“Abysmal” Survey Results Show Cracks in Salesforce’s Culture

An internal survey of 57,000 Salesforce employees has been leaked

CRMLatest News

Published: June 26, 2023

James Stephen

A leaked internal survey of 57,000 Salesforce employees has revealed major concerns for the firm’s leaders.

Although employees responded positively to questions about ethics, there is widespread dissatisfaction with job security, management, trust, and more.

This is the first employee survey to be released since the company began making mass layoffs earlier in the year.

A spokesperson for Salesforce confirmed the data to Insider and commented: “Thanks to our employees, we’ve made tremendous progress on our company transformation.

“An important part of this is the employee feedback we receive, which helps us continuously shape our culture.

“It also helps guide where we need to take action and highlights areas of strength where we need to continue to invest.”

One employee reportedly wrote in an internal Slack discussion:

While the results are abysmal, I do feel slightly better that so many folks feel the same way.

The survey results were no doubt fuelled by the tempestuous last year for the company.

Salesforce’s co-CEO Bret Taylor resigned towards the end of last year, leading to a five percent drop in Salesforce’s share price.

Next, activist investors pushed for drastic cost-cutting measures while seemingly wanting to shift Slack from the forefront of Salesforce’s messaging.

It appears this may then be the direct trigger for Salesforce’s mass layoffs in January this year, which saw ten percent of the company being made redundant.

The following month, Salesforce cut another 258 jobs, in spite of Marc Benioff, Salesforce’s CEO, reassuring employees in his “Ohana” approach, meaning he wants to center the business around family and support.

It has been a mixed picture for Salesforce since January. While it has had two positive sets of quarterly results and added new additions to its executive C-Suite, its Q1 2024 revenue growth was the slowest it has been for 13 years.

Results: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

The Good: Questions with favorable responses included not feeling pressurized to engage in unethical behavior (97 percent), 95 percent said they would report misconduct or ethical concerns, and 92 percent relayed that they knew how to use the company’s reporting channels for ethical concern or misconduct.

The Bad: The report also uncovered some results that were not overwhelmingly negative, but they will likely raise alarm bells, nevertheless.

For instance, employees were asked if their managers promoted an inclusive work environment, to which only 89 percent agreed.

Similarly, 88 percent believe that their managers focused on results while also caring about the team’s wellbeing.

Managers again appear underwhelming, with only 87 percent of employees viewing them as successfully keeping teams focused and moving forwards.

A possible sign of apathy towards the company was revealed by the fact that just 88 percent said they were willing to give extra to get the job done.

Worryingly, 13 percent of respondents reported that they had observed unethical behavior or misconduct at the company.

The Ugly: The least favorable responses from employees included only 34 percent believing the company is performing well at retaining its most talented staff.

Feelings of job security were also low, with only 37 percent reporting their long-term future at Salesforce was secure.

The survey also found that just 49 percent of Salesforce’s employees believed that the senior leadership’s decisions were in step with the company’s core values.

Only half (50 percent) of employees think there is a climate of trust at Salesforce.

Another damning statistic emerged that only 56 percent of respondents believe Salesforce is effectively running the business alongside its extra activities to drive change.

Brent Hyder, Head of HR at Salesforce, spoke about the results to employees on Slack, the Insider uncovered: “The Executive Leadership Team, along with your leaders, are committed to providing clarity, stability, and healing to move us forward and build our culture to be stronger than ever.

“And while hard work is already underway, there’s more to come.

“Your leaders are all in on this – they’re focused on inspiring you with strategy, building greater trust and connection, simplifying how you work, and aligning career and rewards.

It’s our hope that you’ll see and feel our commitment in every experience you have here as an employee.

It seems like Salesforce has got its work cut out, not only winning back the trust of its staff but also taking steps to improve ethical behavior within the company and evaluate the effectiveness of its managers.

At least, with two positive quarterly results in the bag, it has taken a step in the right direction.




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