Skip to Main Content

5 things your company can do to build an award-winning culture

Humility is built into the very fabric of SailPoint’s DNA. We live by the philosophy, “humble, hungry, and smart.” But here’s the thing: Every now and then something comes up that makes us want to humble brag just a little.  

So here it goes: This year, SailPoint has been recognized in FOUR Best Workplaces lists:  

While our technology solutions center around protecting information, we’re an open book when it comes to fostering positive workplace experiences. No really; our CEO wrote the book. Our crew is always eager to share insights to help others grow and succeed. With that in mind, here are five tips that have helped us sustain an award-winning workplace culture.  

Develop strong core values (and live by them) 

When our CEO and founder Mark McClain set out to build SailPoint, he didn’t start with its mission or vision. He started with the core values that underpin every aspect of the company, ensure cohesion among teams, and inform how people treat each other. At SailPoint, our core values are the Four I’s: Innovation, Integrity, Impact, and Individuals. No one value is more important than another but keeping “individuals” central to our ethos has played a big role in maintaining a strong, supportive culture.  Mark’s advice? “Define your values first. Because the why and where and what will likely change, but if your values are solid, your company will be, too.”  

Meet your teams where they’re at 

Tired of talking about the pandemic? Us, too. But it did forever change the way we work, where we hire, and how we collaborate. Plain and simple.

As a result, SailPoint has fully embraced location-agnostic hiring, so our teams are spread across the country and the world. We still have a (pretty epic) headquarters in Austin, Texas, where teams get together for in-person collaboration, team-building events, and strategy sessions throughout the year to increase our effectiveness and fuel innovation. But we wanted to think beyond events at the office, too. We believe it’s important to meet people where they’re at, both physically and in terms of new, emerging needs. Our remote crew, for example, expressed an interest in getting to know colleagues in their local areas better. In response, SailPoint established #SailPointCares, a regional volunteering initiative that brings the crew together to give back to their communities and bond over happy hour.  

Our Senior Manager of Culture and Engagement, Becky Harmonson, said it best: “Creating connections is part of our business strategy. In-person, online, you name it. When you meet people where they’re at and create opportunities for them to connect with others, you’re helping them be more engaged and effective in their work.” 

Champion a culture of recognition 

According to Harvard Business Review, the top 10% of leaders providing recognition saw employee engagement skyrocket to the 69th percentile compared to leaders rated in the bottom 10%, whose employee engagement sank to the 27th percentile.

The big takeaway here? Recognition is important and this has always been true at SailPoint.  

Our quarterly awards program recognizes crew who have gone above and beyond during our company-wide meeting. Crew share peer-to-peer recognition daily in our “kudos” Slack channel (and we mean every day. It’s one of our most active channels!). For extra special occasions, we even have “SAILaway Days,” which provide crew members with everything they need to recharge. We’re intentional about finding fun, creative ways to celebrate our crew and make sure our teams know they are appreciated every step of the way.  

Avoid “smart jerks”

Want to know a surefire way to taint your company culture? Hire people who are really smart but really difficult to work with. We call them “smart jerks”. On the SailPoint crew, treating others with respect is just as important as being clever.  

Culture is about community, not hierarchy. We’re not looking for the folks who think they’re above people because of their professional status. There’s a sense of approachability and collaboration that permeates the SailPoint team, regardless of tenure, title, or talent. It’s something our crew appreciates. “I feel comfortable talking to anyone around the office,” one crew member noted. “There is a sense of belonging that every employee feels.” 

Be intentional about who you hire, not just for the skills they bring but for the value they add to your company’s community. Your people will thank you, and your culture will be better for it.   

Lead by example

A healthy culture starts at the top. It’s why our CEO joins new crew onboarding sessions. It’s why our Sr. Manager of Culture and Engagement is dedicated to helping create connections and cultivate a culture of gratitude. Our leaders practice what they preach, which rallies our team to show up for each other in positive, impactful ways. Leading by example, our team has maintained and perpetuated one of the best workplace cultures, even as SailPoint has tripled in size. SailPoint has seen a lot of change over the course of our journey, but one thing remains constant: our culture.  

Interested in joining the award-winning SailPoint crew? Check out our open positions today.