Being a Company with Heart

Shashwati Keith, senior computer scientist, mentors high school students through the Girls Who Code program at Adobe San Jose headquarters.

People Magazine’s Companies that Care list debuted for the first time last week, shining a light on how companies connect with their employees and communities. We were honored to take the No. 8 spot. The emergence of this list, and others like it, underscores that being a great place to work isn’t just about pay and perks; it’s about the culture a company creates and the communities it builds inside and outside its walls.

Nearly 35 years ago, Adobe’s founders built the company with four simple core values: genuine, exceptional, innovative and involved.  Here are some of the ways we are continuing to build upon a company culture that cares and is involved.

Helping Integrate Work with Life

In our 24×7 industry, time away from work can feel like an increasingly precious commodity. And when there are family changes—a birth, adoption or illness or death of a loved one—time is more valuable than ever. That’s why we dramatically expanded our parental leave benefits 18 months ago, which have expanded to 13 countries with nine more expected this year. In the U.S., we recently added a new “Welcome Back” program to help employees transition back into the workplace after extended leave with part-time, flex-time or work-from-home options.

We’re also expanding our bereavement benefit globally to support employees with up to four weeks of full paid time following the death of an immediate family member, in addition to the time we have already provided to care for an ill family member. Our hope is that this will make it easier for employees to feel comfortable taking the time they need, without sacrificing financially.

Lack of time is also one of the barriers that prevents people from being involved in their community. With our pro bono program, we’re enabling employees to give back to their community via skills based volunteering during work. Not only does it benefit the nonprofit, but it’s also providing people with new ways to expand leadership skills and grow their careers.

Making on-site volunteering opportunities available can also make a big difference. We’re partnering with organizations like Girls Who Code and many others, to give employees ways to give back to causes they care about right at the office.

Facilitating Connections

Building community is all about feeling a connection with others – knowing you have something in common. Volunteering is a great way to do that, but we’re also helping to facilitate connections through our employee networks such as the growing Adobe & Women Network, Black Employee Network, AdobeProud for LGBTQ, the Hispanic or Latino Association (HOLA) and many others.  We’re working to make it easier to find and join clubs within our sites, so whether employees enjoy board games or tennis, they can make a connection with others and feel included.  I’m especially excited that we are planning for the second annual Adobe & Women Leadership Summit, scheduled for September in San Jose with supporting site events happening around the world.

Ensuring Equality

Even with community programs and generous time off, a company can’t have a great culture without committing to inclusiveness and equality. Last year we announced our U.S. pay data, with women earning 99 cents to every dollar that men earn, considering job and location. We are now doing the same analysis at some of our larger sites. As we recognize Equal Pay Day this week, we have pledged to work toward 100% and this effort is front and center for us.

Equal pay is an important start, but we’re also working to make sure we’re fostering an inclusive culture. We recently rolled out our interactive “Breaking Bias” sessions to start an honest dialog about situations where employees have felt left out, or times they may have unconsciously shown bias to others. It’s already leading to positive changes within teams.

For Adobe, being a caring company is about living our values. Making sure we’ve built a fair, inclusive workplace and then supporting our employees’ personal needs and professional passions is the most tangible sign we can give that they are more than the work they do every day; they are valued individuals who help make us the company we are.

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Donna Morris, Executive Vice President, Customer and Employee Experience

“Disrupt or be disrupted” is Donna’s rallying cry. From abolishing Adobe’s annual performance reviews to dramatically expanding its family leave policy, she has set the industry agenda while making Adobe a great place to work. She leads the product, customer service, and technical support experience for all Adobe products, in addition to all aspects of human resources and the workplace. She holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Carleton University, and her “north of the border” accent gives her away as a native of Ottawa, Canada.

If Donna were not at Adobe, she would have a home decorating show on HGTV.

Donna Morris, Executive Vice President, Customer and Employee Experience