Brightcove, Eliassen Group, HubSpot, iRobot, Philips, workforce development

Employee Engagement is All About Culture

Workforce Development Seminar  |  February 7, 2014
A crowd
of workforce development professionals gathered at iRobot for a discussion on employee
engagement.  We took a deep dive on
programs and initiatives that increase employee engagement and retention.  It starts with measurement and then
continually working to improve culture and thus, engagement. 
panel was moderated by Tom Hart, CMO at Eliassen Group.  The panel consisted of Kristen Kenny,
Director of People Operations at HubSpot, Megan Anatole, Sr. Director of HR and
Brightcove and Peter Dube, Director of Executive Talent Acquisition at Philips
in Andover.  The detailed strategies and
different perspectives from the group was resonated the loudest with the
lead off the discussion stating that HubSpot
has created a great culture to attract great people.  They have built their company around
Dharmesh’s Culture
presentation.  It’s definitely
worth checking out if you haven’t done so already.   They measure employee engagement and
happiness quarterly using the NetPromoter score asking all employees, “Would
you recommend HubSpot as a place to work?” and “What is the one thing to raise
that score?”  Quarter to quarter it can
vary and it drives their cultural spend. 
Here are a few tips given by Kristen:
  • Peer
    bonuses – each month every person gets $100 to give to a peer
  • Free
    books – email Dharmesh a book you want to read, and he sends it to your Kindle
  • HubTalks
    – bring in big speakers – the Governor, Patty McCord, Cheryl Sandberg
  • Ask
    regularly, on scale of 0-10, how satisfied are you with your career growth?
  • HubSpot
    has always had an unlimited vacation policy. 
    Some teams felt they were unable to use it because of work load.  To avoid this, they guarantee the sales team
    two months guaranteed quota so that they can take at least two weeks of
    vacation per year.  
  • Two
    weeks is mandatory in their organization to avoid burnout. 

Megan from Brightcove
shared some terrific tips.  Brightcove
has about 400 employees adding another 60 people just recently due to an
acquisition in Arizona.  Their HR
department consists of seven people that manage 13 locations. With their steep
growth rates and IPO in 2012, maintaining the same culture isn’t always easy.
survey their employees annually. Their people like being part of a high growth
company and from a software development perspective they enjoy working on new
cool things all the time.  In 2013 their
survey revealed they want open communication, compensation and career growth.
They have
had to manage spend and conduct focus groups so that if employees want a
benefit added, they may lose something elsewhere.  For example, this year they implemented 401K match
and tuition reimbursement but their healthcare plan took a hit.  Here are a few tips from Megan:
  • We
    offer a fully stocked kitchen and summer happy hours!
  • Philanthropic
    Program – employees can take off 2 days a year, and Brightcove matches an
    employee’s philanthropic donations
  • Engineering
    focus: hack weeks once per quarter to inspire engineering to work on something
    new and exciting vs. the sprints
  • Their unlimited
    vacation policy is for US only and they welcome any insights on how to manage
  • They
    first implemented unlimited vacation on January 1st with no carry
    over or accrual.  
  • They’ve
    been very generous with hourly employees on how much vacation they have to
    eliminate any issues. 

Dube from Philips spoke next with definitely a different prospective.  Philips has been in business for 120 years
and add approximately 2500-3000 in the US annually.  They have a total of about 26,000 people in
the US, 5,000 on their Andover, MA campus. 
Their core mission is all about improving lives and this has been a core
recruitment tool.  People come to work
for Philips because they want to do meaningful work and they want a good
work/life balance.  More tips for you to
consider in your workplace:
  • They
    recently started a work/life balance index to measure how they rank across the
  • Philips
    is in the top 3 every year of sustainable companies
  • Their
    employee manifesto is all about innovation happening by people.  They want a culture where people make it
    personal and bring their passions to work. 
    Check out some of their people and their talents on these videos.  
  • Philips
    has developed customized personal development plans that are reviewed annually
    with each employee
  • They
    have a very competitive 401K matching 7% on 6%
  • No
    offices – CEO doesn’t have an office – it’s bright, open, collaborative and
    distracting J
  • The Philips
    Cares program pays its employees to do volunteer activities – 2-3 days/year
  • For
    healthcare, Philips has taken a population approach to lowering costs.  It costs more if you smoke.  There are incentives to live a healthier
    lifestyle.  They are self-insured so have
    a big stake in the health of their population.
  • 40% of
    people are hired from within so there is a good ladder of growth available

All the
links above direct you to the career pages of these companies – just in case
you are interested in checking them out! J  Thanks to iRobot for hosting and to our
workforce development community sponsor Kronos
It’s with the support from these companies that we can continue to
deliver these great programs to help advance you and your company.

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