While the value of company culture is sometimes hard to demonstrate, (it probably won’t pop-up on your annual report or appear on an ROI spreadsheet) it’s crucial to a company’s long-term sustainability. At FLIRT, we are proud to call Chicago our hometown, where deep-dish, jazz and now amazing company culture have become integral parts of what makes our city great.
Being in the business of corporate communication means pushing ourselves and our clients everyday to put the spreadsheets aside every once in a while and take a look at the people behind the brand. And thankfully, companies all over are adapting to the mantra that “culture is what creates a company”. Gone are the days of the cookie-cutter interview, where companies focus solely on past accomplishments and resume keywords, foregoing questions involving personal interests. And when we say culture, we don’t (only) mean a fully stocked beer fridge and ping-pong table privileges, we mean an environment of open, honest communication and a workforce of empowered, respected individuals. In our opinion that’s incredibly good news for employees and employers alike.
Each year Crain’s Chicago Magazine celebrates Chicago companies who have the best environment according to anonymous survey results direct from employees in their “Best Places to Work” article. After reading this years list, I decided to dig a little deeper and go straight to the source, asking a few of the winners a series of questions via Twinterviews (aka interviews over Twitter – catchy, right?)
Continue reading for an inside look at how these companies maintain their culture and keep employees motivated to come to work each day.
Just over a week ago, our city saw its 4th annual Chicago Ideas Week. From the inspiration of Brad Keywell and to a slightly lesser degree Eric Lefkofsky, founder of Groupon, this magical week brings to world-renowned speakers and hands-on labs and experiences to our city for a curiosity-packed week once a year. Each is designed to inspire the imagination while also provoking and challenging conventional thinking.
At FLIRT, we pride ourselves on being a forward-thinking agency, so we encouraged the entire staff to attend several CIW events to help us to explore our curiosities and expand our thinking. The goal? Apply our stimulated imagination to our clients’ events and internal communications planning. After all, aren’t inspired ideas, beyond great strategy and flawless production, the hallmark of any great communications agency?
Last week, James and I ventured to Merchandise Mart (what I like to call the smorgasbord of Chicago) to walk the floor of The Expo at #techweekchi, the biggest TechWeek in the country. Expecting to meet a bunch of tech start-ups in the Midwest, we were surprised to be inspired with event strategies as well:
Both Cheeky Chicago (the women’s online guide to Chicago) and New Amsterdam (a spirits company) did a wonderful job at appealing to their target markets, visually and experientially. Cheeky Chicago’s booth was bright pink and lounge-y, filled with employees offering free water and deals for their Cheeky Card. Rumor has it they threw a great after party at Studio Paris on Saturday too. New Amsterdam went after the men at Tech Week, setting up their space like the Prohibition period – two barber stations offering shaves, a bar and free shoe shining appointments. Read more…
Working at a creative agency, I’m always looking for new ways to re-think and re-imagine art, concepts and the creative process itself. At one of our monthly creative inspiration lunches, past intern Maria shared with us Creative Mornings – a monthly breakfast lecture series. (Side note – combining inspiration and food seems to be a best practice – one that I’m totally on board with. Keep the bacon coming).
This month, I attended my second Creative Mornings session. It’s always a great place to network, check out a new space and learn about different industries. Bonus – it’s FREE! Read more…