SalesForce CEO questions productivity of pandemic hires

'Are we not building tribal knowledge with new employees without an office culture?'

SalesForce CEO questions productivity of pandemic hires

New hires of Salesforce during the pandemic are "facing much lower productivity," according to a leaked message from the company's CEO, who sought responses on how to address the problem plaguing new staff.

"How do we increase the productivity of our employees at salesforce? New employees (hired during the pandemic in 2021 & 2022) are especially facing much lower productivity," said Marc Benioff in a message seen by CNBC.

Benioff inquired whether the problem could be attributed to the company's office policy, onboarding processes, or manager-employee relationships. 

"Is this a reflection of our office policy? Are we not building tribal knowledge with new employees without an office culture? Are our managers not directly addressing productivity with their teams?" he said in according to CNBC.

"Are we not investing enough time into our new employees? Do managers focus enough time and energy on onboarding new employees & achieving productivity? Is coming as a new employee to Salesforce too overwhelming?"

SalesForce saw its headcount grow by 32% in the previous year, according to CNBC, but it also reportedly cut hundreds of jobs this year like other Silicon Valley companies affected by the global economic uncertainty.

Is office policy the problem?

The company, which is the biggest private employer in San Francisco, implements a hybrid work arrangement for staff and leaders, a spokesperson told CNBC.

"They can decide when and where they come together to collaborate, innovate, and drive customer success.”

Employees and experts alike have agreed that remote work policies have helped improve their productivity. A PwC survey among over 2,000 Canadian respondents revealed that 41% saw their productivity go even higher than the levels reported before the pandemic.

Remote work also improves productivity because they have more autonomy in their workplace and fewer distractions, according to workplace psychologist George Mylonas.

But while this could be beneficial for employers, the PwC report also found that 62% of leaders are facing the challenge of maintaining morale and company culture amid remote work.

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