By placing immense focus and resources on their team, SolarWinds was able to strengthen their culture, trust, and engagement
By Zee Johnson
SolarWinds kicked off a fruitful 2021 with leadership from a new CEO and focus from an invigorated team, the SolarWinds People Team. Alongside company executives, the collective worked diligently to upgrade policies, improve programmes, facilitate employee connections, and much more.
One of the team’s first undertakings was creating committees, like the “Solarian Life and Communities (SLC)” group, that fostered a culture of appreciation, well-being, and belonging. To support this, they enlisted a group of team members from varying backgrounds to act as facilitators. Their exchange of experiences and full transparency not only encouraged inclusion for all staff, but also supported lasting, healthy working relationships.
To genuinely connect with all staff, Sudhakar Ramakrishna, the company’s new CEO, implemented a quarterly all-hands meeting to touch on topics pertinent to business growth. He also created monthly “Ask Me Anything (AMA)” meetings with a panel of executives where employees could pose their most pressing questions and receive live, unedited answers.
The company also took recognition to the next level by launching a holistic appreciation programme that recognised high-achieving employees whose efforts, commitment, and attitudes were admirable and inspiring. These superstars received periodic monetary awards ranging from $500 to $2,000.
To adapt to current times, the SolarWinds team knew they had to become more flexible to efficiently support employee well-being. That’s why their new return-to-office policy, which rolled out early this year, is allowing workers to be on-site three days a week, whilst giving them the ability to choose the days and hours they’d prefer to come in. The company also allowed employees to keep up to US $500 worth of company equipment to support their hybrid working structure.
Other initiatives that supported both flexibility and well-being included an enhanced paid parental leave policy that provided eight fully paid weeks of baby bonding time for birth, adoption, or foster care placement of a child; and a transition from PTO (paid time off) to FTO (flexible time off), where there are no caps on the amount of paid time off an employee can take with a manager’s approval. The team firmly believes, “if we take care of our employees, they’ll in turn take care of our customers.”
From onboarding nearly 500 new team members and 40 interns last year, to issuing 200 promotions, the SolarWinds People Team’s innovative focus led to a wildly successful year, and the 2021 HRO Today Association Award for HR Team of the Year.