Digital ad agency gives break-up leave, dating allowance to workers

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One needs to adopt exceptional methods to ensure that digital natives, more popularly known as the millennials, would stay longer with their employer.

Ideas Ex Machina founder and CEO Clemente “Third” Domingo III
Ideas Ex Machina founder and CEO Clemente “Third” Domingo III

As far as Clemente “Third” Domingo III, founder and CEO of Ideas Ex Machina (IXM) is concerned, he had to think out-of-the-box to ensure his employees will stay for the long haul and enjoy their working stint with his company.

IXM, a creative boutique and award-winning local advertising agency, has crafted “irregular” schemes to the make the workplace more appealing to millennials who comprise more than 50 percent of his workforce.

Domingo, an alumnus of the University of Asia and the Pacific, said ICT is a must nowadays in the production of commercials.

In the past, he said two people — namely the creative director and the copywriter — were the only ones involved in the production. “Now, you have to include the computer programmer,” said Clemente.

He said implementing the scheme was challenging in the early years, but there is no choice for companies but to follow the trend. “Somebody must be knowledgeable on technology in order for you to reach the audience you want,” Domingo said.

He said IXM does not require overtime work to the staff unless it is necessary. “Doing overtime does not mean you are a diligent worker. It can also mean you are not efficient in your working method,” Domingo pointed out.

Aside from the regular benefits provided by the company, Domingo introduced unusual perks such as the lovelife benefit as part of motivating the staff. Under the program, a staff of IXM can reimburse his or her dating expenses of up to P1500 six times on an annual basis.

“Basically, I urge people to go on dates with their boyfriend, girlfriend, wife and even the person they are courting. The rationale is to inspire the staff to develop their creativeness by inspiring and motivating them. Based on studies, people who are inspired are more creative in their work,” Domingo said.

Moreover, IXM also subsidizes the Tinder and eHarmony dating accounts of his employees to encourage them to be active in the dating scene. Interestingly, it also provides a “breakup leave” to staff to enable them to recover from a bad breakup in their relationships.

To encourage camaraderie, IXM also gives movie tickets to the staff in a selected cinema near their office in Pasig. For a staff who will get married, IXM will shoulder the cost of a wedding reception with a maximum amount of P150, 000.

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