Meet the Tech Top 50 Honorees for Company Culture

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The year 2020 has without a doubt been exceptionally unusual, but at MassTLC we have been heartened to see how, in spite of the challenges, our community members have stepped up to support their employees, their customers, their partners, other companies, and the broader community. We have been so impressed that we just couldn’t let the year end without recognizing the companies, individuals, and transformations that have made a positive impact during these trying times.

For that reason, we are pleased to recognize the Tech Top 50. The Tech Top 50 celebrates those that have truly made an impact in 2020 across five categories: Business Accomplishment, Community Impact, Company Culture, COVID-19 Response, and Innovation.

Read on to be inspired!

In the words of their nominators, meet the 2020 “Tech Top 50: Company Culture” honorees.

​​This category recognizes a company for their leadership in company culture through efforts toward employee satisfaction, physical/mental/emotional well-being, and work-life balance. 

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Akamai Technologies 

Akamai was recently named one of America’s Most JUST Companies for 2021, according to Forbes and JUST Capital. The company is celebrated for outperforming its peers in the Russell 1000 on priorities such as paying a fair wage, upholding human rights across the supply chain, investing in worker training, acting ethically and with integrity, cultivating a diverse and inclusive workplace, protecting worker health and safety, and providing good benefits and work-life balance.

In the midst of the pandemic, The Akamai Foundation announced a global COVID-19 Charitable Giving Program, pledging $1.1mm to address the needs of Akamai’s global communities. The goal of the COVID-19 charitable giving campaign is to provide direct relief in Akamai communities while working hand-in-hand with Akamai employees in giving back. Furthering its commitment to inclusivity, Akamai has built programs aimed at bringing about equality such as the Akamai Technical Academy, a virtual six-month, 40 hours / week paid training program designed to educate diverse talent who are interested in a career in technology, but may not have prior experience in STEM-related fields. Akamai has converted over 100 program participants to full time employees in its Cambridge, Costa Rica, and Krakow offices.

Leadership acknowledged that the unprecedented times have an impact on its employees’ well-being. Akamai offers resources such as its Employee Assistance Plans, which provides confidential, short-term counseling to both employees and their families. Leadership has also committed to adding to these resources in a remote-work world including advice on building in time for breaks, exercise and quality time with family.

The company is taking a holistic approach to employee well-being by designing benefits plans that address both workplace and mind / body components. Akamai’s Senior Director for Global Benefits recently told the Society for HR Management that there was an initial focus on physical health and fitness; however, financial wellness, emotional well-being, and mental mindfulness are becoming increasingly important, especially with the Gen Z and Millennial employees. 

 

 

Bullhorn

No one expected 2020 to unfold into such an unmitigated global disaster, but Bullhorn was relatively well-prepared to handle the logistical impacts of the pandemic closures, and emotionally empathetic enough to support its employees with grace and dignity. Because the company is a cloud-based technology company, productivity was not much of a concern. Emotionally supporting employees was a much different and more challenging story. By mid-April, it became clear that the company had to reduce the size of its workforce to align with a revised revenue target. The leadership team agonized over how to do right by the affected employees, especially during a time where they couldn’t get together in person. They conducted layoffs and furlough conversations over Zoom and over-communicated to make sure that affected employees had all the information they needed and felt supported in looking for new jobs. Despite how brutal a process it was to part with colleagues and friends, affected employees said that it was incredibly humane, and Bullhorn has subsequently created a support program to help these employees find new work and remain part of the Bullhorn alumni family. Additionally,  Bullhorn offered generous severance packages and expedited unemployment benefits. 

In addition to the effects and impacts of the layoffs on morale, Bullhorn went above and beyond to support employees as they navigated the unimaginable challenges at home associated with the pandemic by encouraging teambuilding and morale-building activities, offering tremendous flexibility to working parents who were struggling to make their schedules align with childcare responsibilities, and by continuing to provide preliminary mental health counseling services as part of their employee benefits package. 

Bullhorn tries every day to live their  “being human” core value across all aspects of the organization – supporting each other, forgiving things they cannot control, and being honest about how they are feeling. At Bullhorn, team members are humans first, employees second.

 

 

CarGurus

CarGurus strives to build and nurture a global culture where inclusiveness is a reflex, not an initiative. The company envisions a workplace where everyone feels they can bring the ultimate expression of themselves and their potential to work every day where they don’t just fit, they thrive. 

In response to the global pandemic uncertainty early in the year, CarGurus was one of the first companies to go fully remote, opting to move operations on-line beginning in early March. The company ramped up internal communications efforts to ensure employees were informed, engaged, and confident. This included a weekly update from the Chief People Officer, a weekly roundup e-newsletter highlighting internal news and events, and several town hall and all-hands meetings. Communication focused not only on business updates, but also on driving empathy, respect, and compassion throughout the community. In addition, CarGurus has increased its focus on alleviating burnout and promoting mental health. The company expanded its workforce flexibility policy, so that even when it’s safe to return to the office, employees will retain greater agency over their time and now offers employees three “Mental Health Days” a year.

CarGurus is also focused on further developing learning and development opportunities beyond internal communications, including investing heavily in our DEI initiatives and goals. In 2020, the company ramped DEI communication, programming, and resources. Community conversations, led by internal program leaders and guest speakers, helped amplify underrepresented perspectives, and a corporate donation and matching gift program was set up to support organizations doing racial justice and equity work in the communities.

 

 

EverQuote

EverQuote strives to be an environment where people can be their authentic selves and share their interests with one another as a means of building trust and connection. This is best reflected in the people policies they have that are designed to support employees as whole people, whether it’s through generous medical benefits, unlimited PTO, or flexible working arrangements.

In response to the pandemic, EverQuote transitioned most of their normal in-office perks to opportunities to give back to our local community. For example, their Tuesday catered lunch budget is now donated each week to organizations like the Greater Boston Food Bank, Habitat for Humanity and Read to a Child, as well as to the restaurants from which the company would have normally ordered. Connection is hard when you are interacting solely through a screen, but to recreate some of the non-work related connections they would normally have in the office, the EverQuote team created an EQ Fun Calendar. These virtual events have included social events like cooking classes and yoga, but also learning and development opportunities, including financial planning 101 and how to craft an effective sales pitch. The company has also been running a themed “quarantine contest” each week to showcase employees’ creative sides. Past themes have included best breakfast, most impressive collection, best dessert and most effective paper airplane. Employees submit photos, and the winner gets to donate $100 to the charity of their choice. 

In addition, EverQuote has invested more heavily in support for mental health. Headspace is now a benefit offered to all employees, and the company expanded tools for accessing mental health providers. Connection has also come in the form of weekly, all-company town halls that started the very first week the team began remote work. Turnout and feedback for these sessions has been incredibly strong and positive, with almost the entire company regularly joining from around the world. 

 

 

International Data Group, Inc. (IDG, Inc.)

Despite the tumultuous global circumstances of 2020, IDG Inc. has found ways to create new connections across the organization to improve the employee experience. “We’ve never been more connected, yet we are all further apart than ever,” is a comment the IDG team has repeated often throughout the pandemic, and thanks to the efforts of several leaders, managers and employees across the organization, it couldn’t be a truer statement. One of the unique things about IDG, Inc. is that there are several mini-cultures, in addition to the overarching culture. There is the wider, overarching organizational culture and also three main business units under the IDG, Inc., umbrella. Prior to the pandemic, the company was in process of building further connection and collaboration among all three business units, but the pandemic has undoubtedly brought the entire organization closer and more connected, again, all while being more distanced than ever. 

There are numerous other examples of both small and large efforts that have impacted culture over the past eight months. At the global organization level, IDG created “Together Thursdays,” live sessions that take place on Thursdays via Zoom and are recorded for those who cannot attend live. The sessions are hosted by a consistent, senior-level leader who regularly delivers content and is also joined frequently by individuals from inside and outside of the organization to discuss an array of topics. A week after launching, the program was featured in a Boston Globe article, and today, Together Thursdays are still going strong with plans to further expand, and keep the offerings going, into 2021.

In addition, at IDG work-life balance consistently is reinforced through encouragement to use vacation time, and all US employees were granted “early-release” summer Fridays, in order to capture a few more hours of rest and recovery at the end of each week. IDG has had an overarching and ongoing wellness initiative that has included a variety of different angles throughout the year. The company has offered yoga, meditation, and barre classes virtually for the past six months and focused three months on “Healthy Minds,” a program which aimed to draw attention to ensuring all employees were taking care of their mental health with each month targeting a different topic.

For IDG, the goal is to connect with employees beyond just the day-to-day work, acknowledge the very-real circumstances we are living in, and to offer a variety of different connection points and stress-reducing opportunities. 

 

 

LogMeIn, Inc.

Culture is both the foundation of LogMeIn and the glue that holds the company together across teams, geographies and time zones. Just as LogMeIn works to deliver connectivity and remote collaboration for its customers, the company applies that same focus internally, emphasizing the importance of innovation and meaningful relationships to ensure all employees feel engaged, valued and motivated. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the company advocated for and offered opportunities for all employees to achieve a work-life balance with the option to work remotely on a full- or part-time basis. Once the offices reopen in 2021, the company is moving to a permanent remote hybrid model, giving employees the opportunity to choose how often they want to come into the office. 

COVID-19 fast-tracked a long-brewing trend: the need for greater workplace flexibility. LogMeIn has been dedicated to supporting its employees and making the transition to remote work as seamless as possible. Right away, the company began offering an array of resources, including monthly self-care days off, virtual social events, a working group focused on addressing COVID-related challenges. The company also conducted two internal surveys globally; one to figure out how best to support employees while remote, and the second to understand how they prefer to work in a post COVID-19 world. Using the information gathered, LogMeIn developed new resources catering to employee needs, including a unique working persona program. As part of the program, employees assign themselves one of six “personas” to indicate how they’d like to engage with colleagues while WFH. Whether that persona is “working as a new hire,” or “working with young children,” the goal is to create more awareness for individual situations and create a better WFH experience for them. By continuing to use internal feedback, data and surveys, LogMeIn has gained an in-depth awareness for how employees are feeling and what they need from the company to succeed. This data has been used to inform the company’s long-term working strategy, whether employees want to be back-in-office, fully remote or a hybrid model.

While LogMeIn employees may be a bit more practiced in “working from anywhere” given the nature of its business, the CEO and leadership team adopted an entirely new approach and mindset, starting with placing a greater focus on flexibility, adaptability and re-thinking traditional models for how teams communicate, gather feedback, manage time, and collaborate in a 100% distributed environment.

 

 

Mimecast

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Mimecast’s number-one priority has been, and continues to be, the health and safety of its employees. The company launched a mental health platform for employees, as they recognized that mental health and wellness is a significant challenge today. Mimecasters also have access to a leading online counseling service. This virtual application provides certified counselors who can help with a range of issues, and ensure that the mental well-being of all Mimecast employees is supported. In addition, Mimecast has launched additional resources to support employees with children who are unable to physically go to school due to the pandemic, including virtual tutoring and babysitting services. The company has announced new partnerships with in person parenting and childcare resources, which will ensure greater support even when facilities re-open.

Mimecast is invested heavily in resources that allow employees to thrive during uncertain times. This year, they launched the Mimecaster Resilience Fund to direct critical funds to those in the Mimecast family who are facing a crisis. In addition, they have created virtual wellness and work-from-home resources to help employees and their families thrive while remote. Mimecast’s wellness strategy is grounded on the pillars of physical wellness, mental wellness, financial wellness, and environmental wellness. Through internal resources and the deployment of resources for third party expertise, the company has engaged hundreds of Mimecast employees in these respective programs.

 

 

Motus

Motus has always been incredibly thoughtful and creative in fostering initiatives to form a community and maintain its strong company culture through shared experiences. This has transferred directly from an in-office setting to a remote environment during COVID. In addition to activities that became mainstream in today’s remote work environment (i.e. virtual happy hours, town halls), Motus developed programs in March that included Instagram take-overs to provide glimpses into each member’s life; the Musical Magic of Motus, where musically inclined team members provide family entertainment through videoconferencing; and Munchkins of Motus Story Time, where the older children of Motus read to the younger children three days per week. Motus also transformed its blog to serve as a hub of resources to help its team, customers and wider community navigate their “new normal” work and home lives. In addition, Motus accelerated the release date of its Remote Work Reimbursement solution in early April to provide the expanding number of people and businesses who shifted to remote work the tools they needed. The company  leverages this product for its internal team, reimbursing each team member for their mobile devices, internet and home office costs based on their individual location. These include device and carrier costs, modem and hardware fees, mortgage/rent, utilities and maintenance. All of these support initiatives were invaluable in helping the team find balance and ensure mental well-being during the uncertainty caused by the pandemic, and also resulted in stronger dialogue, quicker resolutions and providing comfort through uncertain times. While the team has been physically separated, Motus is more connected with each other than ever before. 

Motus has developed a two-phase approach for the permanent work anywhere transition. The first phase, while public health concerns persist, includes virtual events, enhanced reimbursement for the business use of a designated office space, flexible work schedules with the possibility of a flexible work week, “no meeting” blocks, a full technology setup, and a one-time $1,000 office stipend for team members to purchase office furniture. Once public health concerns lessen, Motus will shift to the second phase of its transition. Motus’ vision of phase two will include in-person meet-ups and events orchestrated in partnership with restaurant groups to help fill their unused spaces. It will incorporate optional office venues through corporate partnerships in cities with Motus cohorts, coworking memberships for team members in various cities, and experience-based destination summits for team retreats, company gatherings, onboarding and training sessions in unique locations. The decision to reinvest the dollars Motus spends on real estate  back into the personal lives of its team members is part of the company’s mission to establish itself as a place that team members want to be a part of and contribute to by ensuring they have the best work and life environment that they can. As part of building the best culture it can for its people, Motus is solidifying WorkAnywhere as a fourth cultural pillar as it implements new programs that promote meaningful and purposeful social engagement and connection for its remote team.

 

 

PTC

PTC has always looked at how things currently are and reimagined them to create a better tomorrow. Through this constant innovation, the company strives to continue to build an inclusive, diverse, global culture that puts employees first and creates a sense of belonging and community. In the rapidly changing times of 2020, it was crucial to PTC leadership that they continued to put our employees around the world first and help them thrive through this already challenging time. The company offered flexible hours and a reduced work week without loss of pay for caregivers who need to dedicate more time to their family, as well as curated programs dedicated to mindfulness and well-being, such as virtual yoga classes and interactive fitness and mindfulness apps to support employees’ mental and physical health. They provided access to new caregiver support programs, such as virtual tutoring and errand assistance and created a blanket work from home directive for all employees around the world, including the tools needed to help effective remote working situations thrive.

This year, PTC launched Family Day: At Home Edition, welcoming employees to share their pride in their work with their families in a fun, interactive, virtual way. The company also launched an internal talent marketplace, giving employees true development opportunities and the ability to determine their career path in the face of ongoing challenges, and created a central information hub on their intranet containing all updates about our COVID-19 response, helpful links and information, what to expect, and more.

It was of the utmost importance to PTC that employees were prioritized, well-informed, and felt safe and supported during the changing times of 2020. The company did this by overcommunicating through weekly email and live updates from leadership regarding the state of the pandemic, offering new benefits to make sure caregivers had the support they needed to navigate the new normal, launching numerous engagement campaigns, and by not restructuring or issuing pay cuts, but, instead, limiting expenses and making different financial decisions that they were very transparent about with employees so that they knew they were safe. As the team continues to move forward, PTC’s focus is on continuing engagement with employees so that they know the company is here for them.

 

 

Reward Gateway

At Reward Gateway, the transition to working from home was simplified for employees with the provision of Work from Home Bundles, which ensured that employees had the right set up at home to be able to work comfortably. To understand what would be most supportive, the team designed the bundles based on responses from an employee survey asking everyone what they needed to make working from home better. Employees had the option of a standard set of pre-selected furniture that the company would have delivered to their home or they could choose their own equipment and use an allocated budget to best suit their needs.

Reward Gateway was also conscious that within a home setting, it can be very easy to just continually work with no breaks. Leadership wanted to make employees aware that self care and well-being remained high priority, so they encouraged them to take regular breaks throughout the day. The company increased personal well-being coaches support and availability by 25% to ensure that employees had mental and emotional support when needed. In addition, the company created fun activities to keep our engagement high such as virtual run clubs, virtual quiz sessions, yoga classes, HIIT sessions, Show and Tell time, virtual game shows and more. Each week varied in activities to ensure we appealed to a variety of people. Later into the pandemic, as it became clear lockdown was impacting people in different ways, the company introduced more information and support hubs specifically targeted at them. A Domestic Violence Support Hub connected employees with charities, refuges, and legal teams with our business also launching 10 days leave for anyone needing to escape their home and legal aid to ensure speedy support and quick implementation on injunctions as needed. They also created another support hub named Freedom from Addiction, which expanded our Stop Smoking program to support employees who wanted to stop other addictions that lockdown could affect such as alcohol, gambling, caffeine, vaping, drugs, weight, or technology addiction.

In addition, Reward Gateway recently widened their hiring teams to include managers from other parts of the business, to provide a wider and deep set of perspectives and have a more diverse outlook. They have adopted a more structured approach to diversity in interview panels and have begun to implement more diverse panels on an ad-hoc basis during internal and external interviews. They launched a global learning & awareness course on unconscious bias, anti-racism and diversity for all employees, which focus on active conversation rather than powerpoint presentations.