Smartsheet’s journey to creating an equitable employee experience




United States


Talent Development

Joined Fuel50


Smartsheet Case Study
Smartsheet is a cloud-based work management and collaboration tool that enables teams to manage projects, automate processes, and scale programs in one powerful platform. Since its launch in 2005, the platform has become a valuable tool in non-profit organizations, small businesses, and more than 80% of Fortune 500 companies around the globe. Backed by enterprise-grade security, Smartsheet supports organizations by creating innovative work management solutions, mobilizing a passionate and diverse global team, and positively impacting their communities.

Business Challenge

Smartsheet has an inclusive, collaborative, and positive work culture where employees are valued and respected for their contributions. They believe people are their greatest asset and are committed to putting employees first by fostering a workplace where people feel connected to their work, are driven to make a meaningful impact, and are empowered to develop professionally.

As Smartsheet continued to expand and grow, internal feedback indicated that employees were wanting more opportunities to develop their skills and progress within the company. Smartsheet found that the lack of development and growth opportunities was contributing to their attrition and low engagement rates. Employees needed increased visibility into the opportunities available across the organization so they could discover future career paths, drive their own development, and take charge of their careers.

"We really want to provide employees with transparency so they can understand their skill sets, recognize where they may have areas to grow, and have a better understanding of other opportunities they want to take on in the future.” – Kaitlyn Warter, Senior Manager Talent Management

It was also incredibly important for the team at Smartsheet to foster strong connections across the organization and ensure all opportunities were equitable, by offering equal access to development, learning, and mentorships, so that each and every employee feels empowered to grow – no matter where they are, which role they are in, or what their goals are.

“I’m so thankful for Fuel50 because it creates equity for the organization that we didn’t have before… it’s just one of the huge benefits that I see and something that is really going to make Fuel50 and Smartsheet work.”

Sarah Chung - Smartsheet
Sarah Chung, Talent Management Partner
Sarah Chung - Smartsheet
Sarah Chung, Talent Management Partner
Fuel50 Journeys


Learn more about Fuel50


System of Engagement: Fuel50

System of Record: Workday

The team at Smartsheet were eager to find a solution that enabled them to transform their talent development strategy for the better. Kaitlyn Warter, Senior Manager of Talent Management, had heard about Fuel50’s AI Talent Marketplace through an old colleague and knew it would be the perfect solution for the people at Smartsheet. “I was super excited to introduce [Fuel50] to the folks here at Smartsheet because it can really solve our needs.”

Kaitlyn and the team had been looking to build functional competencies for the entire organization for some time. However, the manual labor this would have required was a huge hindrance. They were impressed and relieved to find out that Fuel50 had a much easier and more efficient solution – Fuel50’s Talent Ontology™, a living and breathing capability library with over 1,000+ job titles across 45+ functional areas that are continuously updated and maintained by Fuel50’s dedicated team of I/O Psychologists and Workforce Architects.

“The piece that really stood out to all of us was Fuel50’s Talent Ontology™. We like to say Fuel50 is dynamic like Smartsheet is dynamic. We love that there's an opportunity to continue to make updates based on market data and have a hyper-customized experience for the user.” – Kaitlyn Warter, Senior Manager of Talent Management

The team at Smartsheet decided to introduce the Fuel50 platform to a smaller group of employees – known as their early adopters – with a three-month phased rollout before they launched to the rest of the organization. They chose this approach as they wanted to gather initial feedback and insights from their early adopters to understand the most impactful elements of Fuel50 to help shape their wider launch. Once they kicked off the initial rollout, they quickly realized how enthusiastic the early adopters were to use the entirety of the Fuel50 platform and begin their development journey.

“We found that they were really enthusiastic and wanted things to go a lot quicker… that really shaped our org-wide launch - we went from a three-month launch to a three-week phased launch, and that was all because the early adopters were like, 'we want to get in there, we want more information,' and they were hungry to use it.” – Kaitlyn Warter, Senior Manager of Talent Management

Thanks to Fuel50, Smartsheet are now transforming their traditional skills taxonomy into a dynamic talent ontology that goes beyond basic datasets by defining the interconnected relationships between skills, roles, proficiency levels, capabilities, tools, and technologies. This will enable the organization to easily identify who is ready to upskill, who needs support to move into another role, and who is willing to take part in mentorships, future gigs, and projects.

"Fuel50 is not just a talent management initiative. It really is a company-wide initiative and something that we want to touch everyone here [at Smartsheet]."

Sarah Chung - Smartsheet
Sarah Chung, Talent Management Partner



Satisfaction Rating


Skills Assessed


Career Engagers Assessed


Returning Users


Mentor Relationships


Roles Targeted

Once they launched Fuel50 to the wider organization, Kaitlyn and the team were blown away by the excitement and engagement from employees across the business. Finally, people at Smartsheet had the transparency and visibility they needed to explore future career paths within the organization and take actionable steps toward their personal growth and development. “It’s been really, really awesome to see all the engagement from our employees about Fuel50.” – Sarah Chung, Talent Management Partner

The team at Smartsheet are embedding the use of Fuel50 in all their onboarding processes, leadership trainings, employee courses, and performance materials so that employees can continuously see the benefit and value of the platform. “It’s not just a one-time check box, it really is going to be ingrained in Smartsheet culture, which I think is fantastic.”

Fuel50’s Personalization Exercises have encouraged more meaningful conversations between leaders and employees, helping to uncover individual career engagers, values, and goals to enable leaders to better support their people. Smartsheet have also recognized that every employee learns differently, so they have included various modalities to ensure different types of learners are supported and encouraged to use the platform.

The appetite for mentorships has increased significantly across the business, with employees from different functions right across the globe now able to connect and create meaningful mentorships. For example, a mentor based in the US was matched with a mentee from Costa Rica, enabling a connection that would never have been formed if it wasn’t for Fuel50.

“I just think this is amazing. It's one of those relationships that never would have happened without Fuel50 creating that visibility and transparency in our organization. It’s just really, really fantastic.”– Sarah Chung, Talent Management Partner

With Fuel50, Smartsheet are now able to prioritize their Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) to create a more inclusive workplace. Employees from all walks of life now have the opportunity to connect with people in various ERGs to create more deep and diverse connections. They are excited to see the continued impact this will have as they dive deeper into their Fuel50 journey.

“I’m an Asian woman and I'm in the women and gender minorities ERG. Now we are able to expand that pool of mentorships and I can say ‘Oh I want someone in women and gender minorities, but also in our Asian and Pacific Islander ERG, and Fuel50 allows me to find someone that has that intersectionality just like me, which is really special.” - Sarah Chung, Talent Management Partner

The goal has always been to create an equitable experience for every employee – and the team at Smartsheet have truly made an impact in that regard, ensuring that every employee has access to the same people and opportunities. Employees are now well-equipped to grow and develop at Smartsheet, while the organization is simultaneously building a motivated, engaged, and future-proofed workforce.

"The hyper-customization and ability for data to continually update [with Fuel50] was a really big selling point, in addition to the fact that when we started this work, it was solid career pathing for the organization. But Fuel50 is so much more than that, and that's what's really exciting to us... it's solving multiple needs."

Kaitlyn Warter, Senior Manager Talent Management

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