Blog Post

Being a Best Place to Work and the Importance of Culture by Design

Kimberly Cassady

Chief Talent Officer, Cornerstone

Cornerstone OnDemand has just been honored as one of best medium-sized companies to work for in 2014 in the Glassdoor Employees’ Choice Awards. Of course, that means just what it sounds like, it’s the "employee’s choice" – unlike other workplace-related awards that require companies to self-nominate, the Glassdoor awards rely solely on employee feedback (typically anonymously).

The Glassdoor company review survey includes both quantitative and qualitative questions to provide an open look at what it’s like to work at particular jobs and companies. The survey asks employees to rate their satisfaction with the company overall and key workplace factors like career opportunities, compensation and benefits, work/life balance, senior management, as well as culture and values.

Thank You, Cornerstars!

Naturally, the biggest thanks of all must go to Cornerstone OnDemand employees across the globe who think highly enough of their experiences working as a "Cornerstar" to have provided feedback directly on Glassdoor.

While no company is the perfect workplace for every employee, Cornerstone’s 226 employee reviews have produced a stellar 4.6 out of 5 stars overall. Perhaps even more telling is that 92 percent of employees who contributed a review to Glassdoor said that they would recommend Cornerstone to a friend (and we all know the power of employee referrals in today’s new world of recruiting).

Why Is Cornerstone a Great Place to Work?

I don’t believe you can enforce a company culture or can re-invent a company as a "Best Place to Work" overnight. Cornerstone’s unique culture is rooted in its inception 14 years ago – an authentic focus on the workplace as a meritocracy and a belief that if you put together a lot of people that are smart, cool, dependable and visionary, you’ll not only serve your clients in the best possible way, but you’ll also create a meaningful, enriching work environment that people will want to be a part of for the long run.

At Cornerstone, we build programs around these core principles to support our employees. This includes things like our unlimited vacation policy and Cornerstone Development Days. The latter is one day every few months where Cornerstone employees drop what they are doing for a day (or part of a day) simply to learn something new – whether that’s professional skill-building or learning the proper approach to tasting wine from a certified Wine Master. At the most recent Development Day, more than 1,400 hours of training were delivered over the course of two days.

Oh, and there’s tons of free food, too.

Corporate Culture Is Defined by Employees

We’ve said this before, but it’s still true: in today's connected society, corporate cultures get defined by default unless companies take an active role upfront. At the center of this all is employee input: put employees – not managers – at the center and allow them to identify and shape a company's personality, purpose and rewards.

Some of the company’s most notable internal activities don’t come from the top down. For example:

  • The Cornerstone Corporate Sponsorship Program (CSP), aimed at directly supporting community nonprofits and programs that are important to our employees. The CSP was the brainchild of a Cornerstone employee who saw a great opportunity to expand how the company supports local nonprofits and sold the idea (easily) to Cornerstone’s leadership.

  • Cornerstone’s support for the global charity Movember was similarly spurred on by, at first, a single employee four years ago, and then a wave of more than 100 eager fundraisers around the globe (some mustachioed and others not!). In those four years, we’ve raised more than $110,000, and supporting the charity has become an extremely popular November activity for many Cornerstars.

At the end of the day, it’s the initiative taken by our own employees that speaks the loudest about what it’s like to work and thrive at Cornerstone.

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