A strong culture lays the foundation for a strong business, or so we believe at Salesforce. Testament to the passion and purpose that goes into creating Salesforce’s workplace culture, we’ve again been recognised in the 2017 Best Places to Work in Australia study – an accolade we’re incredibly humbled by.

For us, culture is not an accident, nor is it a throwaway line. We’re as intentional about the kind of culture we want to create as we are about the technology products we build, sell and service. Creating a robust workplace culture is an ongoing commitment. It’s something that requires daily work, and everyone needs to walk the walk. It means keeping our core values – of trust,growth, innovation and equality for all– at the centre of everything we do.

To be recognised, once again, as one of the best places to work in Australia is an honour, and a reflection of the incredibly talented team we have here at Salesforce, along with the effort we put into cultivating our culture every single day.

To give you an insight into how important culture is to us at Salesforce, we define it by using the Hawaiian word ‘Ohana’, which means family. In Hawaiian culture, Ohana represents the idea that families – related or chosen – are bound together, and that family members are responsible for one another. #SalesforceOhana is an entrenched support system that we nurture inside our company. And not just for employees, but also for our close-knit ecosystem of customers, partners and our community.

I’ve been at Salesforce for five years now, and I’m incredibly proud of the culture we’ve created in Australia over that time. Our culture, I believe, is our differentiator.

Here are a few initiatives that set us apart:

Investing in our Ohana by offering generous parental leave

 

The investment we continue to make in our people, who are our greatest asset, captures our Ohana ethos. The latest example of this is the updates we’ve made to our parental leave policy. All Salesforce employees in Australia are given 26 weeks paid time off if they’re the primary carer of a new baby or adopted child, and 12 weeks if they’re the secondary caregiver. We also contribute to the costs for those Salesforce staff who decide to adopt.

Supporting our community

 

The spirit of Ohana also means not shying away from our commitment to improve the community in which we live and work. Our 1-1-1 philanthropic model is based on a simple idea: we allocate 1% of Salesforce’s products, people and resources to Australian not-for-profits.

Our staff have access to seven days of volunteer time off (VTO) each financial year, and are incentivised to take this time. Employees who complete 56 or more volunteer hours in a  financial year are our ‘Volunteer Rockstars’ – each quarter, we select several Rockstars to receive US$500 grants to give to the charities of their choice – while the 100 employees who complete the most number of volunteer hours each financial year can each send US$10,000 to the charities of their choice.

In the last year, we contributed more than 22,000 volunteer hours in Australia, and 177 of our Volunteer Rockstars completed their 56 hours and more. In addition to this we gave out close to half a million dollars in grants to support our strategic grant programs and amazing volunteering partners including Foodbank NSW, Foodbank VIC, OzHarvest, Dress for Success, the National Centre for Indigenous Excellence, Fareshare, North West Disability Services and Cerebral Palsy Alliance, The Big Issue and St.Kilda Mums.

Championing equality for all

 

We’re not afraid to take a stand. We passionately believe in equal rights for all and are proud to have pledged our support for marriage equality in Australia, and we have taken a leading role in promoting gender diversity and equality within the technology sector. We’re also playing an active role in encouraging our extended Salesforce Ohana to champion equality in their workplaces by offering targeted inclusion and diversity training modules as part of our learning platform Trailhead.

We understand the societal and business value of having a diverse, inclusive workforce, and believe it’s corporate Australia’s responsibility to battle inequality in all its forms – gender, LGBTIQ+, race or otherwise.

On the gender front, we recently assessed remuneration and made changes to ensure parity. We have also changed our recruitment process to attract and retain more female staff – we know there is still a way to go for gender parity, but we are committed to taking action and measuring our progress on this.

To make equality a reality inside Salesforce and in the communities where we live and work, we also have five active Ohana groups in Australia, made up of team members from diverse backgrounds and their allies.

  • Abilityforce: for people with disabilities, employees with loved ones with special needs, and allies.

  • Outforce: for those who wish to participate in outreach and collaboration on workplace practices promoting and celebrating diversity and LGBTIQ+ inclusion.

  • Earthforce: dedicated to promoting and celebrating environmental responsibility at Salesforce in Australia to create a greener world for all.

  • Women’s Network: to share ideas on ways to advance gender diversity at Salesforce and in the wider community.

  • Vetforce: to provide Salesforce training, coaching and mentoring to veterans to help them transition to life outside the military.

Salesforce strives to be a values-driven business

 

It’s important to Salesforce that we give our employees a purpose beyond profit – that as a business we stand for more than just the bottom line. Recently, we commissioned research that surveyed more than 1500 business professionals on workplace equality and values-driven leadership. The results confirmed our thinking, with 80% of customers and employees believing that it’s a business’s responsibility to make a positive impact on society.

The report, ‘The Impact of Equality and Values Driven Business’, also reveals that companies that lead with their values, create social impact, and actively work to make their cultures more diverse and inclusive are better positioned for success. They’re more likely to achieve strong customer loyalty and superior business performance, because employees are more engaged, empowered and productive.

Once again, we’re incredibly humbled to be recognised as #2 on the 2017 Best Places to Work in Australia list and want to send a big mahalo (thank you) to our Salesforce Ohana here in Australia. We are the sum of our parts.

If you want to be part of the Salesforce Ohana, visit our careers website for current job vacancies. To stay up to date with all the Salesforce news, subscribe to our blog today.

Mark Innes is General Manager and Executive Vice President, APAC at Salesforce. Read more from Mark Innes.