At Salesforce, our culture can be defined in one word: Ohana, the Hawaiian term for family. Being part of the Salesforce Ohana means we share common values and feel a sense of responsibility for each other. When we talk about our Ohana, we aren't just talking about employees, but also our customers, partners, and the communities we touch through our volunteering activities.

The 15 years I spent in the British Royal Navy taught me a good deal about the value of a positive culture. Working in tough conditions, we quickly learned that we needed to trust and support each other. In challenging situations when there is no rule book or procedure to follow, the Royal Navy's core values of commitment, courage, discipline, respect, integrity, and loyalty guide individuals' actions and shape their ability to overcome obstacles. The same is true at Salesforce, particularly in the Customer Success Group (CSG) that I lead in EMEA (Europe, Middle East, and Africa).


Being deliberate about culture

At Salesforce, our core values are trust, customer success, growth, and equality. These values are embedded in our corporate narrative that helps us explain who we are to our customers, partners, and the wider Ohana. In order to nurture our culture through the rapid change and expansion that Salesforce experiences as a company, we know we need to live this narrative through practical initiatives that reinforce the values we share.



A key part of this is our volunteering culture that enables employees to find higher purpose in their day-to-day life, pursue their passions, and have real impact. At Salesforce, we're immensely proud to have helping employees and the company as a whole to give back in many different ways. Last year, EMEA CSG employees dedicated an incredible 30,000 hours to voluntary activities, including ASTRiiD.



We have employees doing all kinds of extraordinary things. An employee in our U.K. business has been helping charities tackle modern slavery using the Service Cloud platform to handle cases of individuals at risk. We also have a long-standing relationship with the Karibu Center in Kenya, where a team recently went out to build a school.

In our Global Volunteering Month in March, teams supported the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team (HOT) to map streets and buildings in Uganda's capital city, Kampala. This crucial initiative helps governments provide adequate basic infrastructure and services to communities.


Ohana groups

Our Ohana groups also play a key role in driving our culture. The Ohana groups are focused on common passions, beliefs, and a sense of identity. These groups drive volunteering and fundraising activities, as well as giving employees the opportunity to meet others from across the business.

Our Ohana group Earthforce is focused on promoting sustainability. It is the group behind the green angels at our Dreamforce events who help ensure attendees recycle their plates, cups, and food waste. In April and May this year, Earthforce led Earth Month, an impressive program that gave employees across the globe the opportunity to participate in a host of environmental activities. In EMEA, we had teams cleaning beaches outside Dublin, planting trees in north London, tidying parks in Berlin, and promoting urban agriculture in Grenoble.

We're proud that one of our EMEA Ohana members was recently elected to be Global Philanthropy Chair of the Earthforce group. He recently organised the largest volunteering event ever held at Salesforce France, and is committed to driving awareness and action around sustainability.


Driving equality

At Salesforce, equality is an integral part of who we are. Equality is the bedrock of building a company that recognises and values the creative solutions that diverse perspectives bring.

We believe everyone is responsible for promoting equality, whether related to gender, ethnicity, religious beliefs, or sexual orientation. We use our all-hands calls, town hall meetings, and other public forums to talk about equality and invite individuals to tell their equality story. The aim of this is to encourage everyone to address their own behaviours that may reflect unconscious biases. It's also about encouraging everyone to be equality allies, that is, proactively show their support by joining Ohana groups focused on these areas, or calling out behaviours that may make others feel uncomfortable.

At the start of every fiscal year, Salesforce holds a series of one-day kickoff meetings in all its major locations to share business results and celebrate the achievements of our Ohana groups. At our London kickoff, two anecdotes from the Ohana group panel discussion stood out for me.

  1. One of our Karibu project leaders explained how since joining Salesforce, his focus had broadened beyond his professional development. He had come to value the opportunity to give back to the wider community, and to discover his own family roots in Kenya for the first time.
  2. A co-lead of our LGTBQ Ohana group Outforce said that at Salesforce, it was the first time he felt he could genuinely be himself at work.

For me, it is these personal stories that provide powerful testimony of how we can work together to create a positive, supportive culture that allows everyone to bring their authentic self to work, and thrive as a result.


Want to learn more about the Salesforce Ohana and equality? Meet some of our employees in our video below - Be Seen. Be Recognised, Be Proudly You and then take the Ohana trail on Trailhead.