Company: Workiva, Ames, IA USA
Nomination Category: Employer of the Year -Computer Software -More Than 250 Employees
Employer of the Year Essay
2018 was an innovative and exciting year for Workiva. We continued to grow rapidly while keeping sight of our purpose: to serve our clients and treat our employees with integrity and compassion.
Our novel approach to employee relations resulted in fifteen best workplace awards since the beginning of 2018. Workiva was also the youngest company recognized as one of Fortune Magazine's 100 Best Companies to Work For list and we are proud to be joining many of our customers in this prestigious group, which includes some of the most successful companies in the world.
Workiva’s overarching strategy and approach to encourage employees to share new ideas and a better way of doing things is stemmed in the value placed on employee feedback. At Workiva, feedback is taken as an opportunity to voice individual perspective and suggestions. “My company. My voice.” is a slogan used within Workiva to articulate the importance and value of feedback from all employees. This extra care for our employees gets passed on to our customers every day, and our talented and dedicated employees have changed our customers' lives.
In 2018, we continued to expand our commitment to empower our employees in every area, from supporting community engagement, to encouraging continuing education, and offering additional benefits. Our employee-driven culture fosters new initiatives that are researched and presented by our HR team. For example, the HR team responded to our employees' requests with a new policy that allows employees to privately donate their earned time off to another employee in need during a medical or natural disaster emergency. This gives our employees the opportunity to support each other during times of need.
Our learning culture is also what sets us apart. We are a young company focused on sharing knowledge to help us stay innovative and continue to grow. In the recent CEB survey, our employees stated that our learning environment allows them to feel safe, meaning they are not afraid to take risks to gain knowledge. In 2018, a new program named “Navigators” started with cohorts starting two times a year, each taking up to 72 participants and lasting for a full six months. Managers are continuously leading their teams toward organizational objectives and team goals to ensure success. We created this program internally to help our managers by providing valuable instruments to better chart the development of their direct reports. We also started Voices of Change Advancing Leadership (VOCAL), a company-wide program designed to advance the conversation around gender diversity. The goal of VOCAL is to discuss, share knowledge, and advance thinking and actions around impactful topics for women.
Our Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) have taken an active role in maintaining a work atmosphere in which people of diverse backgrounds, beliefs and interests may grow personally and professionally. In 2018, we started a Women in Sales group. These groups support the culture of inclusiveness and build a sense of camaraderie among our employees, and approximately 20% of our employees participate in at least one affinity group. Our ERGs include Women in Tech, Parenting, Veterans, Ethnic Diversity in Tech, Women in Sales and LGBTQ+.
Workiva focuses on going above and beyond through new programs and initiatives to engage and benefit our employees. From personal development and financial security to opportunities for service and fun. We believe this is why we have a 90% employee retention rate, and an employee satisfaction level of 95% according to the third-party survey conducted by “Great Place to Work.” We aren’t just looking to ensure that the people of Workiva have the right tools and resources to achieve their daily tasks. We are creating an environment that supports them and their families in their careers and broader lives.
Employer of the Year Summary
Introduced employee PTO donation program, pet insurance, identity theft insurance and legal insurance and ramped-up our compensation infrastructure.
Employees used just over 2,000 hours of approved volunteer time-off hours giving back to their communities. Donated over $100,000 to nonprofits through charitable giving and corporate sponsored United Way events.
Investing in STEM
Funded and staffed hackathons, educational events, community tech workspaces and charity events. Hosted professional development sessions for students at various offices.
Employed over 140 interns and provided group mentoring, professional development workshops, challenges, entrepreneurial events and learning opportunities.
Diversity and Inclusion
Created a Director of Diversity and Inclusion position. The person helps maintain a work atmosphere in which people of diverse backgrounds, beliefs and interests may grow personally and professionally.
Introduced Voices of Change Advancing Leadership (VOCAL), a company-wide program designed to advance the conversation around gender diversity.