A company mission is the what. Culture and people are the how. For Infoblox, a leading provider of cloud-based network solutions, the “what” is delivering the world’s most reliable, secure, and automated networks--making them smarter, safer, more efficient, and easier to manage. The “how” is a bit harder to explain. Norma Lane, EVP, People and Places, says life at Infoblox is fast-paced and fun. Employees bring their whole selves to work. They are encouraged to take risks, push the boundaries, and be up front about career aspirations so Infoblox can help them achieve them. “Our goal is to become a destination employer. You don’t have to leave Infoblox to achieve your career goal. We will help you create it,” Lane explains.

Cultures like that don’t just happen. Infoblox designed it and takes steps to nurture it. Doing so keeps employee engagement and retention high, ensuring Infoblox has the talent it needs to provide exceptional services and support to more than 8,000 companies, including 350 of the world’s largest enterprises. This thoughtful and effective culture earns Infoblox a place on Inc.’s Best Workplaces of 2020 list.

Building a company ethos

When CEO Jesper Andersen joined the organization in 2015, he knew he wanted to invest in culture. He hired Lane right away, and together, they defined the beliefs and behaviors they wanted everyone, including themselves, to embody. Because Infoblox operates from nearly every corner of the world, they had to consider regional differences and articulate values that could bind teams, no matter where they were located. These values include delighting customers, absolute integrity, and collaboration across departments and places. Another value is “no jerks,” a reminder that performance isn’t the only benchmark--how you get there matters, too.

Collaborative decision-making takes longer than a top-down approach, but Lane says it leads to “richer and more sustainable” decisions. It also creates an open, honest work environment that has enabled meaningful discussions around the Black Lives Matter movement and helped people feel connected and secure during COVID-19.

Protesting and improving what you have built

Envisioning the culture is step one. Protecting it is a systematic effort that takes involvement from every level of the organization. Managers receive feedback on their employee retention rate and their team’s career growth. Employees are rated semiannually on how they are living the shared value system. New hires are screened for cultural fit, not just skills.

The company seeks feedback, in addition to giving it. It circles back with new hires after 90 days for thoughts on their experience and shares the results--a gesture that shows transparency and a commitment to learning and improvement. Infoblox also surveys its full workforce yearly. According to its most recent poll, nearly 90 percent of employees are fully engaged, meaning they understand and agree with company strategy; they would recommend the company to a friend; and they see themselves still working there in 12-18 months. Turnover rate is far below industry norms, and nearly 30 percent of the leadership team were hired from within. Protecting a culture is an ongoing job, especially for a business growing as fast as Infoblox, but stats like these prove culture is worth the investment.