In SaaS companies, particularly those in the B2B space, employees rarely interact with the customer on a daily basis. Despite these limitations, SaaS leaders have been showing other companies the way when it comes to employee engagement and success.
When it comes to employee engagement, culture is key. Salesforce is one SaaS company that frequently tops the list for inclusivity. Founder Marc Benioff and his leadership team have adopted the Hawaiian concept of Ohana, a concept of family that extends beyond blood ties and emphasizes accountability and teamwork. According to this core company value, team members are responsible for each other’s success, an ideal that reaches beyond the walls of the office and into relationships with customers and partnerships. These values are part of what makes Salesforce popular with clients and is most likely one reason it earned over $8 billion in the 2017 fiscal year.
While culture is one cornerstone of employee engagement, it is far from the only factor. In study after study, another key to employee engagement in the workplace has been autonomy. A distributed international workforce offers employees the benefits of working from their homes while staying connected to their colleagues in different time zones who speak different languages.
Automattic, the parent company of WordPress, has employed this strategy to success, employing over 700 people in over 60 countries around the globe. The workforce is multiethnic, multi-lingual and regularly attracts employees who are enthusiastic about its mission to democratize the web.
Creating an environment that is conducive to creativity is also key. Companies that stifle creativity may soon find themselves locked into workflows and processes that are inefficient. Employees at Atlanta-based MailChimp are constantly revisiting their processes and product in an effort to make things more creative and fun. Two of the three core values of the company are creativity and independence, concepts that led to employees to revise and innovate the app’s features to include creative and funny animation which tie directly into the brand’s irreverent and unconventional tone of voice.
More than technology or partnerships, a company is only as good as the employees who work for it. There are many reasons that SaaS companies are able to raise eye-popping rounds of funding, but one key cornerstone of success for many has been cracking the employee engagement code. Companies in other verticals would do well to follow their lead.