We’re delighted to announce that Great Place to Work® and Fortune have chosen Gem as one of 2021’s Best Workplaces in the Bay Area. This follows their recognition of Gem as one of last year’s Best Small & Medium Workplaces.
The ranking considered more than 44,000 employee surveys from companies across the Bay Area. Great Place to Work, a global people analytics and consulting firm, evaluated more than 60 elements of team members’ experience on the job. These included the extent to which employees trust leaders, the respect with which people are treated, the fairness of workplace decisions, and how much camaraderie there is among team members. Do employees trust that their leaders have their best interests at heart, and that they’re fully supported by their orgs to reach their full human potential at work—even in times of large-scale crisis? Rankings were based on employees’ feedback; and GPTW rewarded the companies who included all employees in feedback—no matter who they are or what they do for the organization. Gem took the number 30 spot on the list.
“Needless to say, it’s been a pretty remarkable year to navigate,” says Gem’s co-founder and CEO, Steve Bartel. “Nick [Bushak, co-founder] and I have kept our ears to the ground, listening hard for employee sentiment. We simply don’t have a product without our people; so it only makes sense that they come before everything else. While we’re proud to be recognized for creating and sustaining one of the best workplaces in the Bay Area, we also hope that a people-first culture is table-stakes for companies at this point—especially after 2020. It’s an ongoing—and humbling—exercise, but a crucial one.”
On the People side of things, here are some of the things we implemented, both in the wake of Black Lives Matter and in the transition to working from home:
- Monthly wellness days. One Friday a month, we give Gems the day off to spend on self-care—whether alone, with family members, or with their colleagues for one of many virtual activities their teammates initiate and share out with the larger team.
- We’ve continued to pay for Gems’ lunches, even though we’re not eating in the same office together (though plenty of Gems are still meeting virtually every afternoon to keep our “lunch culture” going strong).
- We offer a monthly teletherapy stipend for Gems to use on any teletherapy platform or with whatever therapist they like.
- Many Gems weren’t fully equipped to work from home when COVD hit, so we made sure to get them as comfortably set up at home as we did in the office. Of course we still do this with all new hires. Do they need a desk? chair? keyboard? monitor? Do they have good Wifi connection? A good WFH setup is more than just shipping a laptop; we cover all the bases.
- We created a Remote Onboarding Working Group—a cross-functional group that includes both new and old Gems, which means we get perspectives from folks who’ve very recently gone through remote onboarding with us. Together, we’re researching and thinking through what best practices are, and what the experience should look like, for Gem’s new hires. We know this is an iterative process.
- We increased the frequency of our anonymous pulse surveys when we transitioned to WFH to make sure we’ve got a constant read of how our Gems are feeling in any given month. Managers take that feedback and iterate as quickly as they can.
- We established our first employee resource groups (ERGs), including Obsidians (for our Black Gems) and Prisms (for LGBTQ+ identified Gems and allies). They’ve been holding happy hours and virtual events; and they have their own Slack channels to stay in touch, support each other, and find a little humor in what can sometimes feel a little flavorless about work-from-home life.
- We’ve been piloting a mentorship program called “Shine” to ensure all Gems have equal access to internal promotion. The pilot is currently with our Black Gems, though we intend to scale it over time. We acknowledge that there are larger constructs in society that have affected the opportunities of Black individuals and have prevented them from having equal opportunities and access to certain jobs, networks, industries, and experiences. Because of this, investing in our Black Gems first was an obvious place to start.
- We’re having our leadership team increase the diversity in their own professional networks. This way when they make referrals for their roles, those referrals will be more diverse. Leadership is committed to making time for at least three coffee chats every quarter.
“Talented people in the Bay Area want to work for organizations where they can be part of something innovative and impactful,” said Michael C. Bush, CEO of Great Place to Work. “Organizations like Gem are attracting these candidates because of their great workplace culture where employees feel like their job is meaningful and that they can maximize their human potential.” At Gem—because we’re in the recruiting space—we’ve seen (and heard) firsthand that talent cares more about culture than ever. This includes diversity. This includes feeling like their needs are being heard and met, regardless of what crises are unfolding in the world. We’re so grateful to get to be a part of these ongoing conversations. Our customers might not fully know it, but every conversation we have with them about talent’s needs helps us refine our own hiring process, and our own culture.
If you’re interested in learning more about the Great Place to Work Certification, visit GreatPlaceToWork.com. If you’re interested in working for Gem, we’re interested in talking to you! We’re doubling our headcount in 2021; so if you want more details about what it’s like to be a Gem (or what roles are open right now), check our careers page, sign up for our talent community, or just reach out. We’d love to hear from you.
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