Every year, thousands of companies from Oregon and southwestern Washington are invited to vie for the opportunity to be named one of the region’s Top Workplaces.
Eventually, a shortlist of participating companies emerges, and their employees are surveyed on a range of satisfaction issues such as business direction, values, communication and connection.
We are excited and humbled to announce that our employees helped Jama Software become one of the Top Workplaces in 2018.
“It’s an honor to be recognized in a field of peer companies for a result that we care deeply about,” said Laura Stepp, Vice President of People at Jama Software. “We understand that our employee experience here ultimately defines the customer experience with us and we want both to be exceptional.”
The internal survey that helped Jama Software net the honor ensured employees were anonymous in their feedback, and was conducted by a third-party research firm, Energage, in cooperation with The Oregonian.
We asked Stepp some questions about the recognition, as well as her perspective on the employee survey feedback about life at Jama.
Jama Software: One of the areas Jama received high marks was in employees saying they felt connected to and appreciated by the organization. How does Jama work to build that relationship?
Laura Stepp: Connection and appreciation are driven by effective communication and positive relationships at work with managers and peers.
One way that we try to build an immediate and foundational sense of connection is through exceptional onboarding. We want every employee to feel like they have a comprehensive understanding of our company’s vision, mission, values and direction as well as all the tools they need to navigate their first months with us.
In terms of relationships, we work pretty hard on setting expectations and providing training that supports inclusivity, openness and respect. We also share our business success financially through variable pay programs to ensure all employees share in the belief that achieving our goals is a team effort.
And finally, we make an amazing product that directly helps our customers build incredible products that change people’s lives — and this mission is inherently inspirational and naturally creates a connection in the hearts and minds of our employees.
JS: Another area employees ranked highly was feeling well-informed about important business decisions at Jama. Can you talk about the transparency that Jama tries to instill throughout the organization and how it does that?
LS: Transparency is a very big deal to our employees and this showed up in many aspects of the survey results.
We have a range of communication practices we use to foster consistent transparency: our CEO writes a weekly note with updated business results that’s emailed to the entire company every Friday; we have a monthly, global, all-hands meeting that focuses on new customer introductions, our business results against our goals and various departmental activities; plus, twice a year, we conduct a company strategy kick-off session that sets the pace and direction for upcoming quarters.
In the end though, transparency can be found in the style and practice of our leadership, which is focused on trust and treating employees like the intelligent adults they are.
JS: Overall, the general culture at Jama also scored very high. Could you talk about the company’s values and how that translates into daily life around the office?
LS: We have five core company values: Focus and Act, Lead Tenaciously, Innovate Relentlessly, Care About the Customer and Be Great to Work With. They were defined by our employees and management teams working together to determine what were the non-negotiable attributes for any Jamanian.
In terms of company culture, these values are our North Star: We hire for competency aligned to these values, we onboard every employee in the context of these values, we leverage these values as a backdrop for employee feedback, recognition, development and progression and we use them to guide action when the decisions might be tough.
We could talk extensively about how any one of these values shows up in our approach to challenges and opportunities — but let’s just say we need them all, working together in concert, to create the kind of exceptional employee experience we seek to create.
Interested in working at Jama Software? For the latest open positions and opportunities, check out our Careers page.