Greenhouse Partners with Paradigm to Support Customer-Facing Employees

Greenhouse is a technology company that helps innovative companies attract, hire, and onboard top talent. As a people first organization, Greenhouse is committed to diversity, equity, inclusion, and allyship (IDEA), from prioritizing inclusion in their product to fostering belonging for their employees and in their culture, to contributing positively to the community (read more HERE).

Average improvement in Black Client Success Managers engagement and feelings of inclusion

Greenhouse had already partnered with Paradigm to build inclusion into their platform. In early 2022, Greenhouse worked with Paradigm to address an internal IDEA challenge – a trend in their Customer Success organization. Employees of color, and particularly Black women, in customer facing roles were experiencing difficulty with customer escalations. Managers were noticing Customer Success Managers (CSMs) of color were receiving a disproportionate amount of customer complaints and escalations. The leadership team identified a gap in their escalation process, as there wasn’t a structured escalation framework for leaders to rely on when considering the nuances of the BIPOC experience in a customer-facing role. This was undermining engagement and psychological safety for CSMs as determined by Greenhouse’s engagement survey.


Actions to Improve the CSM Experience

As a people first organization committed to building an inclusive culture for everyone, Greenhouse took action right away. In partnership with Paradigm, the Customer Success Leadership team set out to make the CSM experience better and safer for colleagues of color, and build the right systems and feedback channels to listen and take action on employee feedback. “We wanted to make a real effort toward being better allies, to understand the experiences of marginalized folks and create a more inclusive experience for them,” said Kevin Do, a Senior Manager of Customer Success at Greenhouse. The work included few main efforts:

  • CSM level: Creating a forum called Community of Practice — a dedicated space for employees to talk about their interpersonal challenges working with customers and garner support from colleagues.
  • Leadership level: Developing an inclusive framework for handling customer escalations that centers the safety of the employee, and then training leaders on how to apply it through scenario-based workshops.
  • Company-wide level: Building a values-based playbook that provides structure and transparency around what types of organizations Greenhouse will and will not partner with.
  • Services repositioning: Outlining the expectations for a healthy bilateral partnership with Greenhouse by embedding them into our pre-sales and post-sales conversations.


The Community of Practice forum was offered to all CSMs in Greenhouse’s Mid-Market segment, with an additional specific space only for employees of color. This allowed CSMs to be in community with one another and have a safe space to discuss their experiences.

The new escalation framework included a five step process on checking your bias, creating safety with your report, assessing the problem, brainstorming solutions, and following through. Trainings helped managers learn the framework and practice key skills around critical thinking — 90% of managers with teams in client-facing roles (more than 40 managers) were trained, and the workshops continue to be offered.  (Managers also have the ability to meet monthly and learn from one another)


Training Feedback


According to Kevin, “The work with Paradigm is effective because it addresses things at the staff level, manager level, and also at the company-wide level. We have the forum as a space to help unpack difficult interpersonal dynamics, and the managers shared that the trainings were really impactful.”


Actions beyond CS at the Company-Wide Level

This Customer Success initiative complemented a range of other IDEA efforts Greenhouse has undertaken to foster inclusion. Beyond the forum and the leadership workshops, Paradigm also partnered with Greenhouse’s CEO to build a values-based playbook that provides structure and transparency around what types of organizations Greenhouse will and will not partner with. After an escalation with a prospective customer whose stance was at odds with Greenhouse IDEA beliefs, involvement from the top instilled confidence across the organization and particularly engendered trust and safety in Greenhouse’s LGBTQ+ Employee Resource Group.

“Greenhouse and Paradigm have had a long-standing strategic partnership. We are aligned in the belief that building a culture of belonging where every member of the team feels seen, heard, and understood is core to creating a successful business. Our Customer Success Team engaged Paradigm to develop strategies and playbooks, allowing us to proactively support BIPOC team members facing challenging customer situations. With Paradigm’s partnership we have been able to turn a difficult situation into an opportunity for growth and success. The executive team and I take immense pride in this initiative and our team's collective achievements.”

Daniel Chait
co-founder and CEO of Greenhouse



In the months following the implementation of these initiatives, the impact has been positive. Leaders and managers have built a new muscle when it comes to supporting and listening to their teams, and the effort is paying off. At the start of 2022, Black CSMs scored the lowest across identities in the employee inclusion survey around themes like engagement. A year later, Black CSMs scored the most positive across identities; their representation in CS roles is also increasing as Greenhouse continues to invest in efforts to increase diversity.


Inclusion Survey Results: Black Client Success Managers Feedback

The progress is encouraging, and there is still work to be done to continue to ensure a positive, safe, and inclusive environment for all. By investing in effective allyship and building structures and processes that enable managers to show up for their teams, Greenhouse is taking a step in the right direction when it comes to truly being a place for everyone.

“I had my first bi-weekly sync with the customer I brought to Community of Practice (CofP) and wow it went so well. I am giving full and 100% credit to those who were in that CofP meeting and were so helpful with their thoughts, feedback and support… I think in part, just knowing that I was not alone and had all of you sending support my way helped me to go into the meeting with a positive attitude and as we all know, sometimes that makes all the difference.”

Learn more about the impact of Paradigm

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