Managing for impact: How we empower our team managers at Box

According to a 2023 Gallup survey, people managers are responsible for 70% of the variance in employee engagement. A leader’s influence directly shapes employees’ experiences and impacts productivity and outcomes. 

At Box, team managers help us create an environment where Boxers trust each other, work collaboratively, feel empowered to challenge the status quo, and have deep respect for one another. To support the continuous development of our managers, we’re investing in programs that provide people managers with the resources and coaching they need to develop their skills, so they feel confident leading their teams with the Box values at heart. 

We’re excited to share more about the current initiatives we have in place to support our managers.

Taking the First Step

Our Accelerate program serves all new managers at Box - whether they’re experienced new hires or it’s the first manager role of their career. We have a highly engaging monthly manager curriculum and build a strong community of peers with each Accelerate cohort. Managers learn our expectations and best practices for unlocking performance and growth - from coaching your direct reports, to building team culture, to managing within the law -via short, discussion and practice-based live classes with peers. When managers complete Accelerate, we celebrate with a graduation ceremony featuring a senior executive fireside chat on leadership.

“Accelerate, as a first-time manager, proved to be an invaluable program for enhancing my skill sets. The most significant aspect was the opportunity to connect with both new and experienced managers within a supportive cohort. This enabled me to build a strong network and draw upon their valuable insights and experiences. I now apply the skills acquired through this program on a daily basis in coaching, developing, and effectively managing my team.”  Gabriella Petrone, Manager, GTM Enablement
The Journey Continues

As managers gain experience, they benefit from additional learning and growth opportunities. Our curriculum features diverse classes on Box values and culture, making powerful presentations, and overcoming bias; we also offer our Boxers access to an online learning platform to tap into an extensive library of thousands of courses. 

Beyond class-based experiences, managers can participate in our peer coaching program, leverage coaching and wellness supports from Modern Health, and request a facilitated session in the Insights Discovery program, where their teams can learn about each other’s preferences and how best to work together. We also host our monthly Manager Power Hour series to enable people leaders on topics ranging from hiring and performance management, to compensation and DE&I.

The Executive at Box

When managers take on executive assignments, they also become eligible for additional leadership development. All leaders who are Director and above are part of XLT - the Extended Leadership Team - which means they participate in a special strategic kick-off each year and join monthly XLT meetings with our senior leaders. 

At any given time, we also have several executives participating in specific development programs. Each year we send groups of leaders through The Leadership Consortium, where they learn from esteemed Harvard Business School faculty and meet other global business leaders. We also have two fantastic coaching partners. For Directors and Sr Directors, we offer BetterUp, and for VPs we offer LevelUp EQ. Leaders are selected to join these programs through a nomination process and we strive to match leaders to programs with an eye towards business need, personal readiness, and diversity and equity. 

Summing Up

At the end of the day, the investments we make in our managers make a big impact. We see it in our annual engagement score data - where our manager effectiveness scores have improved year-over-year for the past three years; in our ranking on the Great Places to Work lists - which has jumped from the 70s a few years ago, up to #27 in 2023; and the feedback we hear from prospective, current, and alumni Boxers. We also see it in our business performance and what we hear from customers. 

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