CDM Media, a leading B2B technology marketing and media firm, producing C-level executive events globally, has moved a long way to make Chicago home and headquarters, which was previously in Hawaii.
“We chose Chicago definitely for the opportunity, said Amanda Miller, Corporate Recruiter at CDM Media, “We needed a central hub closer to our client base.”
While the company has made Chicago its home for eight years, it most recently moved further into the city, in the heart of River North at 20 W. Kinzie, a Class A Business building, into Google’s previous work space.
Miller and her fellow coworker, Bianca Medici, Corporate Recruiter at CDM Media, gave me a tour of the office to talk about work life balance, rock stars, and their work hard, play hard mantra.
CDM Media’s Open Office Divides Work and Play:
Three times the space of their old office, CDM Media is actively recruiting new employees at its Chicago office to fill the added sales desks. A global company, CDM Media has offices in New York City and Cardiff, UK, as well. At the Chicago location, there are about 50 employees.
Upon arrival, CDM Media still has vibrant colors like orange and green and open office space with glass conference rooms, like most work spaces.
The space is evenly divided between business and pleasure.
To the left, is a sound proof conference room. The chairs swivel, and are prefect for intense meetings or starting relationships.
Past the glass doors, is the infamous kitchen and play space. It’s a wide open area with an orange couch, foosball, shuffle board and air hockey tables, and two massage chairs. There are complimentary snacks, as well as wine and beer kegs.
“We have a family feel,” Medici states, “On multiple Friday’s we have stayed until 8:30 and 9:00 pm hanging out, and then go to Siena Tavern across the street.”
Just a bit further is a separate open, oval conference room. It has the octagon shape and it feels like IBM left it there from the 90s.
On the opposite end of the office are workstations—low-rise cubicles that provide head shots of each employee—with HP monitors on top.
Conversations take over as the background noise for the day.
Adjacent to the open chairs are colorful rooms. There is one top to bottom (including the ceiling) blue room, and two orange rooms for breakout sessions and flex conference rooms.
Towards the very end, is the CEO’s office, which also has clear paneling.
CDM Office Culture
Who is a Rock Star?
“I think that anyone can be a rock star,” said Medici, “I don’t think it’s only a Millennial.”
Medici offered that a rock star is not defined by an age bracket, but a state of mind.
“I really want someone who comes into a job and puts all that they can into it. They have self-motivation to achieve.”
We came up with a list of rock star buzz words at CDM Media:
- work hard, play hard
- drive for your own success
- sets goals
While we hear buzz words of “work hard, play hard,” and “results driven,” we are still left wondering what those attributes mean. Does it mean coming in early and working late? Does it mean adding x amount of clients?
I dug a little further and asked for a concrete example.
At CDM Media a rock star consistently reaches out to perspective clients. As a caliber, Miller and Medici said 10 pitches per week is a good aim.
While the company doesn’t provide goal setting applications, they expect you to have them. The work culture runs off of personal accountability rather than micro-managing tactics.
“I think I was raised to work my butt off,” said Medici, “At the end of the day, I want to know that I am doing a good job.”
CDM Media puts employees in the driver seat of their own success, providing opportunities for those to advance, who strive for it, as well as guidance from upper-management to direct them there.
The Perks of Being a Rock Star:
Rock stars have perks. So if you are going to call a rock star, do you have to include a massage chair?
“It’s not expected that we provide extras,” said Miller, defending the notion that rock stars don’t need perks.
But, she adds that there is pressure from another source to add perks to the job.
“A lot of times competitive pressures provide [employees] with the little things like the Facebook’s and Google’s of the world who say ‘we have the best talent,'” noted Miller.
Many companies realize that salary and location are not enough. Employees, or rock stars, seek the perks.
Crain’s Business recently had a post in the October 5th weekly edition, “Can’t bankroll a 401(k)? Try Free Yoga or Profit-Sharing,” where author, H. Lee Murphy sheds light to the perks driven workforce. Extra vacation, on-site health classes, and profit-sharing are just a few ways that employers are gifting rock stars with extra goodies in their employee stockings.
In the article, President of Metaphrasis Language & Cultural Solutions, Elizabeth Colon, said, “It seems that a lot of the perks we offer are appreciated just as much as a raise or a 401(k) contribution. They show that we care.”
Office perks are more like the goody bag at the end of an event. You don’t know what’s in it, but you really want one.
Though the office is divided between desk space and literally, beer and games, the company culture offers structured breaks and times to collectively take a moment to relieve themselves from a rigorous work day. Because, as a rock star, you know you are hard-working.
“The CEO doesn’t have to have the games, the massage chairs,” Miller says, “It makes us feel like we are being rewarded for everything we put in.”
Work Life Balance:
“It’s not like we make you stay later than five if you get your work done,” Medici opens up about CDM Media’s work life balance.
Kyle, an employee at CDM Media, plays in a band. His band just released their first album and everyone went to his concert.
“It’s really cool how much we embrace each other’s passions,” said Medici.
CDM Media is Hiring:
CDM Media is hiring. They recently changed to customer relationship management (CRM), Salesforce from an internal, external list management (Elm), to track sales and data.
“We are a small company creating a lot of traction,” Miller informs.
CDM Media especially seek applicants with a positive outlook, effective communication, leadership, and a go-getter mentality.