As we return to the office in a post-pandemic world, it’s clear the world has changed and we’re not going back. Numerous studies show that hybrid working styles are now mainstream. Employee surveys have indicated that half of Salesforce employees want to come into the office only a few times a month, but 80% of them want to maintain a connection to a physical space. The digital and cultural transformations of the past 18 months look set to continue into the long term, and CIOs will have to innovate and adapt to meet new needs.
Companies around the world have had to fundamentally rethink their operating models in response to COVID-19 and Salesforce is no different. It had to transform its approach to everything from products to events in order to meet the needs of customers, partners, employees and communities. By harnessing Salesforce products and technologies, it’s building its own success in an all-digital work from anywhere world. “As customer zero of Work.com [Salesforce’s employee experience platform] we’re leveraging it to guide our own return to the office,” says Salesforce EVP and CIO Jo-ann de Pass Olsovsky, “and to keep our employees productive and engaged, whether they’re working in the office, remotely or a combination of both.”
Work.com helps fill the gaps in the employee experience where office-based interactions once served. Employee Workspace gives all employees secure access to their work apps and resources in one place, while Employee Concierge helps workers get answers to work-related questions as rapidly as possible. Connectivity and tools like Slack ensure that teams can collaborate and be productive from anywhere.
“With this move to a hybrid workplace, you can’t simply walk over to someone’s desk to get the help you need,” explains Olsovsky. “Technology will keep us connected, and the technology that companies deliver to help their employees stay productive, engaged and energised will be a big factor in deciding where people want to work.”
Work.com also helps Salesforce in managing its office space. Before travelling in, employees can use it to select their shift preferences, enabling the company to manage floor capacity and avoid potential bottlenecks. Leadership teams can keep track of who is coming in and visualise all the relevant information through Workplace Command Center.
Building a new employee experience
Automation is redefining the employee experience in this hybrid world by digitising previously manual processes and workflows. At Salesforce, in the case of onboarding new hires, automated workflows handle all the typical IT and HR processes such as the provision of tech equipment for new starters, making the process scalable and the experience of the same high-quality for all new starters.
As entire industries and professions reshape in this post-pandemic world, employees also need the ability to reskill, upskill and invest in their professional development, wherever they are. Salesforce’s free online learning platform, Trailhead, is crucial to steeping new employees in the company’s distinctive culture and in the technology that drives Salesforce’s success. Every employee has a Trailhead account, aiding professional development, leadership and management training, and keeping all employees up to speed on company news and product developments.
Yet what’s quietly revolutionary about how Salesforce uses Salesforce is how its company culture is evolving. Here are just some of the ways Salesforce uses technology to transform its culture for the new normal:
- Enabling employees to work from anywhere with connectivity tools and Slack.
- Creating digital-first brand experiences through events like Dreamforce, designed to engage a global audience.
- Integrating the Salesforce culture into every experience, event and training, so that employees can still build emotional connections. “Employees need to feel connected to culture from anywhere,” argues Olsovsky, “not just in an office environment. But when they are in the office, our office space is physically set up for collaboration and engagement.”
And while Salesforce is exploring the new hybrid working landscape, it’s continually learning from the experience. “We’re doing all of this with a beginner’s mind,” explains Olsovsky. “We’ll continue to seek feedback from employees to explore new ways to further innovation during this next chapter.”
To find out more about how Salesforce uses Salesforce, and find inspiration on how you could do the same, visit the CIO Playbook.