Last night, Salesforce was named one of Australia’s Best Places to Work in the 1,000+ employees category by Great Place to Work Australia – this is the fifth year in a row we’ve been in the top two (and three of those times we ranked first!). The virtual ceremony was particularly fitting, given that our commitment to our people has never been constrained by  offices and locations. 

We have always supported flexibility in work locations, but these times have changed the way we all work – work is no longer a place we go, but rather a thing we do, and this accomplishment speaks volumes of the people who enable our culture to flourish. Seeing how the team is celebrating virtually today – and that working remotely doesn’t diminish the enthusiastic support for each other’s achievements – is an incredible example of the amazing culture we have as an organisation. 

Today I’m sharing some of the ways we've built a workplace and a team that thrives working from anywhere.

 

We’re guided by our values

 

Amid so much change, our strengths are often shown by what hasn’t changed – and for Salesforce, that’s our values. When it became clear that the COVID-19 pandemic was escalating, we were in the final stages of preparing for our biggest event in Australia, Salesforce World Tour Sydney. Trust is one of our core values and at the heart of everything we do – we could not jeopardise the safety of the employees, customers and community who trust us by asking 10,000+ people to gather in Sydney.

The team pivoted and, in 10 days, reimagined World Tour Sydney as a virtual event.

I was most proud of the sustained focus on our core values throughout that challenge – innovative solutions were found to help our customers succeed while prioritising safety. We share those values and invite our customers to join us in supporting the community at every opportunity.

When World Tour Sydney became World Tour Sydney Reimagined, the team made sure that Red Cross and Solar Buddy were part of the new event. Both organisations spoke about their work and how people could get involved, and employees across five of our Australian offices used their volunteer hours to build more than 700 portable solar lights with SolarBuddy, which were all distributed to areas affected by bushfires.

 

Supporting employee wellbeing with Camp B-Well

 

Our first priority is the safety and wellbeing of our employees – once we knew we had that covered, we could focus, together, on our customers and communities.

Our existing benefits and wellness portal Camp B-Well – a one-stop destination for resources, information and support to help employees live well every day – expanded to include a content series called ‘B-Well Together’. The series features advice, tips and resources from leading experts including Thrive Global Founder Arianna Huffington, David Agus, Larry Brilliant, Deepak Chopra, Jack Kornfield, Plum Village Monastics and more. It continues to support our employees and our entire community through trying times. 

 

We make equal pay a reality

 

At Salesforce equality is a core value and a core part of our culture. And achieving equality requires more than intention – it requires action and investment. Since 2016, we've committed to ensure equal pay for equal work, conducting annual global equal pay assessments and spending US$12 million to date on correcting differences. We continue to focus on equality, diversity and inclusion at all levels, and review employee compensation on an ongoing basis.

We also make sure that those who deserve recognition receive it, ensuring that women or underrepresented minorities are not excluded from promotion and advancement opportunities through unconscious bias. Our senior leaders are empowered monthly with a scorecard detailing head count, hiring, attrition and promotion data by gender of employees globally. We pair our largest organisations with an Equality Board made up of their recruiting, employee success and equality partners, as well as senior leaders to drive prescriptive actions based on the data. 

The only way to close the pay gap is to invest in and prioritise closing it.

 

We give together 

 

The worst bushfire crisis on record was just six months ago – a crisis compounded by the pandemic’s impact on recovery efforts. Salesforce’s 1-1-1 philanthropy model has meant from day one that one per cent of staff hours are donated as volunteer time off (VTO). This year we provided uncapped Emergency Service Leave to support the community when it needed it most.

“Volunteering isn’t a casual commitment. It’s more like a second job [...] It’s good to be able to help people on their worst day,” Salesforce Key Account Director and RFS Brigade Captain John Watson wrote at the end of January. “Without VTO and Salesforce’s Uncapped Emergency Service Leave, I’d be taking unpaid leave or eating into my holidays. I’ve seen the financial and emotional toll on firefighters who don’t have a company that supports them.” 

Stories like John’s are why VTO is so important. They’re why we extended our VTO for anyone assisting with firefighting or bushfire recovery from seven to 27 days, and they’re why Salesforce donated US$250,000 to help those affected by the bushfires – an amount Salesforce co-founder and CEO Marc Benioff and his wife Lynne Benioff personally matched.

Last financial year, Australian employees volunteered 50,660 hours to give back to causes and organisations they're most passionate about, including Foodbank, Wesley Mission, firefighting and recovery organisations, Volunteer Building Cambodia, our 40 sponsored schools, and more. 

Our employee donation matching program encourages philanthropy in the team. Employee donations up to US$5,000 to not-for-profit organisations are matched by Salesforce, while our top 100 volunteers are granted US$10,000 to donate as they choose.

 

We celebrate diversity and pride 

 

We have been a Major Partner at the past two Sydney Mardi Gras – celebrating pride at Fair Day and the parade were incredible moments for the Salesforce team to be visible, vocal and proud at one of the most iconic LGBTIQ+ events in the world. 

This is an extension of the diversity and inclusion that’s part of every day at Salesforce – our Mardi Gras partnership is led by members of Outforce, our employee resource group for LGBTIQ+ employees and allies, who work year-round to embed it in our culture.

There’s an incredible amount of effort and too many initiatives to name that go into making a great place to work. And there is more to be done. The digital acceleration we saw as many industries stabilised has brought the future of work forward, and continual investment in creating a great workplace will ensure we are not just among the best places for now, but for the  future.

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Pip Marlow is CEO, Salesforce Australia and New Zealand. Follow her on Twitter @pipms.