More than 2,300 companies were nominated or asked to participate in the 2018 Top Workplaces contest by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and its partner, Energage (formerly Workplace Dynamics). Employees across the metro area responded to print and online solicitations that began appearing in September.
Using survey results, a list of 150 workplaces was compiled, consisting of 25 large companies (listed below; 500 or more employees), 50 midsize companies (150-499 employees) and 75 small companies (149 or fewer employees).
Touchpoints with SalesLoft’s founders occur throughout the week. On Sunday nights, CEO Kyle Porter emails employees an update on company accomplishments, product releases, and even inspirational quotes and photos.
Every Friday afternoon, the “All Hands” companywide meeting gives employees a chance to ask Porter and Chief Operating Officer Rob Forman any question — even tough and transparent ones — and for SalesLoft to reward an employee chosen by the staff who best exhibited one of the company’s five core values that week.
The genuine and consistent rhythm of those steps is not surprising for Atlanta-based SalesLoft, considering what Porter hopes the sales engagement software that it designs and delivers can do for its customers.
“What I’ve constantly heard is just massive amounts of appreciation for being kept in the loop,” he said.
Sales organizations using SalesLoft’s product are able to “connect sincerely with their customers but also do it at scale and repeat the process over and over again,” Porter said.
The company, founded in November 2011, hired 120 people in the past year, bringing its total workforce to 220 global employees, the majority of who are in Atlanta. It’s the 2018 Top Workplaces midsize winner.
“I was really looking for something where I could be fulfilled and aligned with my morals and values. What was most important for me finding a company aligned with why they do things,” said Mónica Cottrell, who was hired in August 2017 as an implementation success manager who trains clients on the software. “I really wanted to find a place that I could thrive, and not just do my role, but really contribute to the overall vision and purpose of a company. It’s hard to find a company like that.”
SalesLoft’s new Atlanta headquarters in Midtown’s Regions Plaza is equipped with couches and standing desks, nooks and niches for collaboration, and places to play pingpong or chess. Snacks and smoothies are served, along with free lunches on certain days.
“I was a tech consultant before, so I’ve been to a lot of great, swanky corporate offices with incredible benefits — it’s the why behind it that matters more,” Cottrell said, noting the perks such as community lunches. “Because it’s important for us to take time and to get to know each other and to talk to one another outside our departments.”
More people also will be experiencing the perks and benefits, such as free individual health insurance and 401(k) matching, at SalesLoft, which plans to hire 150 people in the next 12 months.
“You expect that anywhere you go, you’re going to have the perks, the cool office, the snacks, the free lunch, but what makes SalesLoft special is the people. If I have to go to work every single day, I can’t imagine a better place to do it,” said Peter Haas, an account executive.
SalesLoft’s core values are like motivational mantras: Team over self, bias towards action, focus on results, put customers first and glass half full.
“We started as a smaller group, and we’ve expanded, but those people we expand with continue to either grow upon those core values or bring something else that’s so beneficial to the group,” Haas said.
Some “Lofters” appreciate the opportunities for professional development, such as training through LewisLeadership in areas such as servant leadership and active listening. The company sponsors female workers to participate in the Pathbuilders program and allows employees to host events, such as the Atlanta Elixir (a programming language) Meetup, at the office. Even if employees want a book that would help them excel, managers are willing to pay for it.
“Leaders are readers,” Forman said.
Employees say they appreciate the sense of individual responsibility, freedom and trust from the top down. Porter adds that he doesn’t want to tell his workforce when to go home and when to stay at the office.
“I love the idea that I can be trusted to do my job and go above and beyond, that I have the cooperation from my team and from leadership,” Cottrell said. “A few times I had done something and gone above and beyond, and Kyle actually emailed me over Thanksgiving, recognizing that I had done something, and it was just amazing to even get that recognition. That was not why I was doing it at all. I just feel like I have the freedom to think outside the box.”
The concept of team over self — seen by being collaborative and committed to each other — attracted Haas. He appreciates how there are clear expectations of what needs to be done yet the different teams, such as engineering, sales and customer service, work toward a collective goal.
“I was an athlete in college, so being part of a team was something that was really important to me,” Haas said. “It’s a continuous loop of everyone coming together for a more collective, better SalesLoft.”
They also celebrate each team’s accomplishments. For example, the engineering team has treated the sales team to donuts on the last day of the quarter. After a product release, the sales team may buy something for the engineering team. Chessboards in the lobby are both real competition, playing a popular team game called “bughouse,” and a metaphor for SalesLoft’s operations.
“It shows that salespeople can have a scientific mind and that engineers can have a relational mind, and that’s really the exact thing that we do for our customers, is we bring the science and relationships together,” Porter said.