Executive Insight: Outshining the Alternatives in Orange

Todd Richardson Foresight, Human Resources, IT Leave a Comment

Todd Richardson keeps the grass greener at ExactTarget via ‘orange’ culture

Editor’s Note: We asked some of our featured executives what they thought of the recent finding that 21 percent of full-time workers will be leaving their current position in 2014. Here is Todd Richardson’s response.

CareerBuilder, a company with a fantastic pulse on employment trends, noted that more than one-fifth of full-time workers will be changing jobs this year. This level of attrition will dramatically detract from the ability of companies to effectively operate, as employee productivity will be diminished. Those companies that focus on employee engagement and limit attrition and the associated distraction will be the winners in their respective marketplaces.

At ExactTarget, we focus on our overall value proposition, highlighted by our unique culture. Maintaining this culture is what we intend to accentuate to counter the wave of attrition sweeping the workscape.

Our culture, referred to as “orange,” has been described as being energetic, customer-focused, collaborative, passionate, hardworking, fun-loving, ambitious, etc. I tend to describe it as a culture that allows for smart people to work hard, have fun and accomplish their professional goals while serving our amazing clients. My job as head of the human resources function is to maintain and enhance this culture so that employees don’t feel the need to pursue alternatives. We must remain laser focused on ensuring our value proposition outshines all others.

This includes continuing to provide the following:

  • An open work environment that is conducive to group work, including coffee shop-like work spaces (as opposed to traditional cubicles);
  • Breakfast and lunches served in the office so that employees can break bread with one another, as well as not have to go outside of the office to get food and pay for it themselves;
  • Onsite gyms and class offerings, including Pilates, yoga and self defense;
  • Flexible work arrangements, including work-from-home options, job sharing and flexible work hours; and
  • Celebrations and learning opportunities. We have brought entertainers, politicians and other leaders to share knowledge and to entertain our employees, including Condoleezza Rice, Jim Collins, Imagine Dragons, the Avett Brothers, Michael J. Fox, Hillary Clinton, Malcolm Gladwell, David Blaine, Walter Isaacson, The Fray and Sir Richard Branson.

The above points are but a sampling of the components of our value proposition. Our leadership team constantly thinks about how we can expand and enhance these offerings so that our value proposition is strengthened. We often inquire with our employees themselves to see what they would like added to our value proposition. More times than not, their requests are reasonable and able to be accomplished.

By focusing on our value proposition, we are combatting the urge of employees to look for greener pastures. It is my job to ensure the grass is not greener with another employer!


Todd Richardson is Executive Vice President of Administration at ExactTarget. He was featrured in issue 8 of Forefront Magazine.DSC_8488

Todd Richardson

Todd Richardson

Todd is the former Executive Vice President of Administration for Salesforce.com (previously ExactTarget before Salesforce.com acquired ExactTarget in 2013)
Todd Richardson

Latest posts by Todd Richardson (see all)

Comments, thoughts, feedback?