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What Makes a Workplace Great in 2021

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Posted in:  Company
what makes a workplace great in 2021

Today, a great place to work is about more than the work. It’s about what the company stands for, and how it authentically represents its values in the real world.

I was one of many who joined a new company during the global pandemic. I haven’t set foot in the office building, and I’ve never shaken hands with many of my colleagues. But even so, I have felt a warmth and welcomeness that has made me feel like I belong.

What originally attracted me to Highspot is the same thing fostering that feeling. Highspot is a company that strives to live out its values. These values, or Guiding Principles as we call them, were designed to deliver on Highspot’s vision of being a place where people can bring their full and unique selves to work every day – and in doing so, not only help our customers, but the greater communities in which our employees live and breathe. While we’ve made great strides this year and earned recognition, such as being named to Built In Seattle’s 2021 Best Places to Work list and Glassdoor’s 2021 Best Places to Work list, we still have far to go.

The past year has seen companies big and small reexamine their commitment to their employees. From the COVID-19 pandemic to the Black Lives Matter protests, how we show up for our people – as employers and as allies – has begun to shift. Leaders are awakening to the importance of their duty to take care of their employees, acknowledging not just the worker, but the whole person. In the year ahead, I believe we’ll see many companies move from awakening and intention, to actual execution and action.

At Highspot, we’ve had an honest and ongoing appraisal of our company and culture – and recognize that there is and always will be more work to be done. Building a rich, inclusive, supportive, anti-racist culture is not a box that can be ticked. Every day we’re asking, “How can we continue pushing toward our vision, our North Star?”

As our global head of recruiting, one of the things that is top of mind for me is that candidates are treated with the same respect and care as employees. Everyone deserves an inclusive, equitable experience throughout the entire hiring process. We need to constantly question status quo systems and processes, and critically, our own biases, to understand how we can do better for our people and our broader communities. 

Following through on these commitments make for a virtuous cycle: an internally inclusive culture creates an externally inclusive community. When people feel included during the hiring process, then actually join the company, there is a higher likelihood of them helping other employees and customers feel included. And when we as humans feel included and a sense of belonging, it creates the psychological safety we need to be successful, as a whole person. Today’s most innovative companies are the ones where its employees feel heard, respected, and valued for who they are as individuals, and it all starts with how we hire.

In the year ahead, we’re putting a stake in the ground, knowing that we can do better, through our people, and for our people. I firmly believe it is this commitment to our people and our communities that truly makes a business a great place to work.

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