HubSpot is invested in workplace culture, big-time. So much so that the Cambridge, Massachusetts–based company spells out its values in a 128-slide presentation, which has been viewed more than 4 million times on LinkedIn’s SlideShare.
HubSpot’s Chief People Officer, Katie Burke, has set the culture bar high. “We want people to be over the moon,” she says, “doing cartwheels and backflips, happy every day coming to work. That’s the standard I hold our team to.”
So far, the investment has paid off. The inbound marketing and sales software company regularly tops best-places-to-work lists and attracts new talent in droves. It has scaled from 50 employees in 2008 to 2,500 HubSpotters today. It’s opened international offices in Portsmouth, Dublin, Berlin, Tokyo, Sydney, Singapore and Bogotá and plans to expand to Paris this year amid a global hiring push.
Now more than ever, it’s critical for HubSpot to get its culture right—to foster authentic and meaningful connections, regardless of location, role or tenure. Burke needed an intuitive, adaptable tool that encourages community and collaboration across the globe. That’s where Slack comes in.
“With Slack, employees have instant access to 2,500 people globally, all conspiring to help them. That feels right away like you’re part of a bigger picture, that you belong.”
Building authentic connections and inclusivity with Slack
If the HubSpot culture and employee experience are a product, Burke is the product manager.
“We want to give people both a compelling reason to join HubSpot and a compelling reason to stick around,” she says. That involves investing in local teams and leadership and encouraging everyone to shape, versus conform, to the culture. This adaptive strategy is what makes Burke’s job so important, and challenging. “I feel incredibly lucky that I get to help HubSpotters globally feel like they belong and find innovative ways to make sure our company is scaling with them,” she says.
Each day, the collaborative power of Slack helps HubSpot deliver on its promise to provide employees with an inclusive and transparent workplace, even—and especially—as it scales. Diversity programming, a global buddy system and open-channel policies flatten hierarchy and promote organizational transparency, allowing the company to retain and attract the kind of diverse talent that moves its cultural values forward.
“Our programs are open to any and all HubSpotters, regardless of how they identify. So it doesn’t matter who you are, but if you want to get involved and you want to be a part of a program, we want you there.”
Sales teams leverage Slack to grow their customer base
Slack is more than a facilitator of workplace culture. HubSpot uses it across all lines of business, from system operations to sales. For the latter, Slack has proved particularly useful, according to Jeetu Mahtani, HubSpot’s senior vice president of international operations.
Mahtani is responsible for driving growth outside the U.S., and much of that growth depends on expertly fielding incoming inquiries. “We’re the company that basically coined the term ‘inbound,’” he says, “so globally, all our reps get inbound leads.” Prior to Slack, leads would land in his team’s inboxes and sit in the system until someone could address them. But if prospects don’t receive a response within a few hours, they’ll likely move on, Mahtani points out.
Thanks to a new Slack integration, he says, “anytime we get a lead, we actually send it as a notification to our reps in Slack. They’re getting real-time notifications, whether they’re at their desks or on their phone, and can respond proactively, as opposed to waiting for something to show up in their inbox.”