Simon Tate, Salesforce’s area VP for commercial business in Asia, explains why induction sessions in San Francisco and brown bag lunches are key to an organisation being recommended by 80% of its staff.


At Salesforce, Aloha stands for more than “hello” or “goodbye”. It represents who we are and how we create our culture. It is a spirit of being genuine, inclusive, caring, and compassionate, enjoying a healthy dose of fun and treating those around you like family (or, as they say in Hawaii, Ohana).

This Aloha spirit is a key reason why Salesforce was most recently ranked number one in the inaugural “Singapore Best Companies to Work for Awards” by the Great Place to Work committee.

More than 50% of our hires come from employee referrals, while 80% of our employees say they would recommend us as a place to work on Glassdoor.

These accolades are testament to the work we do every day to live our core values of wellness, customer success, innovation, giving back, winning as a team, and having fun.

Here is how the Aloha spirit is helping create a great place to work for our employees.

Binding the individual employees together at Salesforce is the concept of Ohana. All new employees are flown to San Francisco to participate in a global orientation programme.

Locally, our HR team also ensures a one-on-one induction session for every new employee and checks in with them at the end of their first day to see how they are adapting.

Regular department brown bag lunches are also organised to address any concerns.

Not only do we care for people in our Ohana, we believe wholeheartedly in being compassionate to the community we live and work in.

Giving back has always been in our DNA and the company donates 1% of its equity, 1% of its time and 1% of its product to the non-profit community, as part of our corporate philanthropy model.

More than 50% of our hires come from employee referrals, while 80% of our employees say they would recommend us as a place to work on Glassdoor.

In Singapore we work with some amazing non-profits like Halogen Foundation and The Food Bank Singapore. Part of our local orientation process is a half-day activity to give back.

Today, Salesforce works with over 26,000 non-profits globally, has donated more than US$86 million in grants and has volunteered over 1.1 million hours to the community.

Employee participation towards giving back has been unanimous, with employees often excited and proud to be part of a larger cause.

Rolling out these initiatives

Being genuine is an important aspect of the Aloha spirit, and transparency is key to how we communicate with our colleagues, and as a company.

At Salesforce, we use a highly collaborative and real-time process to set the vision for the company called the V2MOM; that stands for vision, values, methods, obstacles, and measures.

This tool is a transparent exercise in collaboration and awareness in which the result is total alignment.

Every employee can view our CEO Marc Benioff’s V2MOM, the executive leadership V2MOM’s and each others’.

We also regularly conduct employee engagement surveys to understand where we are doing well, where we could improve and where we are trending up or down when it comes to creating a great place to work.

Employees are the conduit to our customers and if employees feel valued, if they are engaged in the success of the company and if they feel they are contributing to their community, then our business will be successful.

We certainly believe that the Aloha spirit is instrumental towards creating a workforce that is happy and engaged drives the success of our business in Singapore.

Additionally, Human Resources has compiled 5 tips on how to make your organisation a great place to work:

  • Be genuine – no one wants to work in a place where the company culture you see from the outside is just a facade. Make sure to practice what you preach.
  • Be inclusive – it’s simple, don’t discriminate.
  • Care for your employees and show your compassionate side – working with charities can show your employees the organisation cares about people and the society instead of just profits.
  • Enjoy a healthy dose of fun and treat those around you like family – who doesn’t want to work with an organisation who treats them like family?
  • Most importantly, be transparent in communication –  it cannot be emphasised more, COMMUNICATION IS KEY.

Image: Shutterstock

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