Family comes first at Saatchi & Saatchi X. After that come the dogs, among other things.
The Springdale-based shopper marketing company puts a heavy emphasis on work-life balance, and its efforts to foster a cooperative, lively workplace have earned Saatchi & Saatchi X recognition as one of Arkansas Business’ Best Places to Work.
“This is a great honor,” said Betsy Reithmeyer, vice president of global communications. “Our whole team is so excited about it. Often times we consider ourselves a great kept secret here in northwest Arkansas. We are a strong, creative design team that has really been at the forefront of this industry, really, since 1997.”
With 12 offices in nine countries, Saatchi & Saatchi X reaches well beyond Springdale, but the company does its best to make everyone feel at home.
Paid leave, paternity leave, flexible hours and summer Fridays off give employees plenty of opportunities to take care of family business and grab critical family time.
And when employees are in the office the atmosphere is homey, if sometimes unconventional.
“I would tell you that the nurturing atmosphere here is pretty unique,” Reithmeyer said. “There is no question your family comes first.”
Casual dress, Friday breakfasts with an employee serving as DJ, on-site yoga each Wednesday and dogs allowed at work any time can make for a full week of stress relieving innovations.
“We just did a big photo shoot with the dogs for the Humane Society,” Reithmeyer said.
Additionally Saatchi & Saatchi X has a series of recognition programs including the monthly Star Derriere Award for aiding a colleague with a challenging project or situation; two annual events (like outings to ballgames and holiday parties) and a more conventional, employee assistance program offering counseling and assistance those dealing with personal issues from health to financial to substance abuse.
Saatchi & Saatchi’s “Random Acts of Joy” are actually well planned. The company’s employee-driven X FILES committee has the mission to enhance the company’s culture through unique activities and events collectively known as “Random Acts of Joy.”
Some examples over the last year include, a battle of the bands, banjo player, jazz quartet, marching band, an ice cream truck, a harpist, a pie eating contest, a Halloween costume contest and a film festival.
“Halloween around here is pretty awesome let me tell you,” said Betsey Reithmeyer, vice president of global communications.
Even if they aren’t dressed up, the employees frequently get to show another side through the random acts. One worker’s hidden talent turned out to be riding a unicycle, which he did up and down three floors and through monthly meetings.
On another occasion the University of Arkansas marching band was smuggled in, somehow, and turned loose to march through the company headquarters.
“We’ve had banjo players, we’ve had magicians,” Reithmeyer said. “Ice cream socials. … You never know what’s going to happen next.”