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BizVoice/Indiana Chamber – May/June 2017

Developing Top Workplaces

Tech Companies Earn Initial Recognition

In the recruitment game, the

stakes have been raised for tech

companies looking to attract the

top talent from Indiana and

beyond. This has some of the

state’s upstart businesses looking

to maximize their appeal.

Central Indiana tech companies Blackboard,

Emarsys North America, CleanSlate and

Performance Assessment Network (PAN) are

all celebrating their first year of being named

to the Best Places to Work in Indiana list.

They, and others, are striving to make their

workplace cultures as attractive as possible.

A broad reach

Cloud marketing platform provider

Emarsys credits a global influence toward its

practices and having an overseas operation

provides an added perspective.

“Being a global organization with

headquarters in Europe (Austria), one advantage

we have is taking that European culture as we

built out our U.S. team,” explains Sean Brady,

president of Americas. “In Europe, they’re

really about quality of life and balancing work

and home life, so they’re known for taking

holidays. We gave our employees four weeks

of vacation a year (in addition to sick leave).”

Leading education technology company

Blackboard also takes cues from its other locations

to boost morale in its Indianapolis office.

“Blackboard is a pretty distributed

organization,” relays Tim Tomlinson, vice

president of software engineering. “We have

the development center here, and we’re

headquartered in (Washington D.C.), and

another development center in Austin, and

some offshore locations in the Czech Republic

and China.”

Family brand

Being a tech-oriented company also has

its benefits when it comes to enhancing

internal connections.

“We do provide a lot of tools to support

the virtual workplace environment,” Tomlinson

notes. “We actually use our own Collaborate

product as our online meeting location with

online video, chat and document sharing.”

Sometimes technology can be about

limiting distractions to help your staff focus.

“It’s funny, our core is around email and

marketing software technology, but we

actually try to help our team not get as much

email,” Brady remarks. “We leverage (instant

messaging) tools like HipChat, so people can

communicate with each other without having

to blow up inboxes.”

Video conferencing is also a tool global

companies can use to bridge the distance divide.

“Yesterday was our town hall,” Brady

adds. “Once a month, I speak to the entire

Americas team through video conferencing

about what’s going on in the business. We do

a lot of sharing praise of employees, but we

want our remote employees to feel connected

to it.”

Parlaying strengths and relationships with

other local companies can also play a role.

“We also use (Indianapolis-based training

software creator) Lessonly,” Brady reveals.

“Many organizations forget how important it is

to onboard people properly. One of the most

emotional decisions people make is to switch

jobs, so the first experience they have should

comfort them to let them know they did the

right thing. We use Lessonly to get them to a

competent level in a certain period of time.”

Beeping and bopping to better


The benefits of a robust wellness program

are often touted by progressive businesses;

tech companies are no different. At Carmel-

based CleanSlate – a custom software solutions

provider and IBM reseller known as Preferred

Partner until 2017 – a focus on health is a

critical component of its Best Places culture.

“Through our insurance provider, we

have activity trackers, like a Fitbit, that have

challenges daily, so it challenges you to hit a

certain number of steps and get up and walk

for five minutes, six times a day,” explains

CEO John Loveys. “Once you achieve these

challenges, you get money from the insurance

company into a health savings account.

“It’s funny, they beep when you’re due

for your next walk, and every morning or

afternoon, I hear these beeping all over the

office,” he adds. “We’re paying a little extra

to the insurance company to make this

available to employees.”

Aside from cardio work and healthy eating,

wellness also encompasses mental health. And

at PAN – a thriving workforce assessment

developer in Carmel that was recently acquired

by California-based PSI – connections with

co-workers can go a long way in boosting it.

“On at least a monthly basis, we try to

get together in a social environment to get to

know each other as friends as well as the

professional nature of what we do,” notes CEO

Jim Holm. “Whether it’s a barbecue or bowling

or sporting event, we try to make sure those

opportunities exist. It’s important to know

By Matt Ottinger

Best Places to Work in Indiana

CleanSlate employees don’t need trick shots or a Magic 8 Ball to tell them if their workplace culture

is positive: All signs point to “yes.”