Ready to put appreciation to work for your organization? We'd love to hear from you. To find your local O.C. Tanner representative, please complete the form below.
Informatica Corporation (Nasdaq:INFA) is the world's number one independent provider of data integration software. Organizations around the world rely on Informatica to realize their information potential and drive top business imperatives.informatica.com
How do you compete for talent with Google, Apple, LinkedIn, and leading start-ups in Silicon Valley? You create a culture of teamwork, collaboration, and innovation. You appreciate your employees for the difference they make and share it globally. And you do something others in your industry may not emphasize as much as compensation: promote caring and respect. Which is exactly what Informatica has achieved for its 3,000 employees in 28 countries.
“When I ask employees what they value about this company the number one answer is the people. There's a sense of team and of family here. A sense of ‘At this company I can be a human being, live my life and my values,’” says Charlene Clausen, Human Resources Business Partner.
“Everybody here seems to feel as if they're recognized for what they do, no matter how big or small. That was established in the culture from the beginning,” explains Cindy Cloud, Recruiting Brand Manager. “Our founders were pioneers. They left big corporations to come here to do something that was a little more humanistic, to create products that make a difference in the world.”
As the world's number one independent provider of data integration software, Informatica is leading the next technological evolution: big data. Its mission of “putting potential to work” focuses on how its technology serves up insights that generate the best outcomes—whether it's tracking genome data in the search for a cure for cancer or mining data in the intelligence community to prevent terrorism.
“Informatica helps customers realize great value from all their data. The potential of information to inform everyone, everything, everywhere is what we want to unleash for our customers, but this mission also applies internally,” explains Jo Stoner, Senior Vice President, Global Human Resources. “You can come and work at a company that wants to help you to unlock your own potential and produce great results.”
Getting employees aligned with the mission to live the brand inside out is something the leadership team is passionate about. “You want employees to light up and to believe, ‘we've got the technology to drive the entire network of information that can change the world.’ When they emit that kind of radiance to each other, to potential new employees, to friends, family, customers, it's a game changer,” says Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer Margaret Breya.
With customers that include 84 of the Fortune 100 companies, 87 percent of companies listed on the Dow Jones and 20 international government agencies, the organization sees its success continue to grow. Success that Informatica's leadership attributes to the commitment of its people.
“Who we are inside is a big reflection of who we are outside,” points out Margaret Gillette, Director Human Resources. “We offer a high-quality, trustworthy product. A product that is portrayed to you and pitched ethically and does what it promises it will do. In order to achieve that we engage with one another and we reward and recognize each other.”
This focus on culture and appreciation is paying off. In 2013 alone, the Silicon Valley Business Journal, using Glassdoor.com data, ranked Informatica as the fifth Happiest Company based in Silicon Valley and Forbes magazine named it one of ‘The Best Enterprise Software Companies And CEOs To Work For.’ In April, Informatica's product, Vibe, won the Ventana Research Award for Information Optimization in the IT Innovation category. And, for the seventh year in a row, it's been positioned as a leader in Gartner Research's Data Integration Magic Quadrant, alongside competitors IBM, Oracle, SAS, and SAP.
Just as impressively, a large percentage of new hires each year are “boomerangs”—employees who left to do other things but stayed in touch through the alumni network and wanted to return.
For Stoner, the focus has been on preserving what makes Informatica unique and valued amidst rapid global acquisitions and expansion. She emphasizes building on the existing culture of appreciation, while continuing to develop, manage, and retain talent so people feel invested in the organization's success. In each of these areas, she sees recognition playing a critical role.
"Being part of a great culture helps us in the good times and the tougher times. Having that sense of belonging to a company that's trying to make the world a better place--means that people go the extra mile and work harder as a result."
—Michelle O'Gorman, Director Human Resources
“Part of our thinking in turning to O.C. Tanner,” explains Stoner, “was how do we provide recognition on a large scale as we become more global? How do we make it easier for people to do, especially as we expand into more countries around the world, but still have it feel personalized?”
In 2011, Informatica choose O.C. Tanner for its global capabilities and offerings. With 28 countries, it was important to provide a solution customized by country. In the new system, career achievement awards are given for years 5, 10, 15, and above (employees that come in from acquisitions get their former years honored.) Performance and results are rewarded with awards and points, while peer-to-peer shout outs with fun eCards and eButtons have replaced the traditional spot bonus. Quarterly “INFAStars” are still nominated and celebrated but now use the online portal. The infrastructure was set. And yet, the initial launch failed to generate excitement. People were simply not aware of the program; there was no broad communication outreach, leader training, or executive sponsorship. Program utilization was low across the globe.
Teams on both sides met to discuss a plan moving forward. Following a two-day planning session at O.C. Tanner's headquarters in Salt Lake City, a commitment to a new action plan was made.
Trainers from O.C. Tanner's Learning Group were invited to deliver keynotes on the impact of effective recognition—why appreciation is important and how to do it right. Appreciation stations with starter kits, books, buttons, and note cards were rolled out. Printed certificates for managers to hand out for on-the-spot recognition were made available. The new recognition theme, rally cry, and communication plan was launched. A plan that included creating and placing branded appreciation kits in appreciation stations at many of their global meetings.
Now, recognition is part of Informatica's intense new hire onboarding process. It's publicly talked about at company meetings.
And more and more it has become embedded in the expectations of managers. From hiring to goal management to coaching, more tools and training are being offered to help managers get the best out of their teams.
"Everyone here really cares about everyone else."
—Craig Hilton, UK Sales Team
“We gave an award recently to one of the teams in India who helped get a product off the ground in virtually no time,” explains Ian Creamer, Vice President Global Human Resources. “Normally, we might have given them a cash bonus and nobody would have heard much about it. But this time, we really called it out. Our CEO was there to hear about it, all the executives were applauding. It was talked about in front of the entire company. Everyone celebrated the team's achievement. It gives visibility to what's being done in different offices around the world.”
Feedback on the program is positive. People report back how much they love the breadth of award choices, the fun they have with the eCards, and the ease of the system. Interestingly, for a software company, the offline appreciation stations and badges are extremely popular.
“Our human resources team has designed the program to make it easy. They've removed a lot of the barriers. Now, I don't have to worry about budget or that I don't have enough time. I just go on and use it,” says Len Fischer, Vice President of Revenue Management, Informatica.
“Everybody wants to be appreciated at work,” concludes Stoner. “So it doesn't matter where you are, if you're 20 or 50, or if it's your first job or fifth job. Knowing that what you're doing makes a difference. Knowing how your behaviors align to our values and how your contributions align to the overall goals of the company and being valued for that contribution makes you want to stay for a long time.”