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).
Greg Klingshirn joined SalesLoft as one of its first employees in 2013. He was a college student intern, and the software company worked out of a room in Buckhead’s Atlanta Tech Village, which also was in its beginnings as a startup hub.
He saw SalesLoft grow to 50 employees, then move to another building near Atlanta Tech Village and relocate its headquarters to Midtown’s Regions Plaza. Now as SalesLoft’s content and creative services manager, Klingshirn is involved in decisions related to the brand, which includes “anything that the logo touches that’s going to be shared.”
Q: You’ve seen a lot of change here, a lot of growth. What’s that been like to be a part of this?
A: It’s been a very exciting thing. I’m sure that’s short and sweet, but it’s been huge — something that I feel like I almost lucked into and was just a great experience. Something that made me start here and that’s kept me here is strong leadership (from CEO Kyle Porter and COO Rob Forman).
Q: Have you seen the company stick with its core values?
A: Yeah, I think that’s one of the things that if I had seen it change too much, it would have seemed completely not genuine as someone who sort of sees how the sausage is made. Obviously, every company has challenges, as you scale, as you grow, things are going to happen, but they’ve kept so true to themselves as the leadership of the company and to the mission.
No matter how much funding we’re getting or how big the company gets, it’s not saying, “OK, we’re going to stop being transparent, we’re going to stop being positive.” We have the core values. One of the things we’ve implemented recently is core values teams that are focused on just a 30-minute interview (with any department during the hiring process) and focused on making sure that it’s a conversation. It’s completely focused on the core values. Are they team over self? Would they put customers first in whatever role it is? That interview is not focused on your skill set, but it’s focused on if you would enjoy working for the company and if you fit the bigger core values set and the culture.
Q: So it’s not even people who do the hiring necessarily on the teams.
A: No, it’s teams that were voted on a long time ago. It’s not a stressful interview by any means. It’s what kind of work environment do you really like to work in? What brings you to SalesLoft? What are you passionate about? What’s the biggest thing you can tell me not on your resume that would be interesting? Who’s the best teammate you’ve had? Who’s a mentor? A lot of people just get going – they get excited talking about their lives because it’s sort of different from, “Tell me about your biggest failure.” It’s 30 minutes of a conversation and then questions at the end that they can ask about anything. We try to say things like, “If you have any red flags, if there’s anything you’re concerned about, just bring them up now, so we are all out in the open.”
Q: Have the perks changed a lot?
A: We haven’t always had free lunches when we were four or five people. But on the bigger picture, yes, we’ve had a lot of the things that I wouldn’t necessarily describe as culture, but they’re perks that’s nice to have at every job. We’ll have Monday through Wednesday lunches, and we have a pingpong table upstairs. It got distracting back in the day, but we had FIFA (soccer video game) for a while where we would play tournaments in the office, but we had people getting a little too into it. You can’t be disrupting calls when you’re yelling about FIFA. Now chess is a big one because you’re not usually yelling when you’re playing chess and it’s also something that’s sharpening the mind.
Q: What perks do you take most enjoyment in?
A: We have boot camp, yoga classes that are offered Tuesday and Wednesday in the building. We have a VP of health and wellness who sets it all up. She also does once-a-month smoothies on Wednesday morning, massages, meditation. Those are the things that I really gravitate towards just because they’re a lot of my interests. I’ll meditate probably three times a week for 15 minutes, which is a nice way to start the day from 9 to 9:15 a.m. with three to four coworkers.
Q: How personally gratifying has it been for you to work at SalesLoft?
A: It’s extremely rewarding because it validates, I think, the fact that I made the right choice, that I had a good gut feeling in just the company and in the people, which I think are what’s behind any company. No matter who you are, you’re going to have the people who are behind the business and the core values. And the people that you work with every day, you might see them more than you see your family. I think I’m living out the value and the mission of making this the best job that you can possibly have at this time in your career.