Here’s why I think having a list of the best examples of company culture is important.
When you have a bunch of companies offering outrageous salaries, incredible perks and benefits to the top talents, your company culture is the one aspect which will make you stand out.
While perks and benefits are nice, shiny and wanted; culture is the foundation upon which the business stands on.
Did you know that companies with strong cultures saw a 4x increase in revenue growth?
These 5 examples of company culture that I have listed below have impressed me with their ability to make employee engagement a norm.
Take Notes. 5 Incredible Examples Of Company Culture To Get Inspiration From.
You can’t buy culture. You have to painstakingly build one.
Peter Drucker famously stated that:
Culture eats strategy for breakfast.
Now, these organizations seem to have taken these words to their hearts:
1. Zappos (Values Creativity)
If company culture is the Seven Kingdoms, Zappos would be it’s King’s Landing.
Before developing their now famous culture book, Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh sent a company-wide email asking employees to identify the company’s top 10 core values.
The employees didn’t disappoint. Every employee at Zappos had a say on what they think made Zappos- well- Zappos. These selected 10 core values were more than a list to be printed on the company brochure.
In addition to being on the Zappos website and walls, these core values were splashed across t-shirts, mugs, social media and even on vans that pick up guest and clients visiting the company.
1. Deliver WOW Through Service
2. Embrace and Drive Change
3. Create Fun and A Little Weirdness
4. Be Adventurous, Creative, and Open-Minded
5. Pursue Growth and Learning
6. Build Open and Honest Relationships With Communication
7. Build a Positive Team and Family Spirit
8. Do More With Less
9. Be Passionate and Determined
10. Be Humble
Zappos’s great company culture arises from their long term relentless pursuit of creativeness and team building. The result is high performing employees which in turn lead to a significant increase in the company’s success.
While it might be difficult to cover every aspect of Zappos’s incredible corporate culture, here are some examples of it:
- Zappos has a tradition of constructing an elaborate haunted house in the basement of their Las Vegas office. And get it- it’s done by the Finance team! Yes. The finance team. Not the design team, content team or any team that you might expect such creativity from. It shows just how much Zappos values creativity in its workplace culture.
- Zappos places a lot of significance to it’s hiring process. The onboarding process lasts up to 4 weeks. It is so selective in hiring the right people that after one month Zappos pays their new hires $2000 to leave if they want to.
- Zappos was one of the first companies to have an open office plan and no corner office. The customer service operator has the same authority as the Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh when customers call in with complaints.
2. Airbnb (Values Belonging)
Problems will come and go. But culture is forever.
-Brian Chesky (Airbnb co-founder)
On Glassdoor, an Airbnb employee commented that even though working from home is allowed employees rather enjoy spending time at the office. Thus it comes as no surprise that Airbnb was awarded the “Best Place To Work At” by Inc magazine.
Airbnb’s co-founder Brian Chesky continuously stresses the importance of the company’s values and missions. Moreover, he not only preaches it but practices it too.
As a result, Airbnb’s culture is partly like having a huge family. Even when employees feel stressed about the job, they have others to fall back upon. This makes employees want to stay on instead of simply giving everything up.
Here’s how Airbnb’s corporate culture makes employees feel like it’s home:
Elephants, Dead Fish, and Vomit
During each of their company-wide meetings, Airbnb employees (known as AirFam) bring up Elephants, Dead Fish and Vomit.
Elephants are the big things that nobody is talking about. Dead fish are things that happened in the past but still affect the organization. Vomit are things that employees need to get it out and just wants someone to listen to them.
This practice is widely believed to be one of the cornerstones to Airbnb’s great company culture.
Mark Levy (Airbnb Global Head of Employee Experience) considers Ground Control as the ‘secret sauce’ to employee engagement at Airbnb.
Ground Control is basically a team tasked to ensure the ongoing employee engagement at Airbnb. This includes looking over the workplace environment, recognition, pop up events and celebrations. This team manages to ensure that work is more than just work.
Levy thinks One Airbnb is the greatest way that Airbnb has bought its employees together across all geographics.
One Airbnb is a company-wide conference held over the course of few days at San Francisco.
"One Airbnb is quintessential in the way we set it up,” Levy says. “For the first one we had the first day about our future, the second day about our people and their development, and the third day was learning about each other and how we work together."
3. Adobe (Values Trust)
Adobe built its company culture by actually trusting their employees.
While Adobe offers perks and benefits like every other corporate, Adobe’s corporate culture shields away from micromanaging. This includes removing any kind of employee rating or employee evaluations.
- Managers take the role of a mentor rather than a supervisor. Employees are given full freedom over what they want to create new. Employees themselves set goals and determine how to asses them.
- Adobe gives its employees the freedom to take on creative projects and challenges. Additionally, it provides employees with the resources, support, and trust to complete those endeavors.
- Employees are given stock options at Adobe so that the company’s success is attributed to the employees too.
- Adobe provides regular training sessions to promote a culture of learning so that employees have a chance of better career development.
4. REI (Values Outdoors)
REI has been a great brand to turn to when you need outdoor gears. In addition to that REI is know to value and provide an employee experience that makes them rank as Fortune’s 'Best Places To Work At' for 18 consecutive years.
REI’s company culture believes in cultivating the love for the outdoors in not just their customers but also their employees.
REI tries to orient their work culture around the benefits of being outdoors both physically and mentally.
- REI employees get Yay Days! or Paid Time Off (PTO). These days are for employees to try something new, go outdoors to have fun or work on a pet project.
- Employees can win outdoor gears and equipment through Challenge Grants. Here, employees basically get to submit a challenge proposal for an outdoor adventure of their choice.
- REI takes its employee benefits and employee engagement pretty seriously. Healthcare benefits are offered to full-timers as well as part-timers (a rare thing in any company).
5. Twitter (Values Team Oriented Environment)
In 2014, Glassdoor named Twitter’s employees as the happiest in the country. The majority of that employee happiness can be contributed to Twitter’s organizational culture.
So why are Twitter employees so hyped up about working for the social media company?
Rooftop meetings for one. A Twitter employee told Glassdoor, "Team meetings on the roof are the best, great teamwork and a lot of smart people".
- Twitter employees are encouraged to simply go over and ask something instead of emailing it.
- Twitter doesn’t shy away from showering its employees with several perks and benefits. Free meals, on-site gym and insurance policies.
- Twitter has focused on building a culture that prioritizes a team-oriented environment. Twitter is full of intelligent people and team members work hard to bring new innovations to the table.
Wrapping It Up
Regardless of the nature of the company, it’s company culture defines the way your employees can do their best work.
As it is evident from the examples of company culture illustrated above, CEO’s need to believe in the culture for it to actually succeed.
As a leader, you must continuously seek ideas and theories to foster, improve and grow your company culture.
A complete guide to employee engagement
Decoding and Driving Employee Engagement