At Saatva, Community And Career Growth Go Hand in Hand

Learn how the mattress company enables employees to grow through ERGs and professional growth opportunities.

Written by Olivia McClure
Published on Jul. 25, 2023
At Saatva, Community And Career Growth Go Hand in Hand
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In 2022, Recruiter Tanisha Mighty and her peers presented an idea to Saatva’s senior leadership team. That idea would come to redefine the employee experience. 

With 80 percent of team members working remotely, Mighty’s team wanted to find a way to build community and diversity in both a virtual and in-person setting. So they spoke with the company’s executives about establishing employee resource groups to achieve this goal. 

Upon receiving buy-in from the leadership team, Mighty and her peers sent out a survey to employees to allow them to decide which groups they were most interested in. Utilizing this employee feedback, the team broke ground on four ERGs dedicated to women, cultural diversity, multi generations and mental health — SWELL (Saatva Women’s Empowerment Leadership Lobby), ASATT (A Seat At The Table), Generation S and Mind Matters, respectively. 

“Our ERGs were put in place to give employees an opportunity to join an open space to express themselves and their beliefs and create change as a result,” Mighty said. 

 

“Our ERGs were put in place to give employees an opportunity to join an open space to express themselves and their beliefs and create change as a result.”

 

To ensure these ERGs were set up for success, Mighty’s team assigned a sponsor and a president to each one, both of whom meet with other ERG leaders on a monthly basis. As ERG council president, Mighty oversees each ERG’s president, offering them any tools and insights they need. 

Providing consistent support and structure, Saatva’s ERGs are intended to serve as a galvanizing initiative rooted in four core pillars: culture, community, company and career. 

“They aim to raise awareness around issues that impact our community, foster inclusion, support business goals through collaboration with internal teams and facilitate professional development for members through various events, workshops and mentorship,” Software Engineer II Justin Meid said. 

Meid’s involvement in the Generation S ERG, which brings together employees of all career levels, has allowed him to take part in various events and connect with his peers. He believes his experience with the ERG has shaped his time at the company. 

“Without these groups, I may not have had the opportunity to meet so many diverse individuals within Saatva,” Meid said. 

Through a combination of community-focused ERGs and career development opportunities, Saatva cultivates a workplace defined by inclusion, support and individual fulfillment. In Content Director Christina Heiser’s mind, these efforts “give employees the tools they need to create their own success.” 

 

Creating Community 

When Meid attended a panel discussion hosted by the Generation S ERG earlier this year, he was struck by what he heard. 

“It offered insights into the different perspectives individuals have at varying stages of their careers,” he said. “It was heartening to find that others in my career phase share similar aspirations and concerns.”

Events such as this recent panel play a crucial role in helping team members connect with others who have common experiences and perspectives. Heiser, who serves as president of the women’s ERG, SWELL, has also been positively impacted by her participation in ERG-led initiatives. 

Earlier this year, SWELL hosted its first in-person networking and career development event, which brought together women across departments and career levels, giving them space to chat about growth goals and share advice. Given the event’s success, the ERG has decided to hold quarterly group coaching sessions. 

“I’m incredibly excited to give group members access to a career coach and reap the benefits of this service myself,” Heiser said.

Heiser’s experience at Saatva so far has been heightened by her leadership role in SWELL, which has given her the chance to build relationships with other women across the company; a takeaway she hopes defines other group members’ experiences as well. 

“At SWELL, we strive to be an open place for women at Saatva to talk about their career goals and challenges and how we can lift each other up,” she said. 

 

“At SWELL, we strive to be an open place for women at Saatva to talk about their career goals and challenges and how we can lift each other up.”

 

According to Mighty, the company knows that a sense of belonging is critical in the workplace, alongside the prioritization of mental wellness. That’s why the company’s mental health ERG, Mind Matters, held an event earlier this year that focused on mindfulness. Participants took part in an instructor-led meditation session and received some journaling tools to help them thrive both professionally and personally. 

“To see all of the attendees really tune in and actively participate meant a lot to me and those who helped put the event together,” Mighty said. 

Realizing how much people appreciated the mindfulness initiative, Mighty and her peers started looking for ways to hold similar events in the future. Through these events, her team is able to fulfill the company’s overarching aim to empower employees to focus on what’s important to them, whether that’s meeting like-minded individuals or protecting their mental health. 

 

Cultivating Growth

Saatva takes a grassroots approach to its culture, enabling employees to shape the initiatives they wish to see in the organization. Mighty noted that this empowerment extends to the ways in which employees find opportunities to grow. 

“We’ve cultivated a culture of promoting personal and professional development within our employee population,” she said. 

Besides earning her spot as president of SWELL, Heiser has achieved many milestones during her time at Saatva so far, including creating the company’s first content newsletter. This initiative began as a way to gain brand awareness, build out a wider audience and educate the company’s customers. 

 

“We’ve cultivated a culture of promoting personal and professional development.”

 

“Through the process of launching this newsletter, I’ve learned a lot about email marketing strategy,” Heiser said. “I’m excited to continue developing my skills and learn even more.”

To encourage employees to continually grow, the company offers a training budget, enabling team members to attend conferences and invest in online resources. Meid has taken advantage of this stipend in addition to regular one-on-one sessions with his manager. 

With this support from both the wider organization and his direct supervisor, Meid has been involved in various projects, including a current one that involves data reorganization. This project has required his team to work closely with other departments to make decisions. 

While the technical aspects of the initiative have been enlightening, I’ve found the most growth in learning how to facilitate collaboration across multiple teams to propel this project forward,” Meid said. 

Heiser and Meid’s growth experiences are a reflection of Saatva’s overarching aim to enable its people to develop leadership skills, gain exposure to new concepts and technologies and receive guidance from higher-ups. 

Mighty believes these efforts reflect Saatva’s determination to be an “employee-first company.” By encouraging community through ERGs and cultivating growth through career development opportunities, the company strives to create a workplace built upon a desire to bring people together to grow in every sense. 

“Our goal is to continue to create a space where we’re educating employees, fostering inclusion and belonging and promoting personal and professional development while supporting Saatva’s core belief of ‘doing well by doing good,’” Mighty said. 

 


 

Responses have been edited for length and clarity. Images by Saatva

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