Van Nuys, CA
|Editor’s Summary: When we first visited 8×8 in the 1990s, they displayed numerous patents on the walls of their corporate HQ – showing off their commitment to innovation. They have never stopped innovating, making a legendary leap from a technology supplier to a cloud vendor around 18-years ago – way before it was fashionable. 8×8’s commitment to worker satisfaction is commendable – using a “Play to Win” system to recognize teams and peers for a job well done. In addition, the company is devoted to diversity, inclusion and giving back to the community via high school internships and other activities. We are further impressed by 8×8’s Chief People Officer, Amelia Generalis, who reminds employees that if you don’t take care of yourself, you can’t take care of others.|
|Intro: As 2020 has proven, we are entering a new era of business communications. Deeply integrated platforms, bringing together voice, chat, video and contact center aren’t just replicating the workplace experience from anywhere, they’re building something bigger and better. 8×8, the leading integrated cloud communications platform at the forefront of the digital workplace, offers candidates the opportunity to work directly with the technology that is shaping the future of work. As the entire technology stack is owned directly by 8×8, the contributions of our teams have a direct impact on the workplace experiences of our customers. Furthermore, 8×8 purposefully designs its team structure to ensure that employees have the ability to work on meaningful projects that actually produce results – employees are able to see their work come to life before them.|
In determining compensation levels, the primary factors are experience and expertise in their field, location, and\ internal equity and equality.
8×8 offers an internal leadership program entitled “Developing You,” which has led to the growth and advancement of numerous employee participants as they furthered their career with 8×8. In this program, employees learn
how to craft their own individual development plan and take ownership of their growth. Skills learned in this program include career mapping and how to discuss career development with key stakeholders such as individual managers.
In addition to the “Developing You” program, in which managers and employees learn best practices for navigating personal career paths, 8×8 offers the “Work Great From Home” program. This was designed as the COVID-19 pandemic placed new strain on employees who may not have experience working remotely for an extended period of time. It provides tools and guidance on how to best address the new virtual workplace. Finally, 8×8 offers “Radical Candor” workshops that provide guidance on how to have difficult conversations with managers and fellow teammates, so individuals can develop their problem-solving skills and work better as a team.
8×8 offers choice among several comprehensive health plans to support the health of our employees and their families. 8×8 subsidizes the costs of care and helps employees save for their futures with company contributions to tax advantage accounts.
Community service/charitable causes:
8×8 supports and encourages our employees to take volunteer time/paid leave to support the causes that they are most passionate about. Throughout the year various employee groups will take time to give back through backpack and food drives, making blankets for a local children’s hospital, and various other local community organizations.
Furthermore, 8×8 has partnered with Cristo Rey High School. Through this partnership, 8×8 hosted three students for a year-long high school internship to help develop their skills and passion are
Innovation is part of the 8×8 DNA, so we regularly encourage employees to speak their mind and help grow the organization as
a team. Our most common practices include encouraging employees to complete surveys, so their concerns are heard directly and encouraging employees to get involved with volunteer groups such as our Global Diversity and Inclusion. Furthermore, we invite employees to attend our All Hands and Virtual Coffee Breaks with CEO Vik Verma and submit questions in the chat that our CEO can answer and address in real-time. Finally, 8×8 offers a patent program where any employee can submit a new idea and work with others to bring it to life.
Internally, 8×8 has a global tool called “Play to Win” which allows employees and managers to recognize their peers and teams for a job well done. There are different tiers for recognition which allows for recognition of immediate impact along with long term projects. CEO Vik Verma also uses his weekly chats to share wins, as well as issue a yearly CEO award based on employee submissions.
Externally, 8×8 uses social tools such as LinkedIn & Instagram to shout out employees who have won external awards and showcase employees who have made a difference to our company from an internal perspective.
8×8 has state of the art offices around the globe. Each team member has an ergonomically designed workspace with multiple screens to make sure they are comfortable, efficient and productive. Offices come equipped with beverage and snack centers throughout the locations and provide a professional Barista once a week in addition to daily gourmet coffee. Office design includes floor to ceiling glass that provides an abundance of natural light to keep up morale. For employees who require privacy throughout the day, offices have dedicated quiet rooms, prayer rooms and mother’s rooms. For fitness purposes, offices have a fully supplied training room with weights and aerobic equipment.
8×8 issues surveys regarding culture, health and morale on a regular basis. We also include surveys at the end of our internal training, onboarding and events so that we know what is working and where we can make improvements. We are constantly editing our programs and resources for employees based on their feedback.
8×8’s Chief People Officer, Amelia Generalis, constantly reminds our employees that if you don’t take care of yourself, you can’t take care of others. She strongly encourages them to take PTO, to take breaks and walks during the day. Our executive team supports this and ensures that their leaders also support our employees taking time off to recharge and relax.
Creative meeting places:
- Large boats
- Wine cellars
- Cooking classes
- Virtual meeting rooms
- The Great Outdoors
8×8 offers fitness centers and group exercise classes at two of our offices. We also offer a wide variety of discounts, both locally and globally, for everything from wellness to tech and entertainment.
Pre-COVID, and when 8×8 begins to bring employees back to the office, teams have access to pool tables, foosball, cornhole, life size Jenga, life size Connect Four, and a walking challenge. While not in the office, we encourage virtual team happy hours/coffee breaks, and are working on building out micro communities with employees to create a place/space for those that live nearby each other to connect and maybe even meet social distance style.
8×8 also sponsors a “8×8 in the Wild” contest each month, where employees submit pictures of them out and about wearing their 8×8 gear. Pictures are shared and a best photo and activity is picked each month.
How corporate vision is communicated:
8×8 CEO Vik Verma believes in the importance of executive accessibility and transparency and provides weekly updates directly to staff. In these sessions, he outlines progress towards both his personal goals, as well as the wider company scorecard. Fellow members of the executive leadership team also provide updates, and all managers globally are asked to communicate how their goals align with the company vision.
8×8 encourages and trains managers and interview teams to hire the best person for the job based on their skills, experience, and how the new addition to the team can add new perspectives and diversity of thought. In order for diversity of thought to happen, no team should be made up of like-minded individuals. Success is found by bringing together people of different backgrounds. To further instill this, 8×8 offers a specific “Hiring the Best” training program, which explains the importance of having a diverse interview panel, as well as ensuring everyone asks the same questions for all interviews to provide a fair assessment, and education around unconscious bias.
This is embedded within 8×8’s corporate core values and leadership traits. They include: Play to Win and Don’t Let Perfection Get In The Way of Progress. 8×8 also encourages employees to Fail Fast and Recover Faster. Managers are empowered by leadership to make decisions and own the decisions they make.
Innovation is part of the 8×8 DNA, so we regularly encourage employees to speak their mind and help grow the organization as a team. Our most common practices include encouraging employees to complete surveys, so their concerns are heard directly and encouraging employees to get involved with volunteer groups such as our Global Diversity and Inclusion. Furthermore, we invite employees to attend our All Hands and Virtual Coffee Breaks with CEO Vik Verma and submit questions in the chat that our CEO can answer and address in real-time. Finally, 8×8 offers a patent
program where any employee can submit a new idea and work with others to bring it to life.
At 8×8, our single most important investment is in our people. Their growth, well-being and future security are the cornerstones which are embedded in our culture. Through our employee benefits, we look to:
- Foster a productive & efficient workplace (Health/Dental/Vision)
- Secure our Employees future (Retirement & Financial Wellness)
- Support a Healthy Workplace (Wellness Programs)
- Protect our Employees (Life, AD&D, income protection)
- Encourage resilient families and communities (Flexible Time off Programs, Paid Parental Leave, Employee Assistance & Family Support Programs)
Within 8×8, the majority of departments allow for schedule flexibility, pending the nature of their responsibilities and organizational need. However, during the COVID-19 pandemic, 8×8 has embraced flexible schedules as we encourage employees to find a schedule that works best for them and their family needs. With children learning from home and spouses and partners working from home, we want them to find a work schedule that minimizes stress. Additionally, 8×8 offers Flexible Time Off for the majority of our employees and have encouraged all employees globally to take at least two weeks of vacation this year.
One of the biggest hurdles organizations have faced amid the COVID-19 pandemic is replicating the in-person experience from the safety of home. Moments such as impromptu huddles or getting to know an executive over a company sponsored lunch – the micro-moments that define a company culture can be hard to come by remotely. 8×8 believes that maintaining these interactions and experiences are vital to ensuring a shared sense of community and engagement across the entire organization. As such, 8×8 has implemented the following policies during the pandemic:
- Virtual meet and greets with both the hiring manager and individual team members during the first week of onboarding
- Weekly global coffee sessions held by 8×8 CEO, Vik Verma
- Improved work from home benefits, created from frequent pulse surveys. Several benefits include virtual meditation, yoga, Kids Recess breaks, greater flexibility in time off
|Closing company statements: In joining 8×8, any candidate should fully understand that 8×8 embraces and embodies the importance of investing in employees. The growth and success of employees is how 8×8 stays ahead and continues to innovate in an already competitive field. They will take on meaningful projects, make a material difference and have an impact on the success of 8×8.|
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