Building a great business and making employees happy don’t always go hand in hand, but some companies seem to be able to get it right. We gathered representatives from four companies that did just that: they landed on the Glassdoor 2017 Best Places to Work list. Scott Dobroski, Corporate Communications Director at Glassdoor moderated a discussion among these dynamic speakers:
- Jennifer Johnston, Head of Global Employer Branding & Recruitment Marketing, Salesforce, Best Places to Work: 2017 (#17) Large Companies
- Tudor Havriliuc, Vice President of Compensation, Benefits and Global Mobility, Facebook, Best Places to Work: 2017 (#2) Large Companies
- John Orta, General Counsel, Metromile, Best Places to Work: 2017 (#23) Large Companies
- Ann Poletti, Senior Director Employment Brand Marketing, Docusign, Best Places to Work: 2017 (#23) Large Companies
Here are six key takeaways from the discussion for employers who seek to create a better culture.
Define your culture from the bottom up
Both Salesforce and Facebook shared how their company’s founding missions helped define their respective cultures early on. It’s natural that Facebook, with its mission of making the world more open and connected and giving everyone a voice, has created an open and connected workplace where feedback from employees at all levels is embraced. Johnston mentioned how culture can evolve over time based on feedback: Wellness was adopted as a core value at Salesforce after too many people complained of burnout.
If a company hasn’t explicitly defined its culture and values, Orta advised finding out what it currently is rather than stating where you’d like to be. “Be honest with how it is and find a couple things you want to move to,” he said. Poletti shared that Docusign began an employer branding project by asking people why they joined and what makes them stay, and distilled its values from that information.
Make work meaningful for employees
Facebook is “a place where you can have a calling,” shared Havriliuc, “where you can be part of something much bigger than yourself.” The company empowers employees at every level to take action on problems they see. In that same way, Docusign strives to make work meaningful not only through its mission but its way of conducting work. “Engineers can ship code in 30 days,” said Poletti. “And sales is exposed to leadership, so people across the organization see an immediate impact.”
Give employees a place to connect
One hallmark of a transparent culture is open communication. Providing employees with internal communication tools beyond email facilitates the flow of information across the organization, rather than keeping it in silos. “We don’t use distribution lists,” said Johnston. Salesforce uses Chatter to keep employees connected, while Facebook uses its own Workplace tool. “We run the company on Facebook,” said Havriliuc.
Quantify the value of improving culture
Often the only way to get leadership on board with improving company culture is to show the numbers. “Quantify cost of attrition against your hiring costs,” said Poletti, “and show how much you can save by moving the needle on retention by a certain percentage each year.”
In Salesforce’s data-driven culture, Glassdoor trends are shared in high-level meetings. Johnston said they also look at how Salesforce is trending against is top employment competitors. “Frame it in terms of competition, risk, and results,” she advised.
Provide training in soft skills
If you want to become more open in accepting and giving feedback, become more diverse, and develop managers that retain their staff, it’s necessary to provide training. Facebook’s unconscious bias training was so successful with staff that they released it to the public. “Solving for diversity adds a tremendous value to your organization,” said Havriliuc. Salesforce creates training programs on its Trailhead tool and published its diversity and manager training modules.
While smaller companies may not have the budget to create apps and lengthy training modules, Poletti reminded the audience that these larger companies are “setting standards that ripple through society.” Take advantage of these free tools to empower your staff or use them as templates for developing training that aligns with your company’s specific values.
Not only does Salesforce share Glassdoor results with leaders, they talk about Glassdoor at company all-hands meetings. Johnston said that they see an uptick in reviews after those meetings. Orta also mentioned how important Glassdoor is to Metromile’s executive team, and Poletti shared that Docusign encourages reviews every quarter and promotes it on the company Intranet. It’s particularly important for recruiting: “Glassdoor helps us tell our story,” Poletti said.
Sign up to catch the next livestream of our Best Places to Work Roadshow from Chicago on March 16.