel comfortable pulling up a chair next to a co-worker and having a quick brainstorming session.
In addition to the physical space, Orbit also provides scheduled meetings to get co-workers interacting with one another. Meetings like “Developer Day,” “Usability Nook” and “Creatives Unite” allow teams to get together and review each other’s work.
“We have weekly and monthly meetings that create a team setting,” says Crestodina. “They are all informal meetings that are formally scheduled.”
In addition to these meeting tailored to teams, Orbit Media Studios hosts a SOTO: State of the Orbit. It is an opportunity for all employees to learn the ins and outs of the company and its performance. It is also a time for employees to engage with one another through various team exercises. After the meeting, there is a party to celebrate the company. They have done everything from cruise ships on the lake to creating art.
Another way employees can get quickly consumed by the sense of team at Orbit Media Studios is through the track jackets that they receive upon being hired at the company. To maintain a sense of individuality and uniqueness, each employee is assigned their own number, so no two employees are sporting the same digits on their jackets. While they aren’t mandatory work wear, there is always someone in the office donning their Orbit Media Studios track jacket.
Employees are able to celebrate company successes and recognize achievement every time a project is assigned to the company and each time a project, or website, goes live. There is a big bell in the office that employees ring whenever they are assigned a new project. Similarly, whenever a site goes live, the Orbit Media Studios scoreboard reflects the new number of projects launched and there is a moment for a victory celebration.
Who would want to leave a company that offers so much? According to Crestodina, Orbit employees are in it for the long haul.
Crestodina says, “I tell people, ‘Not every workplace is like it is here.’ Here, it’s people who love what they do, who they work with, who their working for, and they love the place they’re in. Put those together and rarely are there people who are unhappy. I can’t remember the last time someone left, it’s been at least three years.”
The evidence speaks for itself. Orbit Media Studio not only ranks high with Brill Street + Company’s “2011 Top 50 Generation Y Employers” list, but also with its own Generation Y employees.