Salesforce was just named one of the World’s Best Workplaces for the fourth year in a row. It’s an honor to have received this award over the years, and in 2020 it means more than ever before.
The last eight months have presented us with challenges we never thought we’d have to face. The global pandemic and its effects have dramatically changed everyday life and the way we work. Lucky for us about 20% of our employees were already working from home when the pandemic hit, so we had some of the infrastructure and best practices in place for better employee connect. But, when we all went remote, we knew we had to step up our game to ensure our employees remained productive, happy, and well. Here are a few ways we’ve supported our employees to help them thrive during this unprecedented time.
Transparent and human-centered communications
At a time when conflicting and confusing information was circulating in the news and throughout our offices, we knew getting our communications right would help reduce anxiety and get us back onto the path of productivity faster. So, we implemented a transparent and human-centered communications strategy to help keep employees informed and feeling connected.
In times of crisis, we rely on our leaders to keep us grounded. That’s why beginning in March, the Salesforce Executive Leadership Team hosted weekly, companywide All-Hands Calls to share updates and address questions from employees. These calls provide an opportunity for employees to hear first hand what’s top of mind for our executives, and how as a business we are supporting our stakeholders — our customers, employees and communities.
To give our employees a single-source-of-truth that could help them keep up with the news cycle and information about COVID-19, we created an entirely new communication vehicle, a daily email called, “The Daily.” We started sending these daily updates in March to share information employees needed to stay safe, like stay-at-home advisories. While it still provides crucial health and safety information, The Daily has evolved to include information about upcoming programs, enablement updates, and must-read top news from the company.
We have also been doing monthly wellbeing surveys that encourage employees to stop, reflect, and answer questions that help us understand the challenges they are facing and the support they need. The results are published in a dashboard and made available to everyone, enabling our leaders and all employees to feel informed, connected, and help support one another.
New & enhanced benefits aligned to employees’ needs
The residual effects of COVID-19 affected everyone differently, and we needed to find new ways of supporting our people.
We knew parents were going to need assistance finding balance. While we already provide employees with back-up childcare services in many countries, we also introduced new benefits to assist parents and people caring for family members or dependents. For instance, through January 31, 2021, all full and part-time employees can be reimbursed up to $500 per month for care of dependents under 18. In addition, we expanded the allowable expenses to include online and in-person tutoring, educating, and supervision of schoolwork.
We’ve also introduced a program to help employees combat stress and build resilience: the B-Well Together Daily Wellbeing Breaks. During these webinars, we bring in luminaries and experts like Arianna Huffington, Trevor Noah, Al Gore, Deepak Chopra, and the Plum Village Monastics to support our employees and their families with wellbeing content to help everyone thrive. There was so much interest in these sessions that we opened them up for everyone to experience and recently celebrated our 100th episode.
Using technology to engage our remote workforce
At Salesforce, we’ve always used technology to scale our culture globally and transform the employee experience. As we moved our offices to our homes, technology became even more critical for our employees to collaborate and connect from anywhere. So in May, we introduced Work.com, new technology solutions and resources to help businesses and community leaders around the world reopen safely, re-skill employees, and respond efficiently to the pandemic. And, in true Salesforce fashion, we’re using Work.com to re-open our own offices safely.
We are also using our own technology to create a consumer-like experience that deeply engages our employees. For example, instead of an intranet, we use a workspace built on the Salesforce Platform where employees can access all the tools they need to be productive, as well as a space for collaboration, communication, and connecting with colleagues. And we’ve created a one-stop shop with a built-in help desk called Concierge, where employees can search and find answers to their own questions, and quickly log tickets when they need more support. We’ve found that using Concierge, 95% of the time employees find the answers they need through self-service.
And we now offer these tools to our customers through Work.com to help them increase employee engagement and productivity.
Taking breaks for much-needed fun and connection
Some of my favorite moments this year have been when we just had some fun.
During a difficult time like this, Salesforce tapped into its sense of humor to create a Salesforce talent show (“Salesforce Has Talent“), with entries from more than 500 employees. The results ranged from impressive to hilarious to just plain unique. You’d have to see it to believe it. Finalists from all over the world came together for the finale, hosted by Saturday Night Live’s Colin Jost and judged by four Salesforce executives in hilariously ridiculous outfits. We also had a live performance from Jewel!
Another highlight was The Salesforce Adventurers Club, a completely virtual company-wide bring-your-kids-to-work event. This jam-packed week of activities was open to everyone — those with kids and those who are kids at heart! It featured story-time with execs, baking lessons, coding for kids, arts and crafts how-to’s, Equality sessions, yoga classes, dance parties, and more! The content was scheduled regionally for every time zone so attendees could tune in from all over the globe. And, it was so wildly successful that we used this same model to honor our most tenured employees (those who have gone the distance with us for 10+ years) at an annual event turned 3-day virtual experience — Koa Konnect.
This year has no doubt been one for the books, and there’s nowhere I’d rather take on all the challenges thrown our way than alongside my colleagues at Salesforce. I am grateful to be part of a company that’s committed to creating a great workplace for all.
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