Best Places to Work: Array Digital
By Angela Blue
660 Independence Pkwy., #310, Chesapeake | 888-338-8252 | ThisIsArray.com
Founded: Originally launched in 2009 as iD Web Studios but merged with 80|20 to form Array Digital in 2017
It’s the Friday before Christmas, and aside from one other employee, Array Digital Founders Erik Olson and Kevin Daisey are the only two people at the office. The rest of the staff is enjoying some quality time off—not part of an annual allotment of vacation days but through a program implemented this past year that allows employees to have open paid time off. This is just one example of how this custom software, web design and digital marketing company does things differently.
“I would consider us an empowering company where we place great responsibility on the employees to manage their own time and efficiency,” says Olson. “We come up with the task that needs to get done, and we set the strategic goals, but we expect that the employees will manage their own time appropriately to get that work done in a quality manner, on time and to client satisfaction. As long as those three things happen, then they can come and go as they please.”
Although this program seems like a dream for employees, the founders admit that it can be challenging for management. “It’s very easy to manage by looking at a seat and seeing if there’s, frankly, a butt in it,” Olson says. “If someone’s there at 8 or 9 o’clock—whatever the start time is—then you can say, ‘Well, things are getting done,’ but that’s not the reality, and everyone knows it. But it’s a very easy way to measure progress. It’s actually much more difficult to let go of the reigns altogether and focus on what’s important.”
One of the important values at Array Digital is a fun, collaborative work environment. Not only do the founders encourage collaboration with everyday project details, but they also communicate with their employees on some of the biggest decisions, like asking each employee if they were OK with the two companies merging and then gathering employees together to pitch ideas and decide on a name for the company.
Instead of standard employee reviews, Array Digital has implemented a “kudos system” where employees can thank colleagues with “kudos” points. At the end of each month, the employee with the most points receives a cash bonus. “It’s a little bit of extra money, but I think it’s more about … you had your peers select you as the most helpful for that month,” Daisey says. “That’s probably way more important than money; it’s public recognition.”
Array Digital does implement employee reviews, but they’re periodic, informal reviews so that employees and supervisors have frequent dialogue that facilitates open, honest communication. These reviews are held during a company lunch, where everyone decides where to go, or they’ll order lunch in and put Netflix on. “That’s one day all employees are in the office,” Daisey laughs.
- Subsidized gym membership
- Flexible paid time off
- Company lunches
- Complimentary training events
- Offers to purchase educational books or items
- Meetup groups and networking events
- Kudos system
Why I Love My Job
“A warm, friendly focus on teamwork and clients truly defines the work culture and makes it great to come to work each day. It’s great to be surrounded by such a smart and dedicated group of people.”
—Jake Maines, Digital Marketing Manager, 11 months with Array Digital