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Employee engagement, and motivating employees to keep happy, has always been a priority for me as a business leader. If employees are empowered and listened to, they will be motivated to do their best work.

I lead the Customer Success Group (CSG) in Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA), and we are very proud of the results of our participation in Great Place to Work awards, which are based on survey results provided directly by employees. For 2018, for example, Salesforce was just named the #1 Best Workplace in Europe.

For me, there are a few dimensions that are essential in ensuring teams feel supported and involved in decision-making.

 

1. Listen and hold yourself accountable

The employee survey is key. Twice a year, we invite everyone to give feedback on a range of different topics, from their sense of pride in working at Salesforce, to managerial transparency, and whether they feel they are adequately supported in their role. To drive transparency and ownership of our culture, these results are shared with all employees in a dashboard that allows employees to drill into individual areas and questions by leader and location.

My leadership team and I place a lot of importance on holding ourselves publicly accountable for addressing any issues that are highlighted in the survey. Every month we review specific areas to work on, such as onboarding, wellbeing, project staffing, and collaboration.

 

2. Celebrate success

At Salesforce, we celebrate both individual and collective success. I always start my all-hands calls with a thank you to the teams that bring their drive and energy to work every day. Every quarter we recognize employee contributions as a series of peer-nominated awards, including Customer Success, Manages for Success, Equality Ally, and Ohana Spirit.

It's a pleasure for me and my team to receive the nominations, and read all the positive things that individuals have to say about their colleagues.

 

3. Empower employees with ownership of key initiatives

Since I joined Salesforce, I've come to appreciate the power of the V2MOM method in keeping a large and complex organisation aligned and focused on achieving common goals. The V2MOM method (Vision, Values, Methods, Obstacles, Measures) provides visibility into what every person and team is focusing on each fiscal year.

I know that people do their best work when they are empowered to contribute ideas and drive them through to execution. For this reason, I invite leaders from the EMEA CSG that I lead to step forward and be owners of a specific method for the year.

Our V2MOM is focused around the themes that include Ohana, customer success, business growth, and operational excellence. The owners for each method then mobilize a cross-functional group that works on operational methods, potential roadblocks, and, crucially, metrics to assess progress. I regularly review these groups' progress throughout the fiscal year together with my leadership team, and give feedback on their work.

 

4. Enable employees to drive their own career path

As we rapidly scale our activities and bring new products and services to market each year, we need to build our teams by attracting and retaining top talent. Talented individuals come with the expectation of being able to learn and grow in their roles, yet in our fast-paced environment there may not be an established career path to follow. In the same way that we strive to help our customers blaze their own trail, we encourage our employees to do the same. Individuals are encouraged to take the lead in shaping their career and personal development with the support and guidance of their manager. 

Our Employee Success teams provide extensive tools and resources to help individuals assess their strengths and development areas, define what career progression means for them, and set goals accordingly. For some, progression may mean being a “mountain climber” — that is, taking on more managerial responsibilities over time. Others may choose to be “thrill seekers”, those who look to gain a wide portfolio of skills either within their current role or by moving across different parts of the organization. Still others may choose to be “deep divers”, who build their expertise to become the go-to person for a given area.

Feedback is also key to helping employees learn and grow. I believe feedback is most effective when embedded in individuals' day-to-day activities, rather than reserved exclusively for an annual or quarterly exercise. Creating a coaching culture to support this means that individuals feel empowered to seek and give direct and constructive feedback as the opportunity arises, so that individuals can quickly adapt and implement any learnings.

 

5, Prepare to meet the future head-on

As a company we know we cannot just rely on hiring the best talent in the industry today. We need to cultivate tomorrow's experts across the business.

One initiative I am particularly proud of sponsoring in EMEA is the launch of Salesforce's first Success Graduate program worldwide. In September 2017, our first cohort of Success Graduates arrived to take on roles in success management, sales, strategy, and operations. After only a few weeks, the graduates had completed more than 100 certifications and over 1,000 Trailhead badges and volunteering hours.

They have gone on to make an increasing impact on the business, and I know that some of them will be replacing me and my leadership team in a few years' time! We firmly believe that hiring graduates and enabling them to grow within the company will be key to Salesforce's future success.

 

Learn more about employee engagement with Trailhead, our free online learning platform, and how to start or build your career in the Salesforce ecosystem.