Inside Innovation: Technology and Products

When you hear the word innovation, technology may be the first thing that comes to mind. But, we believe innovation should be built into everything we do – including our engineering culture.

We have an entire team dedicated to culture and innovation, and a key area of focus is our internal innovation programs: Opportunity Open Market and PTOn! Both of these programs were designed with the goal of retaining our talent and challenging our employees to think outside the box.

Opportunity Open Market (OOM) is essentially an internal job fair that provides our employees the freedom and opportunity to shift horizontally to different teams and roles within the engineering org. We first came up with this idea several years ago, when we asked ourselves the question, “What if it is as easy (or easier) to move around Engineering as it is to leave?” We wanted to encourage learning from areas within the company so our engineers could thrive and feel that they were being challenged continuously. Today, engineers believe OOM is one of their biggest perks working at Salesforce.

You may be wondering, how does OOM work? Well, it’s pretty simple. All advertising is done via Chatter, our internal social platform, which makes it easier for our teams to participate worldwide. Hiring managers submit a request to have a booth at a job fair, and the Technology Culture and Innovation team makes it happen. We also maintain 3 simple rules:

  1. OOM moves may only happen between our product releases to avoid any disruptions during release planning and work in progress.
  2. The receiving manager must agree to an OOM move before the prospective teammate can join the team.
  3. The OOM participant’s current manager can not block an OOM move.

With over 15 OOM job fairs completed since the original launch, the program is thriving! Over the last few releases, OOM has turned into a huge open house, mimicking something you’d see at a university job fair, but with a lot more fun. It’s a time that all teams are able to come together and showcase what they do at Salesforce. Hiring teams set up elaborate booths, often including swag, drinks, and a lot of energy. Moreover, our employees take great pride in talking about their work and the culture on their team.

On the other hand, PTOn! (Paid Time On) is designed to inspire the creativity of our employees and give them space to work on projects that they are passionate about. The program gives our employees 6 hours each month to work on a project of their choosing. For example, an employee may utilize their PTOn! time to do research, build a new app, create a productivity-enhancing tool, or learn a new skill.

PTOn! is a pretty simple program to execute because there are no rules, only guidelines. The only true expectation is that our employees are learning through the process. In other words, there is no such thing as failure.

After implementing this program, we found that immediately after the release of PTOn!, there was a whopping 38% increase in productivity. Given free range, our employees were able to produce really amazing products in-house such as an internal Glossary extension or searchable org chart. Externally, our engineers created a Bart BackTracker and Strava Integration.

As you can see, the culture at Salesforce is truly one to encourage employees to be their best selves, do their best work, and create the best products. We believe in our people and that’s why we dedicate a large part of our resources to help them succeed. In their success, is our success!

Want to work in a place that prioritizes innovation? Salesforce is hiring! Visit http://www.salesforce.com/tech to find your #dreamjob.

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Inside Innovation: Technology and Products