Informatica’s Jo Stoner oversees HR in 27 countries with one goal: unleashing potential.
By Malena Amusa
Jo Stoner, Senior Vice President of Global Human Resources (HR) for Informatica, is on a mission to enhance the company’s employment value proposition. In June, she helped the giant data integration firm launch its new brand message emphasizing the power of putting your potential to work.
“Informatica helps customers realize great value from all their data, but this mission also applies internally,” Stoner said. “You can come and work at a company that wants to help you to unlock your own potential and produce great results.”
A 20-year HR veteran, Stoner knows a great deal about unleashing potential. Her HR initiatives and strong values have helped garner Informatica’s $3.8-billion market cap, growing employee size from 700 to nearly 3,000 and ranking as the fifth happiest company based in Silicon Valley, according to Glassdoor. Remarkably, too, more than 20 percent of new hires at the big data company are re-hires who return after having left to work for other companies.
A London émigré now living in the San Francisco Bay Area, Stoner says an HR leader has got to be smart about taking a seat at the table. Instead of “spending your time talking about how you can earn it,” she advised, “be the expert and bring value to the business goals and strategies.”
HR Brilliance in Bangalore
In just 10 years, the office has grown from four managers to a cadre of 600 employees, who are integral in advancing Informatica’s status as a global data leaders. And relative to many companies fighting the war of talent, Informatica has enjoyed a far lower turnover and employee churn in the competitive India labor market.
Stoner’s HR approach, which supports culture and community, has been imperative to unleashing the success of the office. For example, her HR team provides wedding loans to help finance an employee’s nuptials and hosts a Bring Your Parents to Work Day, in addition to offering yoga and meditation rooms at the office.
“But the perk employees are looking to their company for the most is a higher purpose, whether it be standing for something more than just making money or making the world a better place,” Stoner said. “In Bangalore, the staff is not just working on ‘bits and bites’ of projects, but generating new product ideas and prioritizing innovation.”
This approach pertains to all of Informatica, which produces technology to meet a spectrum of needs, from tracking genome data in the search for a cancer cure to tracking data in the intelligence community to securing borders and preventing devastating attacks.
A Passion for Vision & Purpose
“I was fortunate to receive a good education, and it has been instrumental in making me who I am today,” Stoner said.
As a result, the HR leader is passionate about helping employees give back to communities in need. Five years ago, she helped launch a program called Informatica Involved, which encourages employees to volunteer and raise funds to support youth and education programs in orphanages and schools.
“The chance to unlock the potential for children,” Stoner said, “is one of the most humbling and most enjoyable aspects of my job.”
Because at the end of day, what makes people happy at work has little to do with money but rather vision and purpose.
“People don’t usually leave a job just because of money,” Stoner noted. “And people don’t leave a job, they leave a manager.”
“So, Informatica is constantly working to develop our managers. A highly skilled leader can inspire you with a vision and then connect the dots so you know what your role is and how it fits with the bigger picture. Knowing how you contribute to overall company goals is key.”
Malena Amusa is a freelance wirter based out of St.Louis, MO