Threepeat: Alation Named to Inc. Best Workplaces for Third Time

By Joy Wolken

Published on May 10, 2022

Alationauts high-fiving fellow Alationauts while walking into the CKO2023 Event at Las Vegas, NV

At the risk of repeating everyone who has recently written anything, these past few years have been difficult, to say the least. After the pandemic sparked months of chaos and closures, and a complete change in our lives, the world collectively shifted to a work-from-home model that has become the norm for most of us. That brought about its own set of challenges, particularly in how people work and how companies support, engage, and nurture those people.

At Alation, we’ve been fortunate to weather the pandemic with aggressive growth and momentum. In large part, we chalk that up to having an incredible team of people.

The most recent 12 months have been particularly notable. On top of our $110 million Series D funding and recognition from a bevy of executives, analysts, and influencers, we’ve also garnered another important achievement: Alation was named to Inc. magazine’s annual list of the Best Workplaces for the third time! This recognition reflects our people and their joyous engagement, as well as our company’s leaders and their commitment to building a stellar work culture. But that’s not all.

Becoming a Best Workplace

Being rated as a best company to work for isn’t easy in these oh-so-challenging times. As Alation’s Chief People Officer, I oversee global employee engagement, development, and organizational growth. It’s also my job to put our culture into practice and to ensure that we create an environment where we support our customers and our people. We want to foster a culture where Alationauts can grow, learn, and thrive, all while helping our customers gain more value from their data. Empowering our people to do that remotely is quite difficult without one-on-one engagement and interaction.

To be recognized as an Inc. magazine best workplace requires more than just lip service from company leadership. Alation employees complete anonymous surveys on topics like trust, management effectiveness, benefits, confidence in the company’s future, and how we foster employee growth. Inc. magazine then gathers, analyzes, and audits the results to complete its list.

Alation’s total score averaged 92.45 out of 100, with nearly 91% of employees noting they are “highly engaged” with the company. When asked if they feel valued as the company’s most important resource, 95% of Alationauts agreed.

This recognition is so meaningful because it’s based on employee input. It’s not a marketing or HR initiative where answers are wordsmithed to burnish an otherwise lackluster culture. Inc. magazine goes directly to the employees and gets their unvarnished feedback, for better or worse.

We’re very proud of the efforts we collectively take at Alation to make this a great place to work. In fact, Alation has also been recognized as a Great Place to Work in the UK, as well. We’re exceptionally grateful to our global team for exemplifying our culture and bringing it to life.

Why Alation Is Truly Special

Let me give you some background on why our people—these Alationauts—love working here.

Alation was founded with the vision to empower a curious and rational world. This foundation drives us to continually improve, learn, and lean into collaboration in real-time and enables us to get creative in how we build culture, support teams, and retain and attract top talent.

We constantly hear two words from our executive team: empathy and kindness. Alation treats its customers with empathy and kindness, but we also make sure we treat our colleagues the same way. We do understand, however, that the demands on our company and people are continuously accelerating. We all need to be more productive, yet we need to balance that with empathy and kindness.

A component of a kind and empathetic workplace is flexibility, which we’ve enabled by giving all of our people the option to work from anywhere and with a schedule that meets their needs. We’ve even included those elements in our corporate planning process to ensure both our customers and our people remain happy.

One very unique aspect of Alation is our “Achievers Club.” Typically, organizations have something similar to recognize top sales performers for hitting or surpassing quota with, say, a paid vacation or another big perk. At Alation, our Achievers Club recognizes anyone across the organization who goes above and beyond in embodying our company values. Winners are nominated by fellow Alationauts, announced at the company’s annual kickoff, and receive a spot at Achievers Club. It’s another way we reinforce our company values and motivate all of our people, not just those on one team, to strive to be their best.

How We Build a Best Workplace

In addition to our repeating recognition on the Inc. Best Workplaces list, Alation also scores 4.9 out of 5 on Glassdoor. Those who’ve reviewed us on that site overwhelmingly say they’d recommend Alation to a friend (96%), approve of our CEO (99%), and have a positive business outlook (96%). Not bad, eh?

But there’s more to our “great place to work” status; we also strive to put words into action. Here are just a few examples of how we support culture at Alation:

We Match Employee Donations

In the wake of racist attacks against the Black and AAPI community, Alation established a perpetual fund of $50,000 to match employee contributions that support our mission to fight hate.

We Support Social Justice

Alationauts have formed a “Fighting Hate” steering committee to support affected employees and identify recommended organizations for employees’ donation or volunteering opportunities.

We Provide Pandemic Support

When the second wave of COVID hit India, we responded by offering Alationauts in India interest-free medical loans, virtual counseling, family-first time (to care for family members), and reimbursements for medical supplies and isolation centers. We also matched all employee donations to India COVID relief organizations.

We Provide Funds for Wellness

Employees enjoy a monthly stipend for health and work expenses, including internet, phone, fitness, education, home office gear, groceries, and more.

We Support Women

Alation created a “Women at Alation” group where women Alationauts participate in quarterly events to discuss and provide support around the difficulties of balancing the “new norm.” This provides a safe space to connect on topics that impact daily lives, such as the wage gap, work-life balance, family support, and boundary setting.

Finally, we’re excited to be rolling out the return of in-person events. This year, we hosted employees for a 4-day Company Kickoff (CKO) in Las Vegas that was truly memorable. We had speaker sessions, cocktail hours, and countless opportunities for Alationauts to, once again, connect and network. Finally!

Be Happier: Join Alation

When you think about your workday, does it really make you happy? We all have off days and work challenges, but your career should motivate and inspire you to be your professional best. It should also empower you with the flexibility, happiness, and resources to be your personal best outside of work. Creating that joy in our global workforce is what motivates me to continuously improve the Alation culture for each and every one of our employees.

If being happy at work isn’t enough to convince you to check out our openings, here are a few more points to consider:

The Market Opportunity

The global business intelligence (BI) market is expected to grow to $33 billion by 2025. The global data catalog market is expected to grow by nearly 24% per year to hit $2.3 billion by 2027. We’ve barely scratched the surface of this market, yet Alation is the leader when customers need data governance, cloud transformation, compliance, digital transformation, and other data intelligence solutions.

Our Solution

I mentioned above the momentum we’ve enjoyed over the past year. We’ve created a compelling data catalog solution that fits a dire need for organizations across the globe and across the full spectrum of industries. If a company collects data and employs people, it can benefit from Alation. Full stop. That creates an enormous and virtually untapped opportunity that’s ripe for us to harvest.

Who We Hire

Alation is a great place to work, which means a lot of people want to work here. We take recruiting and hiring very seriously, especially when it comes to finding people who fit our culture. Tim O’Neil, our Chief Revenue Officer, summed up this challenge very well in a recent blog post, which I’ll summarize as: “We’re choosy about who we recruit and hire. We expect Alationauts to treat colleagues with respect regardless of their role. We also expect our team to be ‘professionally urgent’ in everything we do. The opportunity is ours for the taking if we act professionally yet move mountains to win.”

Being a great place to work is a continuous process. The past few years have proven that in ways we could never have imagined. At Alation, we all work hard to make this a rewarding, challenging, and fulfilling environment. It starts with the attitudes of our leadership team, extends through everyone across the company, and continues to be the yardstick by which we measure potential hires. If you think you’d fit in, consider coming to work here.

Did I mention that we’re hiring?

Learn more about Alation’s incredible workplace culture:

  • Becoming a Best Workplace
  • Why Alation Is Truly Special
  • How We Build a Best Workplace
  • Be Happier: Join Alation
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