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What They Do
Provide customer relationship management software and cloud computing services to large and small businesses.
Headquarters: San Francisco, California
Annual Revenues: $3000 Million.
What Makes salesforce.com Great
Salesforce.com practically invented cloud-computing, at least for small and mid-sized companies. After more than a decade in business and continued burgeoning growth, employees remain proud of what Salesforce.com has accomplished, what they do and sell, and of the company's disruptive, team-oriented culture.
Ninety-six percent of salesforce.com employees say they're proud to tell others where they work, and 91 percent say when they look at what they do they feel a sense of pride.
"We use Salesforce at Salesforce to sell Salesforce to other Salesforce enthusiasts,” one employee says. “Employees at Salesforce are genuinely proud and knowledgeable about our product and you can really feel it in our culture and the atmosphere on our sales floor."
"Most days I feel like I work at a start-up in a multi-billion dollar company's body, and I mean that in the best way possible," adds another employee.
Make no mistake about it, successes at salesforce.com are a team effort. New hires go through a one-week boot camp together and volunteer at a local charity as part of their onboarding process. Business "wins" are celebrated within departments and work teams. "If one member of our team is working on something until after hours, we're right beside them helping them get it done," one employee says. "We roll up our sleeves, work hard, and play hard. We truly win and lose together."
That sense of teamwork extends to management. When an employee was stranded with a medical problem during an overseas business trip, executives took turns visiting and watching over him, one employee recalls. "They flew his wife halfway across the globe to be with him and escort him home," the employee says.
The teamwork concept is so important that in certain geographic areas the company uses social recruiting to invite groups of prospective employees to participate in day-long team-building exercises and other activities to see how well they work in group settings. In all, 94 percent of employees at the San Francisco-based company say it's a friendly place to work, and nine out of 10 or more say people care about each other, make their coworkers feel right at home when they change jobs or departments, and feel like full members of the business regardless of their positions.
Since day one, salesforce.com has instituted a unique 1/1/1 philanthropy model: the company donates 1 percent of employees' time, 1 percent of pre-IPO equity, and 1 percent of salesforce.com product to the communities it serves. The company matches employees' nonprofit cash donations up to $5,000 per year, and more than a quarter of the company's global workforce participate. One recent initiative, spearheaded by Chief Executive Marc Benioff, was a drive to get employees to donate to Star Home, a homeless shelter for families in San Francisco. Many employees note that salesforce.com is the only place they’ve worked where they can take up to 40 hours a year of paid time off to volunteer. "It is encouraged and not lip service," one employee says. In all, 96 percent of salesforce.com's workforce say they feel good about the ways they contribute to the community.
"Besides the great products, team and market opportunity, this company truly gives time and money to charities and gives every employee the time and incentive to do this as well," an employee says. "The pay-it-forward culture and also one of accountability make it fun, changing and rewarding."
When they're not lending a helping hand, employees work hard; a resounding 94 percent say they are willing to give extra to get the job done, and 93 percent say they are given a lot of responsibility.
In return for their hard work, they're comfortably compensated. More than nine out of 10 salesforce.com employees say that people at the company are paid fairly for the work they do, and 78 percent say they get a fair share of the publicly traded company's profits. "There are incredible pay packages for top performers," one employee says. "It's very merit-based and there is little politics."
Salesforce.com has grown rapidly. One employee says since joining the company 11 years, the size of the workforce has skyrocketed to 12,800 people from 250. That kind of growth, while exhilarating for many, can be challenging to manage. Prospective hires should be prepared to contribute towards adapting internal processes and systems to keep pace with expansion, as at least one employee suggests there is a need to update "laborious and confusing" processes and another says that onboarding of staff through acquisitions can be "bumpy."
On the whole, though, employees seem confident in the ability of their teams to overcome these expansion challenges: 93 percent of Salesforce.com employee say when you join the company, you are made to feel welcome, 81 percent say management does a good job of assigning and coordinating people, and 90 percent ultimately report that they have the resources and equipment they need to do their jobs.
Still other employees say salesforce.com's fast-growth culture has a silver lining: more responsibility in their jobs and the opportunity to grow in their careers. "At the moment when I believed there was no hope of career progression for my age, tenure, and expertise, a director humbly reached out to me and requested that I interview for a leadership position," a one-time sales rep says. "He knew that this was my dream, that I was capable of performing, and helped me to achieve one of my largest goals: to achieve a leadership position a Fortune (500) company. I am also a big fan of the benefits that salesforce has to offer. I truly feel like the company wants me to be happy and healthy so that I can perform my best."
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