A Q&A with Janine Seebeck, CEO of BeyondTrust
In his book, People over Profit, Dale Partridge asserts what has been labeled a “radical business philosophy”: that by refuting capitalistic norms and valuing , you can drive more success (and profit) for your business. Throughout the book (and subsequent TEDx Talks), he describes a common pattern he’s seen time and again with companies. They tend to start out in a people over profit stage, where they fully embrace values of craftsmanship, integrity, honesty, and authenticity, but often compromise those founding values when they start to see success and begin to experience more shareholder pressure. At that point, the company "evolves” in the pursuit of greater efficiency and more growth. Partridge also points out that this is the stage where a lot of companies falter, leading to “an apologetic era”, where companies then have to try to resurrect their core values.
By staying true to the people over profit philosophy throughout—and drilling more into those values even when the pressure for growth gets high—Partridge argues companies can “break the cycle” and continue to benefit from the people-driven momentum that brought the company so much success in the first place.
BeyondTrust stands firmly behind the belief that the key to success is having empowered and engaged employees who believe in the company’s mission. BeyondTrust’s dedication to maintaining that people-first business philosophy is evident in two areas: first, in its customer-centricity, where every strategy and innovation is made in service of its customers. Second, in its employee-centricity, which is based on a ’Believe Belong Become’ employee value proposition and grounded in a commitment to creating a culture where all employees feel connected to the success of the company, have a sense of belonging at work, and are supported in their personal and professional goals.
In this blog, I sit down with Janine Seebeck, CEO of BeyondTrust, to learn why building an employee-first culture is so important to BeyondTrust, why continuing to create strong employee development opportunities and a continued drive for diversity and inclusion will play a key part in BeyondTrust’s employee-first philosophy in 2024, the role employee-centricity plays in being customer-centric, and why choosing to prioritize people is the best strategy for driving company-wide success and profitability into the future.
Q1: What does it mean to build an ‘Employee-first’ culture?
At BeyondTrust, we’re dedicated to fostering an exceptional employee experience because we know that engaged and empowered employees are the foundation of everything we do to protect our customers from cyberthreats and empower a work-from-anywhere world. We recognize that attracting the best talent, providing meaningful ways for our community to engage, and investing in our employees’ development helps us be a united front in service of our customers. Maintaining a next-level employee experience is a core part of our corporate strategy because we really are better together, and that is one of our greatest superpowers.
Q2: Why do our values matter?
Our values underpin how we treat each other, how we approach our work, and how we serve our customers every day. They are not just words on a wall or a website – they’re the principles that are most important to us, and they uniquely form the BeyondTrust experience. Because our core values of accountability, teamwork, passion, humility, integrity, and results were co-created by our employees, there is a genuine sense of accountability to uphold these principles, as well as celebrate and recognize those who embody them – be it via praise cards or our quarterly values awards.
Q3: How can it benefit the company and our customers to create a safe, flexible, and connected working environment where employees are supported, included, and provided development opportunities?
Our vision and mission are ambitious, and the fight to stay a step ahead of the threat actors through innovation is a difficult one. Therefore, it’s critical that our employees have the support and resources they need to take care of the whole person, make meaningful connections, advance their skills, and feel empowered to voice their thoughts so we can continue to provide the highest quality of support, innovation, and protection for our customers. Empowering, engaging, and developing our talented employees allows us to have the greatest impact in the global fight to protect our customers against cyberthreats.
Q4: What are your favorite examples of how BeyondTrust employees and leaders connected, collaborated, and supported each other this past year?
The ways to connect at BeyondTrust are almost as numerous and diverse as our employees themselves – it’s hard to choose a favorite! However, I think our nine employee resource groups are one of the most powerful, grassroots examples of the impact of our community. Led, organized, and managed by our employees, our BeyondTrust Employee Resource Groups (BTRGS) provide open channels for daily conversation, emotional support, and global connection, as well as frequent company-wide events with a focus on fun, celebration, and/or education. I’m grateful to our employees for creating meaningful ways to connect on any given week, in balance with our responsibilities.
Q5: How does BeyondTrust overcome the challenges of creating a strong employee culture where other companies struggle—what's the secret to success?
It truly begins with our people – we recruit with our values in mind and then live them every day, recognizing those who go above and beyond. It’s also important to note that I believe our culture is created by our people and doesn’t come down from above. As leaders, we always have a responsibility to model and uphold our core values, but when you empower and enable your employees to connect in the ways that are meaningful to them, you’ll find that they’re the ones driving the culture – and for the better! For example, our BeyondTrust Culture Committee and its sub-groups are operated by employee volunteers with a passion for bringing folks together, and an ear for what matters most to their colleagues. Engagement is always strong, and connections feel more organic because nothing is forced or inauthentic to the culture our employees have created.
Q6: Do you have any advice for someone who is thinking about joining the BeyondTrust team in 2024?
What you see is what you get; we are transparent and believe in our vision and values in service of our customers. If you’re inspired by our vision to create a world where identities and access are protected by cyberthreats, and are up for the challenge of helping our company reach new heights in service of our customers, then we’d love to have you join BT Nation!
Q7: What do you feel were the most important or impactful events, initiatives, or developments for BeyondTrust's employee development and corporate culture that took place this past year?
One of the most meaningful moments for me – echoed by our employees – was the ability to gather for our first in-person Company Kickoff earlier this year. As a mostly remote workforce located across 24 countries, the chance to personally connect in one location, one time zone was unforgettable. While we won’t always be able to do something of that scale every year, it reinforced the value of finding ways to gather in-person more regularly, in addition to our host of virtual events.
A virtual event highlight for me was our 4th annual BeyondDiversity conference, which provides a dedicated opportunity for our community to gather in the spirit of connection, education, and sharing of personal experiences. While our BTRGs host awesome events throughout the year, BeyondDiversity is really a culmination of those groups, the types of gatherings they regularly host, and a reminder of what’s so special about our community, all rolled into one.
Q8: What are you looking forward to the most in 2024?
While I don’t want to spoil any potential employee surprises here, I’ll say that I always look forward to the ways in which our BeyondTrust community continues to expand and elevate existing programs and opportunities: be it by establishing new BTRGs, supporting the causes close to our employees’ hearts through our BeyondGiving initiative, or finding increasingly creative ways to connect (book clubs, pet costume contests, company cookbooks, etc.). There’s truly something for everyone, and I can’t wait to see what our Culture Committee has up their sleeves for 2024!
Click here to learn more about how BeyondTrust continues to invest in its people by creating a positive, culture for its employees, and to keep up-to-date as we continue to build and strengthen our employee experience through 2024. Or, if you’re ready to join the team, check out our current career opportunities.
Laura Bohnert, Sr. Marketing Content & PR Manager
As a Sr. Marketing Content & PR Manager at BeyondTrust, Laura Bohnert applies a multifaceted, tech-centered marketing skillset to help drive SEO, blog, PR, and product marketing in support of BeyondTrust’s demand generation and sales enablement initiatives. She has a diverse background in product marketing, brand marketing, content writing, social media, event coordination, and public relations. Outside of the tech world, she has a passion for literature, with a BA, MA, and PhD Candidacy in English Literature, and she can either be found beekeeping, restoring her historic haunted house, or continuing her dissertation on the psychological interpretations of ghosts in gothic and horror fiction.