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“We see the cultural fit as being every bit as important as education or experience.” Salesforce culture is the beating heart of their company.

By Business & Finance
10 August 2018

In the Employee Experience series, sponsored by Irish Life, we ask leading companies’ HR departments about their employee engagement initiatives and how they have created the most optimal workplace for their staff.


What is Salesforce?

Salesforce is a CRM software solutions and enterprise cloud computing company headquartered in San Francisco. Now employing around 30,000 people globally, its first hub outside the US opened in Ireland in 2000, just one year after the company was founded.

A family, bound together

Inspired by the culture and customs in Hawaii, Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff made the concept of Ohana (the idea that families — blood-related, adopted, or intentional — are bound together, and that family members are responsible for one another) an integral part of the company he founded.

“As a company we have never lost sight of the values that have always defined our organisation,” says Terri Moloney, Director of Employee Success for Ireland. Ohana means ‘family’ in Hawaiian and represents the idea that we are all responsible for each other. It’s a deep-seated support system that we nurture inside our company that extends to our customers, partners and communities.”

Working in this environment, and responsible for ensuring that the Salesforce team in Ireland are engaged, happy and working well together, Terri says, “I am constantly inspired by the positive impact our working culture has on our employees’ ability to succeed.

 Living the values


As members of the Salesforce Ohana, there is a responsibility on each employee to bring to life the values of the company in everything they do: Trust, Customer Success, Innovation and Equality.

Terri says, “It is our unique culture that is at the core of what makes Salesforce a truly great place to work. It is the secret sauce behind why we have ranked in the top three of Great Places to Work in Ireland for three consecutive years.”

The company also offers an attractive benefits package to employees, including everything from wellness reimbursements to seven volunteering days off in addition to annual leave entitlements, to allow employees to support their local community.

“We transformed philanthropy with the 1-1-1 integrated philanthropy model when we started Salesforce. This sees the company pledge 1% of its time, technology and resource to good causes each year. In support of that, all employees are encouraged to support causes that means something to them,” says Terri.

This volunteering time can include anything from coaching a local soccer team, to working on one the Salesforce sponsored Coder Dojos to relief work in Africa. Over the last year alone Salesforce recorded over 35,500 volunteer hours in Ireland in the last year.

Transparency, alignment and accountability

With a very strong culture emphasis, it goes right through the employee journey, from hiring stage to reviews.

Terri explains, “Given how important our culture is to our company the first important step is to hire for that culture. We see the cultural fit as being every bit as important as education or experience.”

Continuing engagement with employees brings the core values (Trust, Innovation, Customer Success and Equality) very much to the fore.

Terri describes their unique management model, called V2MOM, which is focused on transparency: “V2MOM which outlines every employee’s vision, values, methods, obstacles and measures as they plan their focus for the year. It’s done by every employee in the company, right up to senior management and is shared with everyone on the team to see. We find the V2MOM keeps all our employees aligned and accountable, but importantly it gives each of us a clear vision of how we grow our company and our careers.”

Addressing skills gaps

With Innovation as a core value, Terri tells Business & Finance this applies not only to the Salesforce products but also to the way they conduct business: “We never stop examining ways we can work better and work better together.”

She continues, “As the pace of innovation increases so too does the demand for digital talent. At Salesforce we see it as our responsibility to empower both current and potential teams with the tools to learn. This way we are ensuring that not just for Salesforce but for the entire industry. We do this through both our community outreach work and our own free learning platform, Trailhead.”

With Trailhead, anybody can learn digital and business skills ranging from Salesforce developer skills to Drucker School MBA Essentials and Google Analytics. Since the programme launched in 2014, users have earned more than 8 million badges and unlocked new avenues for career growth by acquiring these highly sought-after skills, which are continuing to drive the Salesforce ecosystem and its economic impact.

“Addressing the IT skills gap in Ireland is of particular importance to us,” says Terri. “That is why Salesforce actively promotes the value of pursuing science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects among students to bolster tomorrow’s talent pipeline, including support of programmes like CoderDojo, Stemettes and a partnership with St. Peter’s School in Bray.”

Diversity and inclusion


Another one of Salesforce’s core values is Equality, and they are making inroads towards this goal on a number of different levels.

“As part of our overall commitment to advancing equality for all, we have pledged to evaluate our workforce on an ongoing basis to ensure equal pay for equal work at every level. To date, we’ve invested more than $8 million to close this gap,” Terri reveals.

“At an employee level we have many Ohana groups which celebrate diversity. This includes our Women’s Network and Outforce, for LGBTQ members of our Ohana. Over 250 representatives from Salesforce participated in Dublin Pride this year.”

Terri concludes, “We believe that businesses can be powerful platforms for social change and that our higher purpose is to drive Equality for all. Creating a culture of Equality isn’t just the right thing to do, it’s also the smart thing. Diverse companies are more innovative and better positioned to succeed in the Fourth Industrial Revolution.”

The Employee Experience Award sponsored by Irish Life will be held in October and nominations are open now. Categories include: Diversity, War for Talent, Agile Working and the overall Employee Experience Award. If you wish to nominate your company please fill in a very short questionnaire here.