Salesforce, the San Francisco-based cloud computing company that sells customer relationship management tools has landed on several prestigious "Best Workplace" lists the last couple of years.

Their CEO, Marc Benioff, is a champion for gender pay equality.  Under his progressive leadership, he's been able to fix pay discrepancies by dedicating over $8 million (at last count) to correct compensation differences by gender, race, and ethnicity across the company.

Benioff sets the stage for the values he wants to see instilled in his company, and his leadership team follows suit. In the end, his employees benefit. As a result, the firm has racked up several awards, including:

  • #3 in Best Workplaces in Technology 2019 and 2018
  • #2 in 2019 Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For
  • #1 in 2018 Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For
  • #1 in Best Workplaces for Giving Back 2018
  • #2 in Best Workplaces for Millennials 2018 
  • #9 in Best Workplaces for Women 2018
  • #19 in Best Workplaces for Diversity 2018
  • #15 in Best Workplaces for Parents 2018

While those awards should be proof enough of how employees feel about Salesforce, there are certain distinguishing features that make other companies jealous. I break it down into three key areas:

1. The Ohana spirit.

Drawing inspiration from the traditional Hawaiian philosophy of what it means to be "family," and how families are bound together and responsible for one another, Benioff made darn sure that "Ohana" was in the company's foundations when he created Salesforce in 1999.

Described as a "deep-seated support group we nurture inside our company," Salesforce's Ohana extends beyond their employees to partners, customers, and members of the communities. With Ohana ingrained into the Salesforce DNA, they "collaborate, take care of one another, have fun together, and work to leave the world a better place."

2. The 1-1-1 philanthropic model.

A hot button for younger working generations is being able to serve their local communities. And since philanthropy and community service have become a vital part of the Salesforce culture, it has allowed the firm to engage its predominant Millennial and Generation Z employees to improve communities throughout the world.

They call their integrated philanthropic approach the "1-1-1" model. Salesforce donates 1 percent of its software, 1 percent of its equity, and 1 percent of its employees' time to pay it forward. As a result, Salesforce has topped a list of workplaces that give back.

Since their founding, this unique social responsibility model has given "more than $240 million in grants, 3.5 million hours of community service, and provided product donations for more than 39,000 nonprofits and education institutions," according to the Salesforce.org website.

3. The culture.

Salesforce has committed to the philosophy of treating its employees fairly and puts a lot of effort into making sure all employees are valued and rewarded.

To that end, Benioff has established a clear vision for Salesforce's culture on that basis, which both leaders and employees carry forward.

It is every Salesforce employee's personal responsibility to live out and uphold the company values of "Trust, Customer Success, Innovation, Giving Back, Equality, Wellness, Transparency and Fun."

Salesforce's leaders, in turn, empower its employees by crafting the employee experience to carry out their cultural vision and values. 

At the end of the day, Salesforce gets the best work out of its people because of its culture of putting people first.