At the height of the work-from-home and virtual meetings era, Salesforce introduced the Trailblazer Ranch – a physical haven for employees and Trailblazer community members to log off, get together, and find some analogue solace. Renan Gutman, Kaltura’s EVP of product, sat down with Leslie Tom, the SVP behind the ranch idea, to learn more about Salesforce’s philosophy on human connections.
Making connections and engaging with others is part of who we are. It doesn’t only apply to companies and their audience, but also to companies and their employees. Bearing that in mind, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Salesforce – the same company that redefined business communities – is now doing the same for company culture.
The basic idea behind it is giving back to their communities by reinstating that sense of belonging and helping them build relationships with others. It’s appreciating that it can’t all be about technology nor face-face interaction. We need to strike a balance between the two.
Human connections are a business imperative; it’s what drives company culture, says Leslie. “Companies that are going to be successful are the ones that can find out where the human connection is complimented by the digital.”
It started in March 2020, when everything shut down and suddenly, Dreamforce, the company’s annual mega-event, was not an option anymore. Running a smaller event in-person and virtually proved that the digital experience not only adds to the event, but also makes it more inclusive by making the contents of it available to more people.
Later, through an internal survey, they found that all-around connection was also what their employees were craving. Despite the bundle of opportunities for digital engagements the pandemic created, employees were still calling it “the great disconnect.”
The Trailblazer Ranch provides a setting and opportunities for employees and trailblazers to reconnect. But while it’s a big part of Salesforce’s efforts to counteract that disconnect, it’s not the only one. The company is also training their management and leadership on how to foster human connections in a digital world. To avoid meeting fatigue, they also hold an asynchronous week once a month where they encourage employees to do less meetings.
It’s a first big step for Salesforce, and one that’s here to stay and improve over time:
“You know, we’re looking at a lot of data and the ways to quickly connect and automate processes with operational excellence and impact…. We’re all still learning about this future of connection, but we think that the hybrid model is here to stay, of course.”
Watch the full opening keynote, “Trailblazing engagement inside and out,” here:
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