Many years ago, Salesforce founder Marc Benioff took a sabbatical in Hawaii. While there, he discovered a precious concept, Ohana, which represents the idea that families are bound together and responsible for one another. Today, this Hawaiian belief system is lived and breathed within Salesforce.
The Salesforce Ohana culture places a strong emphasis on balance and the notion of family. Salesforce is a global family of employees, partners and customers who strive to work collaboratively and compassionately. But we are also a group of individuals with families of our own, and it’s important that we can bring these two ‘families’ together.
There’s no better way to do this than a ‘Take your Kids to Work Day’.
“Too often, talk around family dinner tables is about the kids’ days – we ask them what they did at school, who they played with, and so on. We forget, or neglect, to replay our day to them.”
This year’s kids day, sponsored by FemmeForce was a huge success. One floor of our building was quietly abuzz with junior coders, heads bent over laptops doing all sorts of Salesforce tech-related stuff. Another floor was absolute chaos – in the best possible way – with Spiderman and Frozen’s Elsa playing hide and seek amongst the cubicles with the younger kids. The office came to life with a new energy and excitement.
My own children, Sienna and Max, have attended two of these memorable days now. For me, they have been the highlight of the year. I spend so much time away from my kids – for most of every weekday I am with colleagues who I have come to regard as my family, too. It is wonderful to have the opportunity to introduce my two ‘families’.
The days have left a great impression on my children, too. They spoke about their first visit for weeks afterwards, blown away by how much fun my workplace was. I didn’t want to burst their bubbles of joy and tell them that, no, I don’t do face painting and play games all day, every day!
One year older and wiser this year, my kids clued on to the fact that ‘Take your Kids to Work Day’ isn’t perhaps the most accurate representation of what I do at work all day. But still, they had an amazing time – peering in on the older kids coding on Level 12 before racing back down to Level 10 to join the chaos.
Beyond the joy of the day itself, there are positive flow-on effects from ‘Take your Kids to Work Day’ – and this is where it ties in so well with our Ohana culture.
By bringing my kids to work, it makes it so much easier to start conversations at home about my life. Too often, talk around family dinner tables is about the kids’ days – we ask them what they did at school, who they played with, and so on. We forget, or neglect, to replay our day to them.
Now that Sienna and Max have a picture in their little heads of my office space – where I sit, where I make a cup of tea, where I raid the cookie jar, where I go to chat with colleagues – it’s so much easier to engage them in conversations about my day, too. Their perspective of their mum broadens, and they appreciate the love that I have for what I do.
Collaboration, compassion and care are all buzzwords in corporate culture these days, but how many businesses actually put these ideas into practice? I am extremely proud to work in a place that actively celebrates these three virtues. Salesforce understands that I have a family of my own, and they welcome my family into the workplace.
Are you you ready to become a part of the #SalesforceOhana?