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Building Employee-Centric Companies – the What, Why, and How

Building Employee-Centric Companies - the What, Why, and How

Happy employees make successful companies. Read on to know how you can drive growth with employee-centric policies & supportive work culture.

The benefits of having a robust and vibrant work culture cannot be stressed enough. But building a great workplace, where employees can excel and bring their best and authentic selves to work, calls for an intentional approach. At Salesforce, we build a culture of trust by being incredibly intentional about our Ohana, our values, our behaviours, and the experiences we deliver. Our recent recognition as a Great Place to Work validates the high-trust culture that we take immense pride in. Let’s look into how organisations can create an enabling work environment for employees.

Make the workplace a people’s place

Employees must feel a sense of belonging and a strong connection with their company. The traditional employer-employee relationship must be replaced with a ‘partner in growth’ sentiment. How can you do this?

1. Drive a growth culture through technology

To drive a culture of growth and efficiency, employees need to be enabled with the right tools and technology. At Salesforce, we leverage digital platforms to reshape employee engagement and elevate our business productivity. From a world class digital onboarding experience, to using Salesforce’s very own online collaboration tools like Salesforce Anywhere (Quip), Chatter and other digital applications, our overall approach is to empower our employees and let them use technology to work more flexibly, more remotely, and more freely.

2. Tune in to employee needs and respond appropriately

Designing policies and setting goals with an employee-first mindset establishes credibility and demonstrates empathy. It builds mutual trust and transforms employees into brand advocates. At Salesforce India, employee-friendly leave policies and flexible work hours encourage employee well-being.

3. Institute feedback mechanisms to make employee sentiments count

Your best employee engagement strategies can become obsolete if you don’t constantly improve on them by seeking feedback. We hold bi-annual employee surveys to gauge employee engagement and the health of the work culture. This helps us stay employee-centric; and employees feel that their voices matter. Crucially, these assessments also enable a feedback loop that helps shape our leadership styles. By way of these measures, employees are participants as well as beneficiaries of change.

4. Enable learning and growth opportunities

With the pace at which technology is evolving, employees need to constantly learn new skills to take charge of their careers. Salesforce believes that personal growth and development empowers our employees to produce better results and meet their goals. Through Trailhead, Salesforce’s very own gamified learning experience platform, many of our employees and customers are blazing new trails every day by gaining new skills and honing the existing ones.

Instil a sense of ownership among employees

A culture of ‘Trust’ and ‘Autonomy’ can have a strong impact on employee productivity and the company as a whole. In one of our internal employee surveys, 94% of respondents said that they were “willing to do extra to get the job done.” When employees feel a sense of ownership, they are willing to make a personal commitment to achieving the organisation’s goals and results.

Provide the power of purpose

For employees to feel motivated and charged-up, it’s important for the workplace to offer more than just work. Businesses can be a platform for positive change, giving back to the communities they work and live in. This is the premise of our1-1-1 philosophy, where 1% of our revenues, 1% of products and 1% of employees’ time is contributed to the community.

Employee volunteering extends the sense of value-driven employment. It offers a meaningful way for teams to bond and makes employees happy. At Salesforce, we encourage our employees to avail Volunteer Time Off (VTO) benefit of 56 hours, and match their donations to worthy causes for upto $5,000.

Emphasise the values your company stands for

Communicate clearly about the core values of your company. More importantly, walking the talk when it comes to company values will ensure that employees follow your lead. At Salesforce, we inspire each other and the industry through our values of trust, customer success, innovation, and equality.

Let employees know you have their back

Why wait for an opportune moment to build a supportive work culture for your employees? The most employee-centric organisations have internal mechanisms in place to help their employees cope with personal and professional crises. And these can be amplified, when needed, by customising benefits to suit specific situations. For instance, during the ongoing COVID-19-triggered situation, Salesforce has been working diligently to support employees as they navigate through this pandemic.

From supporting work-from-home with an allowance to set up home offices to initiating special well-being programs, our response to the pandemic is constantly evolving. Our back-up childcare program and family care leave options are initiatives to help our employees, especially working parents, manage the economic and logistical challenges of the pandemic. We also have an India COVID Care Program in place, which connects employees to reliable and affordable 24/7 healthcare services should an emergency ever arise. B-Well Together, our weekly webinars with luminary speakers and wellness experts globally, recently completed over 100 episodes and has been received very well.

Salesforce India has demonstrated that building a healthy work culture demands carefully thought-out policies; policies that promote employee happiness across critical dimensions – excelling at the workplace, contributing to the larger society, and finding a reliable support system at work.

Deepa Narayan

Deepa Narayan is a human resources leader with 26+ years of experience spanning across industries. She is currently the Senior Director, Employee Success at Salesforce India. Deepa and her team are responsible for nurturing exceptional employee experience for the growing business in India. Prior to Salesforce, Deepa has been a part of other prominent companies such as Google, Flipkart, Vodafone where she was an integral part of leadership coaching and building a high performing culture to achieve business goals. Deepa is committed to working on Diversity and has contributed to this space in all the organisations she's worked in thus far. She is also continually focused on identifying great talent and is passionate about working with young minds at the workplace. In her leisure, Deepa is an avid traveler, who has visited over 40 cities in the world. She also supports the cause of promoting local handlooms across the country and works as a volunteer for women entrepreneurs in this space.

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