LoyaltyOne Lays Out a New Vision

With a new headquarters on the horizon in Toronto and new space in the Chicago area, LoyaltyOne is changing the work culture for employees, and Janine Reaburn is at the heart of that transformation

Janine Reaburn started out as an interior designer, working in corporate office design for large insurance companies before she made the move to facility management. The gulf between the two disciplines isn’t that wide, she says.

“As a designer and in my current role, people are the main focus,” she says. “Time must be put in at the onset of a project to really understand the needs of the client.”

Reaburn is now a key team member for LoyaltyOne, a global leader in designing and implementing coalition loyalty programs, customer analytics, and services for Fortune 1000 clients throughout the world. She’s also at the heart of one of Toronto’s most dynamic developments—in the form of an office that will serve as a new home to more than 1,000 associates—complete with leading-edge technology and design features meant to support innovation and collaboration in the city’s Distillery District. It’s that kind of dynamism that drew Reaburn away from interior design and toward LoyaltyOne in 2008.

“What attracted me was the company’s unique culture, strong commitment to sustainability, and its entrepreneurial environment—not to mention the number of young associates with lots of energy,” Reaburn says. “At the time, they were building out a LEED-certified call center. I hadn’t worked on a LEED project before and wanted the experience.”

As the company’s director of real estate and facilities services, Reaburn is responsible for the real estate strategy for the company as well as day-to-day facility operations at each global location and the corporate responsibility strategy, which includes people, community, and environment. She oversees a team of 10 and describes her management style as rather informal.

“I have a strong team,” she says. “They are all knowledgeable in their own areas. I like to give them room to grow and develop.”

The move to LoyaltyOne’s new headquarters is slated for 2017. The company will take over six floors of a 16-story “smart” building. The core and shell of the building will have LEED Gold certification while the commercial interiors will have either LEED Gold or Platinum certification.

The design of the new headquarters will be an open concept, with no individual offices. There will be space for both focus work and group work. Designers incorporated a variety of exciting features, including raised floors, under-floor HVAC, three patios, exposed ceilings, and floor-to-ceiling windows. Each floor will have a café area. Coat closets and lockers will provide associates a place to store their personal belongings. A large atrium between the second and third floors will host town hall-style meetings and company celebrations, as well as the provision of additional work areas.

LoyaltyOne’s new HQ will be an open concept with no individual offices, encouraging employee interaction. Rendering: Gensler

Shuttle service will be provided between the building and Union Station in downtown Toronto. Enhanced technology will make virtual collaboration effective whether it’s with another floor, another building, or even another country.

“Our goal is to make better use of our space and to create transformational space,” Reaburn says. “We’re changing the way we work—not just picking up what we have and moving it to a new location.”

Reaburn’s involvement in the project has been comprehensive. She’s been involved since the beginning and played a part in “site selection, lease negotiations, hiring the consultants, working with the steering committee and project teams (internal and external), and understanding the vision for the new space.” Though she has had a great deal of help and received considerable input on the project, she admits it’s a rather big undertaking.

“I feel like a big part of me has gone into the success of this project—and I know that my colleagues and team have equally given it their complete and total commitment,” Reaburn says. “We want to create a real showcase, one that will still be current 10 years from now.”

Her reach also extends to the United States. Another project Reaburn is working on is a new space for LoyaltyOne’s Precima team in Rosemont, Illinois, which is just outside of Chicago. The company recently leased about 6,000 square feet of space, and as of press time, is planning the move for 2016. The Rosemont space will incorporate some of the same design features as the new headquarters space, including the open-concept workplace, a variety of work settings, and technology to let associates seamlessly participate in meetings locally, regionally, or with the head office.

“From a brand perspective, it’s important for us that no matter where [you enter] a LoyaltyOne office—whether it’s in Toronto, Chicago, or the UK—you will find a consistent look and feel, with our brand resonating throughout,” she says.

Evolving the company’s working environments ties to LoyaltyOne’s continuing commitment to excellence for its employees, Reaburn says.

“We’re so proud to have been recognized as a top employer even prior to these exciting milestones,” she says. “Suffice it to say, the new headquarters and the Chicago project symbolize a new chapter for LoyaltyOne, one that promises to be cutting-edge and collaborative.”