ClearSlide

ClearSlide

San Francisco, CA 

www.clearslide.com

Grade: A+

SummaryJoin a company built to last, growing at a steady pace while offering solid benefits, above-average medical, standing-desks, amazing training and other competitive amenities.

Intro: Candidates choose ClearSlide because we have an amazing, fast-growing company that has a broad vision to deliver the most intuitive, complete and open Sales Engagement Platform by integrating content, communications and actionable insights to improve business interactions. As the leader in this space, we attract candidates who want to work at an innovative SaaS company that is modernizing the tools that sales, marketing, and customer success teams use to improve business performance. Our employees get to work on cutting-edge technologies used by 5,000 accounts and more than 100,000 users around the world – generating millions of business interactions each year.

We started in 2009 and have grown steadily each year. Unlike many of the newly-funded companies, we have an operating philosophy to grow at a focused pace, and we have a clear path to profitability. This approach has helped us recruit talented employees that are looking for a long-term career and ongoing professional development – because they have confidence that they’re joining a company that is built to last. As a company we focus on the business and operating fundamentals, which allows us to recruit employees at varying experience level, from new college graduates to seasoned industry experts, to ensure that we have a place where everyone has an opportunity to be successful.

Last, candidates join ClearSlide because of our strong leadership and mentorship. From the interview stage and onwards, candidates feel confident that ClearSlide is a great environment to learn and grow. Our leadership team is very experienced, which provides stability – especially during these turbulent times. A sign of a great company is that our own employees recommend ClearSlide to their personal and professional networks. Hiring through referral is our #1 source of new employees.

Impact statements:

  • Candidates choose ClearSlide because we have an amazing, fast-growing company that has a broad vision to deliver the most intuitive, complete and open Sales Engagement Platform by integrating content, communications and actionable insights to improve business interactions.
  • Our employees get to work on cutting-edge technologies used by 5,000 accounts and more than 100,000 users around the world – generating millions of business interactions each year.
  • We started in 2009 and have grown steadily each year. Unlike many of the newly-funded companies, we have an operating philosophy to grow at a focused pace, and we have a clear path to profitability. This approach has helped us recruit talented employees that are looking for a long-term career and ongoing professional development – because they have confidence that they’re joining a company that is built to last.
  • We also take pride in listening to feedback on specific issues from our employees. Often we will encourage employees who give ideas for improvement to take the lead on projects that will support that improvement.
  • One of the highlights of our culture has been giving back to our community through service.
  • We have provided targeted training for our Engineering staff known as Agile. For the engineers who had worked with the Agile methodology before, this was a great refresher on how to complete tasks in a timely and efficient manner.
  • We rely heavily on our own product to communicate with each other and improve collaboration.
  • Winning as a team starts with on-boarding and training new employees, where representatives from each department present on the different company principles, practices and to encourage all team members to recognize the cross-functional partnership at ClearSlide.
  • ClearSlide empowers its sales team to make strategic decisions during their prospective client and customer engagements. By providing some broad guidelines and tiers, salespeople are able in real-time to hold discussions that reduce friction and accelerate deal cycles.

Advancement Opportunities:

There are several ways that ClearSlide provides advancement opportunities for our team members to continue personal and professional development. One hands-on technique is having different team members lead or present in team meetings. Gaining presentation skills helps advancement, and presenting in front of both peers and managers is great for development. This also allows everyone’s voice to be heard – not just the most vocal employees – contributing to our culture of inclusion and transparency.

We also take pride in listening to feedback on specific issues from our employees. Often we will encourage employees who give ideas for improvement to take the lead on projects that will support that improvement. This could be a cross-team business initiative, or even leading a mentoring group. A specific example on our Sales and Services team is letting more junior team members join customer presentations as a "silent participant" to hear more experienced employees handle difficult questions and tough situations (e.g., asking about budget, technical issues) – so they’re better prepared for their next role.

Managers also encourage employees to have direct conversations with department leaders, so team members don't have to go through layers of management for every conversation or piece of feedback. This encourages transparency between all levels in the company and more direct interactions with senior leaders. This “flatter” organizational approach helps employees learn more quickly, and for those employees that aspire for promotions or more responsibility, they have more opportunities for coaching and mentorship. We also have our managers spend time each month taking inbound support calls from customers and individual users, so they get more insight into customer challenges that employees are experiencing. This shared, empathetic learning helps foster a culture where the challenges get addressed and talked about – and gets managers and employees working together.

Last, we have an emerging program for designated high-potential employees. Several times a year we bring this select group together to get feedback and coaching. This could involve an outside speaker or assigning mentors. In some cases, we’ve assigned an outside coach to select high performers – not because there are problems, but because we want that employee to develop skills in a new area or give that person a neutral coach to work on challenge areas.

Medical benefits:

To every full-time employee, we offer cost-free medical, dental, vision, basic life, short-term disability, and long-term disability. For dependents and premium plan options, the costs are kept very low to ensure great coverage. In addition, we offer Health Care FSA, which provides the opportunity to use pre-tax dollars for medical expenses, therefore providing a savings of up to 20% for these expenses.

Also free of cost to full-time employees is access to an “Employee Assistance” service that is available for counseling and recommendations for life hardships. We want everyone to feel like they have the resources to be covered for all aspects of life.

Another resource is our connection with SelectQuote, where employees can purchase an additional life insurance plan and ClearSlide will reimburse up to 50%. We recently added a program called WellSource, which tracks employee physical statistics and provides suggestions for employees’ struggles. For instance, if someone is not sleeping well, WellSource will provide recommendations. If the employee keeps track of their physical statistics in WellSource, they may receive gift cards for their participation. Last, we provide in-house flu shots during flu season.

Community service/charitable causes:

One of the highlights of our culture has been giving back to our community through service. We have had a steady stream of various charitable activities over the years that are organized by two of our employee resource groups. Members of these “Slider Networks” are committed to seeking out opportunities to give back to local charitable entities.

Cause

Action

ClearSlide Cares” group partners with local organizations to provide volunteer opportunities for our employees

Activities have ranged from serving breakfast at Glide Memorial Church to calling bingo games for senior citizens at Canon Kip Senior Center. Another group

“Sliders for Wounded and Returning Veterans”

Brings employees together at the VA Hospital in San Francisco for a project to beautify the grounds.

Partner with America SCORES Bay Area who are committed to the fitness and literacy of youth in areas where school programs are lacking

Through soccer, poetry and service learning, SCORES aims to empower young people to become responsible citizens who contribute to their communities. In the past we were honored to participate in the SCORES Corporate Cup (a soccer tournament for local companies), and in doing so we raised several thousand dollars for the organization. We also sent a group of employees to a field day, where we served as referees for youth soccer games as well as donated and read books to the SCORES beneficiaries.

Our very active staff uses their fitness prowess

Raise funds for worthy causes through charitable races

The Golden Gate Relay

benefiting Organs R Us

The Giant Race and Project OpenHand

A meal delivery service for seniors and the terminally ill, are two events for which we have raised thousands of charitable dollars and have provided a wonderful opportunity for company team building.

Toys for Tots and One Warm Coat

Receptacles are set up in our office to collect coats and toys for underprivileged youth and community members. We always have high participation in both of these drives.

Measuring satisfaction:

We run quarterly, company-wide surveys on a range of topics to evaluate employee satisfaction and conduct ad-hoc surveys as needed, which could measure anything from exercise class timing to food selection in the kitchen. While some questions will vary each time, we maintain a select set of questions, including those that gauge sentiment around our company values and willingness to recommend ClearSlide as a great place to work.

We also have regular team meetings and 1:1 sessions where employees are encouraged to give constructive feedback and express their level of satisfaction. Our performance reviews also provide an area to track and comment team member engagement.

Last, team-level input is often solicited for company decisions. Our company values, for example, were sourced from each team, then voted on by leadership across the organization. We also hold focus groups on topics ranging from health benefits and employee engagement to recognition and our office environment.

ClearSlide leadership makes a habit of listening to the preferences and needs of employees and making choices with that input in mind. From the soft seating in our many lounge areas to the option for standing desks, our office space has contributed to the overall happiness and effectiveness of our team.

ClearSlide elected an open office concept for all three of our offices to allow for more practical collaboration among teams. We have whiteboard walls for brainstorming and ideas sharing and glass-wall conference rooms that pay tribute to a spirit of transparency as well as preserve the stunning views of the Ferry Building and the Bay in San Francisco, historic downtown in Seattle, and the Empire State Building in New York. Our visitors – candidates, clients and vendors – regularly comment on the energy they can feel when walking through our doors, and we attribute this to our open environment and our satisfied employees.

Creative meeting places:

A movie theater in San Francisco. For our recent fiscal year kick-offs, ClearSlide brought employees from all around the country together in San Francisco and rented out a theater to hold a full-day company meeting. Leaders and individual contributors alike delivered exciting announcements on the future of the company, with the movie theater screen and sound system as the vehicle, the presentations were high-energy and inspirational. We received very positive feedback from our employees from across the organization that this was a thrilling and unforgettable event.

We also got creative with an extended leadership off-site when we arranged sailing lessons in the Bay on an Americas Cup boat. We used this as an opportunity to practice teamwork in a fun environment. The experience was educational and exhilarating, and thankfully no one fell out of the high-speed boats. This extended leadership team has also bonded together over bowling, bocce ball, laser tag, and other social activities.

Our last full company events were held at The Church of 8 Wheels, a roller rink converted from an old church – along with a food truck outside for innovative meals. This event provided an opportunity for some us to stretch ourselves with a new activity and for others to revisit the blissful days of our youth. There was much evidence of teamwork and support as many of us had to be helped back to our feet after falling. Despite a few sprained joints, this event at The Church of 8 Wheels has been a fantastic experience.

We now have a small team working on the location for our next full company event – which should be just as fun. In the lead is another “wine and paint” night at Dogpatch Wine Works. The great part about painting together was getting to witness everyone’s impressive artistic abilities.

Perks:

ClearSlide has several great perks including:

Snacks

End-of-month lunches

End-of-quarter breakfasts

We stock the kitchen with healthy options from coconut water to mixed nuts, and our monthly lunches and quarterly breakfasts are very healthy and accommodate a variety of dietary restrictions (e.g., vegetarian, gluten-free).

We promote a healthy lifestyle with a fitness subsidy so that employees can expense their gym membership, home gym equipment and other fitness accessories. We recently formed a partnership with a popular fitness center chain so our employees can take advantage of discounted gym memberships.

In addition to physical health, we provide all employees with a free-of-cost Employee Assistance Program offering services for mental health, legal and financial advice and help with finding other services needed for significant life events (child care, elderly care, etc.).

Last, ClearSlide fully sponsors two intramural sports teams per year.

A quarterly fitness subsidy

Weekly boot camp classes

Select education subsidies and professional memberships for high-potential employees.

Fun:

There is a variety of fun activities that team members can partake in throughout the day at ClearSlide. As a way to give employees a break from looking at their screens and a chance to relax with colleagues, we have board games, darts, ping pong, foosball, corn toss and even life-size jenga.

How corporate vision is communicated:

Our vision is to: “Deliver the most intuitive, complete, and open Sales Engagement Platform by integrating content, communications, and actionable insights to improve business results.”

Our corporate vision is communicated to our team in company meetings, internal email communications, press releases and articles that are written in various business publications. It is also the responsibility of leaders of every level to reinforce the vision to their reports so that we are all aligned around a singular message.

One of the most effective ways we have been able to communicate our vision to our team is through telling stories of customer successes at our company meetings. Our marketing team works with our sales team to collect client testimonials and case studies that help to bring our vision and values to life. Walking around our offices, employees, candidates, customers, and visitors see customer endorsements quotes, our customer logo wall, and TVs playing recent customer videos.

Empowering employees:

Our culture encourages open sharing of information, both with bi-weekly stand-up meetings and with an open door policy with senior leaders. We recognize team members that drive change in the organization with admittance to our company excellence club (top 10% of the company performers). These employees are then expected to serve as resources and mentors to help others in the company drive change.

ClearSlide employees are often recognized for their hard work and accomplishments. Internally, we recognize our employees in company-wide emails and during all-hands meetings.

One of the most exciting emails that is sent out on a regular basis is the Win Alert, which highlights recent deals that have closed and all of the people who were involved in getting that deal done. By sharing details of the deal, including the company, size of deal, the problem we are solving for that company and all of the internal departments and their contributions, we are celebrating each other and making our employees feel valued.

When we are all together at company meetings, we give an opportunity for anyone to stand up and congratulate or thank a fellow employee for recent accomplishments. These “shout outs” are a way for peers to recognize each other and for leaders to acknowledge the commitment they see in our employees.

Externally, our blog and social media channels celebrate our company wins from all departments. Recently, one of our top salespeople (Sarah Lim) was recognized nationally as a Technology Salesperson of the Year for her amazing performance, and our legal counsel (Olga Mack) was recognized as an In-House Counsel of the Year in the San Francisco region. We also celebrate when ClearSlide is awarded new patents – and publicly recognize the contributions of the individuals who worked on the specific inventions.

ClearSlide empowers its sales team to make strategic decisions during their prospective client and customer engagements. By providing some broad guidelines and tiers, salespeople are able in real-time to hold discussions that reduce friction and accelerate deal cycles.

Our support and account management teams are also empowered to issue discounts and credits to ensure customers feel well served and that our company acts with high integrity. For example, our contracts give specific timeframes for customers who want to cancel service to inform us of their decisions. Sometimes customers don’t let us know until just after the notification date has passed, and individuals have the support to issue refunds and accept cancellations without needing to escalate to a manager.

Engineers also have great discretion and empowerment. Given our customer-focused orientation, engineers jump to fix bugs and address customer pain points. It’s not unusual to see a group of engineers across sub-teams gathering at the end of the day to make adjustments. In one example, a junior engineer noticed that our screen share capabilities had lags after a new release of the Chrome browser. He quickly called people together to find the root cause, the group came up with an action plan, and the issue was “hot-fixed” by the end of the day.

Ensuring well-being:

Our employee handbook states: “Work hours are position specific and should be determined in conjunction with your immediate supervisor. You are expected to be at your desk, ready to work at the beginning of your scheduled shift. You will be given your individual duty hours upon hire and at the time of any change in position. If your normal duty hours are changed or if ClearSlide changes its operating hours, you will be given written notice to facilitate your personal planning.”

We do not publish specific hours (e.g., 9AM-5PM) because certain teams are subject to flexibility depending on client calls or support hours, for instance. Managers are highly involved in work hour discussions because individual contributors have individual needs (e.g., long commutes, working from home requests, time off, etc.).

ClearSlide cares deeply about the well-being of its employees. We offer once-a-week boot camp classes to those who want physical exercise outside of work with their co-workers. Also, we offer a $100 per quarter fitness to help cover the cost of gyms, equipment, entry fees for fitness events, and more.

Standing desks are also provided for any employees who wants or needs to have a standing option, without needing a note from a doctor. Other specialty ergonomic equipment is provided to ensure comfort for all employees. For mental breaks, we use team outings outside of the office at least once a quarter. In addition, our benefits include flexible spending accounts, commuter benefits, and multiple generous health insurance options.

Part of the benefit of our flexible time off policy is so that an employee with an ailment or who has a loved one with an ailment can take the time they need to heal or care for one that needs healing. Our managers are well aware that the company supports them in working with their reports to make sure they have the time they need without negative job consequences. Our spirit of teamwork kicks in to make up for the void that may be a result of an extended absence.

Longevity:

Our near-8-year-old company has employees with tenures that span from the company’s founding to new college graduates. Given the company’s steady growth, much of our team has come on-board within the last three years.

Closing company statements: They must know three things. First, we have the most passionate and highest-quality employees. We’re selective about who we hire – in many cases we’ll leave roles unfilled until we have the right person with the right skill set, as well as right cultural fit. And many of our team came into the company as referrals from other employees, which is a testament to the people we have.

Second, we’re serious about building a real business. Unicorns are mythical creatures, and we have friends that have been impacted by the renewed focus on tech companies needing operating efficiency and profitably. We talk about how ClearSlide is “built to last,” and not a place to join if you’re just looking for perks, a certain salary, or to somehow cash-out. We want people who share the same passion for delivering the most intuitive, complete, and open Sales Engagement Platform and changing the way companies interact and communicate by integrating content, communications, and actionable insights to improve business results. And we want people who truly want to act as shareholders in the business to help us make the right decisions and prioritize investments.

Last, we have a senior leadership team that embodies our core values. Many executives preach about open culture, feedback, etc. – but sometimes the reality is different. Our leadership team has deep experience managing teams and businesses, spends time coaching and developing people, and is committed to taking the business to the next level. This focus gives employees confidence that they’re building a career – not just coming into work to do a job.

Back to the entire list of TMCnet 2016 Tech Culture Award winners.

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