News & Events
Culture, Students

Three things that make DIALOG great for young people

January 24, 2020

Quick quiz: What do Gen Z’ers look for in a job? What makes a company a great place to work?

These are questions we often ponder here at DIALOG. Sure, beer on tap is great (check) and so is paid time off over Christmas (check) but what really drives the next generation of architects, engineers, planners and designers?

So, we asked some of our younger DIALOGers what the best aspects of working here are that they didn’t know before they started. Here’s what they said:

Grassroots rather than top-down

We know the best ideas can come from anywhere in the firm. And we encourage DIALOGers to share them. We’ve got programs like Aspire DIALOG and Iris Prize, a $7,500 internal scholarship for personal research projects, to give young DIALOGers a platform to develop ownership around their ideas.

DIALOG doesn’t have a single ‘head office’ as we consider all five of our studios to be equally important. Between Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Toronto and San Francisco, each studio collaborates and shares the work of projects across the continent.

Our seating arrangement is also a reflection of our values of teamwork and true collaboration. Managers and principals sit amongst the project teams in an open studio. No stuffy offices here!


Design Technology is a big focus at DIALOG and we want our staff to be at the leading edge. We’re embracing generative design technology to help us improve the quality, sustainability and efficiency of our designs. Case in point: our annual Hackathons in each studio let DIALOGers tackle a coding challenge affecting their project work.

We offer all staff subscriptions to LinkedIn Learning and host a few Lunch & Learns per week across our studios. In 2018, we hosted almost 500 of them! Whew. That’s a lot of knowledge (and free lunches)!

We take fun seriously

Between monthly socials, community events, fitness classes – we know how to enjoy the journey. We even shut down the street to hold our own street hockey tournament!

A favourite is our Milestones event. Every year we have a big celebration to recognize employees for 5-year milestones —sometimes all the way up to 45 years of service! We provide them with a customized memento and a personalized gift that is often a surprise like dinner at their favourite restaurant or even new wheels for a fancy bike. This celebration is a favourite among employees—it is touching and inspiring.

The icing on the cake: We’ve just been named one of Canada’s Top Employers for Young People. It’s a huge honor, and one we take seriously. If you’d like to join our ranks, keep an eye on our Careers page or LinkedIn page for up-to-date listings.