July 17th, 2018 by

A Culture of Performance with Chief People Person, Kara Gilbert

Turbonomic is known as a company with a huge focus on innovation. If you missed our blog post about our culture of innovation, where we sat down with the CTO of Cloud, Mor Cohen-Tal, read it here. Even more so though, our culture is known as a high-performance, mission driven one and we strongly believe that in order to be successful here, you need to have what it takes to reach your highest potential and execute flawlessly. This is exactly what fuels our growth and continues to keep as the leaders in workload automation. To dig deeper into the value of performance at Turbonomic, I took some time to chat with Chief People Person, Kara Gilbert.

Turbonomic has a performance-driven culture where words such as ‘leadership’ and ‘accountability’ come to mind. Can you describe the pillar of performance within our culture?

Kara Gilbert: High performance is key to success here at Turbonomic.  It’s the foundation of who we are as a company. People are accountable to themselves, their team, and their goals.  Setting the bar high, hitting goals and driving accountability have been fundamental to our success since day one. We are an ambitious group of dedicated professionals.  We strive to meet and exceed customer expectations, and to influence our team members in the most positive ways possible.  Our most successful Turbos take initiative and show autonomy in their performance.  We value consistent results over time and reward those people who are predictable and impactful within the business.

Something people often notice when they first come into our office is the energetic vibe. Do you think this stems from the high-performance mindset and expectation to succeed? What are some examples of this energetic environment?

Kara Gilbert: The energetic vibe comes across in so many ways… whether people are chatting across the open desks, working collaboratively in our open space, listening to quiet music to get their work vibe going, high-fiving after a big win, ringing a bell in sales, or just laughing and joking around, high energy is certainly a common feeling in the Boston office.

The mindset, however, stems across all of our offices. I think it comes from our leadership team and part of what it takes to succeed here.  We have a palpable energy around what we are doing and why we are doing it. Our purpose-driven culture, the desire to do something in a new and innovative way, creates energy and collaboration.

In what ways is the company supporting this type of culture?

Kara Gilbert: We enable a high performance culture from the word ‘go’ with our Talent Acquisition team all the way through recognizing our top performers in the organization.  We are oriented around performance metrics and attracting people who want to succeed, hate to lose, but also learn from their mistakes along the way. We have cascading goals throughout the company and give consistent updates on how we’re doing against those goals so people know where they stand. Our managers check in with their employees quarterly and help keep people on track to achieve, learn and grow in their roles.  We reward and recognize our top performers in many ways including leadership awards, promotions, and opportunities to expand their skills in different roles or groups.

We often talk about the value and rewards employees receive in exchange for putting in the hard work. Can you tell us about the rewards and recognition they might experience?

Kara Gilbert: Throughout our organization there are different types of rewards and recognition… of course there are promotions for top performers such as Sales Development Reps becoming Commercial Account Execs or top sellers becoming Sales Directors… those are what you might expect.

Some things you might not expect are rewards and recognition for innovations like patents approved by our Engineering and Product teams.  You might also not expect equity grants to our high potential employees… people who have shown their aptitude and desire to learn new things, pursue new business or product areas, or their passion for personal growth.  We also have Board-awarded leadership awards for people who have gone above and beyond their current role scope to have meaningful impact on the business. Those awards are so inspiring because usually the people aren’t expecting them. I love seeing the surprised faces when the Board congratulates them!

As we continue to evolve our business, how do you see our performance-driven culture evolving?

Kara Gilbert: I see it evolving to encompass potential and learning in a meaningful way. Performance outcomes are super important, of course, especially in a high growth environment. That said, as we accelerate into new areas such as the Cloud, or lean in on a new partner program, the need for people to expand their roles, be open to new ideas, pursue a learning path, or launch a new business initiative is very important as well.

 

Meet Kara Gilbert:

Kara Gilbert is the Chief People Person at Turbonomic, the leader in workload automation for hybrid cloud. In this role, Kara is focused on accelerating Turbonomic’s growth through attracting, hiring and developing the Company’s most important investment – its people. Kara brings a variety of experience building and leading high-performing sales teams in rapidly growing technology companies. Most recently, as Operating Partner at Bain Capital Ventures, Kara focused on go-to-market initiatives with early-stage technology companies.

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