A great company culture rates towards the top of the list for many jobseekers. In fact, Builtin.com notes that almost half of all those in the job market cite it as “very important.” As companies compete for talent, it has become evident that culture counts!
However, “We have a great culture” can mean many different things and some companies may just be paying lip service to what they believe to be a buzzword. Still, even more companies have strong core values and reasons for being, but they are not lived out in every corner of the organization. So, this begs the question, “What does a great company culture look like?”
What Is The True Value of an Excellent Culture?
It has been proven that companies with strong culture:
- Recruit and retain talented employees
- Increase productivity and revenue
- Improve customer loyalty
These outcomes are not just an input to employee engagement, they contribute to the overall health of the organization. If a company can recruit talented people and foster their strengths with a strong culture, the employees and the organization will grow together. When turnover is high, and people are not in a place to leverage talents or thrive in the environment — it can be very costly!
To truly understand and identify a strong culture, it's important to realize what it is not. An engaging culture is not all foosball tables and cereal bars — a strong culture is grounded in the company’s core values and is the underpinning of everything an organization does. Remember, you're going to have a culture whether you are intentional about it or not —but when you fully invest in building the culture, and engaging the people, you are headed in the right direction.
Inspiring Company Cultures
Now that you know the what and the why, you might be thinking, “What does that look like?” Here are some examples of company cultures that should inspire you and complete the vision of an engaging culture.
1. Zoom Video Communications (Valued Voice)
Zoom’s culture is about Delivering Happiness, and you guessed it — that includes the employees!
Zoom has employed one of the things that we fully support and encourage: A Culture Committee which they have dubbed the Happiness Crew. The focus of the crew is the culture of the organization and to insure it is introduced to each new employee and is constantly evolving and forward facing.
A Culture Committee is an excellent way to keep your culture front and center and involve people from all over the organization. Zoom also supports their community through the Happiness Crew and recognizes those who contribute — with a yellow duck that employees proudly display! And when the employees feel valued, they exude this and pass it on to the customer.
2. Solstice (People Development)
Solstice is dedicated to employee growth and learning and offers $5,000 for personal development to ensure an environment of ongoing learning. Employees are invited to join a coffee talk every Friday morning that is an open-forum of sorts — where employees present their ideas to the company. They have managed to continue growing while maintaining and enhancing their company culture. Collaboration thrives and is supported by servant leadership at every level.
3. OppLoans (Earned Trust)
OppLoans believes in ruling by motivation — not fear, and has built a culture that supports and appreciates their employees in a variety of ways. The backbone of the culture lies in their internal values of “Play to win, do what you say, say what you see and hold the door for others.” Their CEO, Jared Kaplan enables what he calls “ultimate transparency”. Transparent cultures provide psychological safety and allow innovation and growth to flourish.
4. SecureLink (People Development)
SecureLink hires for fit and steps outside the traditional box of hiring to build a culture and an organization that is focused on setting and achieving high goals.
Inspired by the groundbreaking accomplishment of the moon landing, they look for people who are committed to continuous learning with innate insight and creativity. Inspiration is seen throughout their headquarters named the Hill Country Spaceship complete with a full spacesuit and conference room names honoring NASA programs and astronauts. SecureLink also recognizes those who embody the culture with a weekly Price-is-Right fashioned prize wheel.
5. Blackbaud (Shared Mission)
Blackbaud serves the non-profit world and seeks to employ those who are passionate about helping. When an organization has a shared focus and exhibits that in all aspects of its existence, that is a powerful motivator to do your best. Employees are given dedicated time off to volunteer in their communities and a match to charitable giving. Community service events and team events sponsored by their culture committee create a community within the organization dedicated to serving customers, having fun together for the greater good, and overall helping others.
Company Culture Themes
The themes we see in these cultures can be found in the Four Engagement Elevators we believe to be the foundation of any successful company culture:
- Shared Mission
- Valued Voice
- People Development
- Earned Trust
When you activate the elevators, you are on your way up to your own inspiring culture. Remember, it won’t happen overnight and even if you implement a Happiness crew, a great culture isn’t all about happiness and fun – it’s about building an environment grounded in your core values and offering the opportunity for talents to flourish and allow growth all around!
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