đŸ”„ Recently Launched : AON, SHRM and Vantage Circle Partnered Annual Rewards and Recognition Report 2024-25
+

Top 15 Examples of Company Culture Done Right

15 min read   |  
Last Updated on
examples-of-company-culture

Many companies today aim to attract employees with compelling salaries, extensive perks, and benefits. However, what truly distinguishes a company and fosters loyalty among its employees is its company culture.

Company culture isn't just a bonus; it's the very foundation upon which a business thrives. Despite other enticing benefits, a company can genuinely soar toward success when it prioritizes and nurtures a vibrant culture for its employees.

So, do you wish to get a glimpse of the distinctive workplace cultures that differentiate them from one another? Well, let us take you through some examples of company cultures that have stood out in creating remarkable cultures.


According to Deloitte reports, 88% of employees and 94% of upper management believe that a strong culture is essential to a company’s success. They also report that a well-defined business strategy, core values, and beliefs, when clearly communicated throughout the company, contribute to a positive workplace culture.

15 Incredible Examples of Company Culture to Get Inspiration From

Incredible Examples of Company Culture to Get Inspiration From .png

You can't buy culture. You have to painstakingly build one.
– Peter Drucker

Crafting a company culture requires dedication, strategic planning, and steadfast consistency from leadership and management over time. The following list, highlighting examples of company culture, offers insight into how these organizations have evolved by nurturing vibrant work environments.

1. Zappos

At Zappos, their Core Values are more than just words; they’re a way of life.
– Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos

As a leading authorized retailer, Zappos started selling shoes and expanded its arena to include clothing, bags, accessories, and more. Zappos is led by a vision of delivering happiness through the 4C’s, namely, commerce, customer service, company culture, and community. Prioritizing all these aspects has helped the company deliver happiness to customers, employees, vendors, shareholders, and the community long and sustainably.

Zappos polled employees seeking responses on what the company’s core values should be. Out of the hundreds of ideas, the list was narrowed down to ten, and in 2006, the core values were introduced.

These values have guided the company in everything it does, including how it interacts with the customers, community, employees, vendors, and business partners. The processes and strategies have evolved but remain true to the core values that make them who they are today.

The 10 core values are as follows:

  • Deliver WOW Through Service
  • Embrace and Drive Change
  • Create Fun and A Little Weirdness
  • Be Adventurous, Creative, and Open-Minded
  • Pursue Growth and Learning
  • Build Open and Honest Relationships with Communication
  • Build a Positive Team and Family Spirit
  • Do More with Less
  • Be Passionate and Determined
  • Be Humble

What makes Zappos’ Company Culture Great:

We’re willing to give up short-term profits or revenue growth to make sure we have the best culture.
– Tony Hsieh

  • Zappos is renowned for its weird family spirit and fun workplace culture.
  • Happiness is at the core of Zappos culture.
  • Zappos places a lot of significance on its hiring process. The onboarding process lasts up to 4 weeks. It is so selective when hiring the right people. As a result, it offers a “Pay to Quit Bonus” that pays the new hires $2000 to leave if they want to. The bonus separates ‘Zapponians’ from those not made for Zappos culture.
  • “The New Hire Training” program deepens immersion into the company culture. Everyone must spend at least 30 hours on this training during their first four weeks, regardless of what the future entails.
  • Plenty of company-wide events are organized at Zappos. They are meant to build a strong sense of belonging. They encourage people to be themselves in public. The company wants to normalize being adventurous, creative, and open-minded. These events tend to ignite weirdness in employees, which they consider a valuable and key trait when recruiting new employees.
  • Zappos's great company culture stems from its long-term pursuit of creativity and team building. The result is high-performing employees, which leads to a notable increase in business success.

2. Airbnb

Problems will come and go. But culture is forever.
– Brian Chesky (Airbnb Co-Founder)

Airbnb, with its fresh approach to business, offers lodging to travelers worldwide. Founded in 2007, it leveraged the growing market opportunity and facilitated arrangements between lodging providers and seekers.

Hosts offer unique stays and experiences that allow guests to connect with communities authentically.

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. Employees who feel stressed about the job have others to fall back upon. This makes employees want to stay on instead of simply giving everything up.

What makes Airbnb's Company Culture Great:

  • New hires undergo a week-long check-in process focusing on Airbnb’s values and business strategies. This introduces them to every Airbnb’s function and way of working.
  • Different types of lunches and meetings are scheduled to foster strong relationships.
  • The founders emphasize becoming both a host and a guest. Cultivating empathy and understanding allows the company to nurture a culture of belonging. This will help the employees understand the aspects of being a host. While not everyone will become a host, they can garner the experience of being a guest.
  • Notes from executive meetings are shared with everyone within 24 hours. This equal distribution of information gives a platform to employees to raise their questions and share thoughts and ideas regarding the same.
  • Employees bring up Elephants, Dead Fish, and Vomit during company-wide meetings. Elephants are the big things that nobody is talking about. Dead fish have happened in the past but still affect the organization. Vomit are things that employees need to share and just want someone to listen to them. This practice is widely believed to be one of the cornerstones of Airbnb's excellent company culture.
  • Mark Levy (Airbnb Global Head of Employee Experience) considers Ground Control the 'secret sauce' to employee engagement at Airbnb. Ground Control is basically a team tasked to ensure ongoing employee engagement at Airbnb. This includes reviewing the workplace environment, recognition, pop-up events, and celebrations.

3. Google

The internet’s top search engine, Google, does not only chart the search engine arena but also offers a stunning benefit package for its employees.

No wonder the company offers the best amenities, flexibility, family support, community, and personality development, but there is much more to the tech giant’s credit. There are intangible qualities that keep the employees happy, productive, and dedicated. That is the company culture.

What makes Google’s Company Culture Great:

  • Google allows employees to explore how they would like to work. They get the freedom to approach work as per their suitability. It is a fun place where work doesn't feel like work.
  • There is a set of shared values that guides how management and teammates treat one another.
  • Google’s culture promotes collaboration and emphasizes an atmosphere of innovation.
  • The willingness of Google to trust its employees is the reason behind its utmost creativity, performance, and job satisfaction.
  • It focuses on peer coaching, encouraging employees to learn from and help each other.

4. Adobe

As an eminent software company, Adobe has demonstrated its expertise over its 40-year history in the industry. It continues to empower everyone and everywhere to imagine, create, and bring any digital experience to life.

It claims that every employee contributes to Adobe’s success and should feel a sense of ownership and empowerment to create its next chapter.

Adobe stands true to the company values that reflect the attributes and actions for them to stick to:

  • Create the future
  • Own the outcome
  • Raise the bar
  • Be genuine

What makes Adobe’s Company Culture Great:

  • Managers take the role of a mentor rather than a supervisor. Employees are given total freedom over what they want to create new. Employees themselves set goals and determine how to assess 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 to attribute the company's success to the employees.
  • Adobe provides regular training sessions to promote a learning culture and facilitate better career development.

5. REI

REI (Recreational Equipment Inc) specializes in offering high-quality outdoor gear and apparel. It was founded in 1938 when a group of 23 climbing friends, united by their love for the outdoors, decided to source quality and affordable gear for their adventures. Since then, REI has positioned itself as a companion that facilitates people to enrich their outdoor experiences to enjoy themselves alone or with friends and family. Sustainability is at the center of the products they make.

Today, the REI community has 23 million lifetime members, with more than 16,000 employees across 181 locations in 41 states and the District of Columbia.

REI is known to value and provide employee experience that makes them rank as Fortune's 'Best Places to Work At' for 18 consecutive years. Its corporate culture instills a love of the outdoors in its customers and employees.

What makes REI’s Company Culture Great:

  • REI tries to orient its work culture around the benefits of being outdoors, both physically and mentally.
  • REI employees get Yay Days! or Paid Time Off (PTO). These days, employees are encouraged to try something new, go outdoors to have fun, or work on a pet project.
  • Employees can win outdoor gear and equipment through Challenge Grants. Here, employees get to submit a challenge proposal for an outdoor adventure of their choice.
  • REI takes employee benefits and engagement seriously. Healthcare benefits are offered to full-timers and part-timers.

6. Pixar

Pixar is the leading name in the animation industry and is renowned for being consistent in creativity. This consistency results from its approach to supporting and acknowledging creativity from everyone around them. The animation studio abides by a set of basic principles that seep through the entire culture. The idea is summed up as follows:

* Innovation demands the ability to live with ambiguity (a beautiful acknowledgment of the creative process),
* Passionate, innovative leaders make the job fun and that
* Creative ideas come from collaborations.”

Pixar's culture is the secret sauce to developing so many box office successes.

What makes Pixar’s Company Culture Great:

  • Pixar employees are thoroughly encouraged to share their unfinished work. Such practice makes room for feedback and collaboration, displays work and talent (displays where they are better at and where they need to excel), and boosts the creative process.
  • Pixar promotes and ensures psychological safety by encouraging initial attempts at originality before nurturing them into refined creations.
  • The art of balancing creativity with collaboration has fetched Pixar its success. This is reflected in the workspace, where colleagues provide feedback to help improve the team’s ideas.
  • Pixar embraces radical honesty to promote and ignite transparent conversations. However, colleagues are only allowed to judge their work and not peers. As a group, they work together to refine unpolished drafts into polished ones. Respect is significant, but politeness never compromises honesty.

7. IKEA

Strongly driven by a vision to make everyday life better for people, IKEA, a Swedish retail conglomerate, specializes in home furnishing. It takes pride in designing and selling ready-to-assemble furniture, kitchen appliances, home accessories, and more. Like the passion for home furnishing, IKEA has created a company culture with togetherness at its heart.

IKEA’s employees work in synchronization and have fun together because of the level of trust they have in each other. As a result, it aspires to be a force for positive change.

Although a lot has changed since IKEA made it to the list of global players, the primary elements of its original culture are still intact. A lot has changed since IKEA became a global player.

The core values IKEA abides by are as follows:

  • Togetherness
  • Caring for people and the planet
  • Cost-consciousness
  • Simplicity
  • Renew and Improve
  • Different with a meaning
  • Give and take responsibility
  • Lead by example

What makes IKEA’s Company Culture Great:

  • The central office always has celebrations when a new store is opened in any country.
  • IKEA welcomes the weekend with a grand. Every Friday at 3 PM, the cafeteria and open area are taken over by music that creates a vibrant atmosphere to remind employees of the approaching weekend.
  • Food is central to IKEA’s culture. The company allots a specific budget to the team leaders so that everyone can celebrate the successful completion of a project by dining together.
  • IKEA practices 360 annual reviews. Every quarter, teams hold a collective feedback practice called “We-Talk” that allows them to discuss what’s working, what’s not working, and how they can improve.
  • IKEA ensures a very human, family-feeling type of environment. Employees appreciate the opportunity to be themselves without trying to stand out.
  • IKEA’s founder designed a culture of freedom and responsibility where no one is supposed to hide behind the decisions made by others. If employees can justify the reason behind what they want, the company would encourage them to try it.

8. Zoom

Zoom is a communication platform that facilitates video and audio conferencing, collaboration, chat, and webinars. Besides assisting with communication worldwide, Zoom is also notable for its company culture.

The company is renowned for creating a “happiness crew” that focuses on maintaining a close-knit culture among employees.

The happiness crew maintains the company culture at each location through events, celebrations, community involvement and volunteering
– Steve Snyder, account executive at Zoom.

What makes Zoom’s company culture great:

  • New hires from around the globe attend a training session that assists them in building relationships and learning about the company and its culture before starting their first day. They are paired with a mentor for all the learnings concerning company culture and outreach.
  • It makes a continuous and conscious effort to evolve the culture and company hand in hand.
  • The company organizes events where employees can bring their children or parents to work, allowing colleagues to meet those who inspire their teammates.

9. Netflix

Netflix entered the business scenario in 1997 and has never turned back since then.

The company has achieved growth backed up by an expanding customer base. Starting as a physical video rental venue, it has transitioned to becoming the leading online content streaming platform today.

Apart from being a leader in the entertainment provision, Netflix stands tall in creating a thriving company culture for its employees.

Netflix greatly emphasizes and is run by the philosophy of “Freedom and responsibility”, which permeates its culture.

Netflix is one culture that trusts its employees to drive the organization forward.

What makes Netflix’s Company Culture Great:

  • Netflix promotes psychological safety by encouraging employees to be selfless and helpful in their approach.
  • Regular and candid feedback is encouraged, even if it ignites discomfort. Questions like “What could I be doing better?” or “What feedback have I not yet shared?” help employees learn from each other and grow.
  • Netflix gives employees the freedom to do what’s best and suitable for Netflix, depending on the context.
  • It offers “adequate performers” a generous severance package. This practice guarantees that the company is only filled with Dream Teams.
  • Meetings for Netflix are only meant to learn from each other and not to make decisions.
  • Employees are meant to make day-to-day decisions on their own. Managers do not make decisions. Instead, they only provide context when employees feel unsure about their path or lack information.

10. Slack

Meeting the basic requirements of communication and collaboration among employees, Slack has etched a mark by making things hassle-free.
Slack helps connect coworkers in real-time, which aids in collaborating frequently and getting things done faster.

A company that tactfully caters to communication needs also leads to establishing a notable company culture. It emphasizes creating an empathetic workplace culture, which is the key to helping teams work better.

Slack’s purpose is “Making work-life simpler, more pleasant, and more productive – for everyone.”

Slack abides by 6 core company values that are listed with emojis:

❀ Empathy
💁 Courtesy
đŸŒ» Thriving
🔹 Craftsmanship
🙆 Playfulness
🙌 Solidarity

What makes Slack’s Company Culture Great:

  • It encourages employees to provide regular feedback, be it individually or collectively. Teams practice “project retro” to evaluate what worked, didn’t work, and what needs improvement.
  • Through a channel named #exec-ama, employees can ask the leadership teams any questions. This channel gives an opportunity to employees who are shy to raise questions.
  • It fosters a psychologically safe culture by offering a safe space to open, where employees can share their ideas or concerns.
  • Slack’s culture promotes the idea of “Work hard and go home”. It encourages its employees to work hard, leave for home, and engage in recreational activities. Slack believes that everyone needs to recharge and reenergize regularly. By 6:30, Slack headquarters gets somewhat empty, and that’s how the CEO wants it.
  • “Work hard and go home” is an essential part of working at Slack. The culture encourages everyone to work hard, then go home, play soccer, read books, or hang out with their family. Slack believes that it is crucial that everyone recharges and reenergizes every day.

11. Patagonia

Patagonia has taken a rather unique approach to showcasing its expertise in producing outdoor recreation clothing. Over the years, it has evolved to incorporate a significant aspect of “protecting the planet” as a core element in its strategy. It produces durable and repairable products, and the material used can be recycled, thereby limiting ecological disbalance. It is driven by a purpose: “We are in business to save the planet”. It will put the earth first in any of its priorities.

Patagonia serves as a perfect example of how you can be purpose-driven and altruistic without hampering financial performance. With such a positive approach, Patagonia has also successfully built a company culture worth the mention.

Patagonia is driven by four core values:

  • Build the best product
  • Cause no unnecessary harm
  • Use business to protect nature
  • Not bound by convention

What makes Patagonia’s Company Culture Great:

  • Patagonia encourages open communication, where everyone can voice their thoughts and challenge what’s happening.
  • Employees can choose whether they want to be a part of a project. They are not forced to participate against their wishes.
  • Annual performance reviews have been replaced with regular feedback using digital tools.
  • It emphasizes seeking feedback from employees instead of providing them with feedback.
  • Meetings in Patagonia are family-friendly.
  • A democratic approach drives the decision-making process. The decisions are made through consensus.

12. Spotify

Spotify is deemed the top digital provider in the music entertainment industry. Listeners subscribe to various audio content through different electronic platforms worldwide.

Apart from grooving the world through its audio streaming services, Spotify has built a more rewarding and growth-oriented company culture for employees.

Spotify abides by four core values:

  • Go big or go home: learn from failure innovation at every level
  • Play fair: transparency, trust, servant leadership
  • Give it everything you got: continuous improvement, shared responsibility
  • Think it. Build it. Ship it. Tweak it: iterative-development, agile-first, data-informed, autonomy first

What makes Spotify’s company culture great:

  • It encourages employees to spend at least 10% of their time experimenting.
  • The employees gather to discuss and celebrate failures. This opens avenues for them to learn from their past mistakes and develop unique ways of doing things.
  • Spotify ensures psychological safety in the workspace by practicing creating an “open-to-failure” culture and adhering to the motto “no fear, no politics”. This encourages employees to take risks.
  • Spotify’s feedback practice is more future-oriented. Around 70% of conversations between employees and managers are centered on improvements for the future.
  • Autonomy is central to Spotify’s company culture. Employees are encouraged to make decisions here, and managers focus on providing guidance and direction.

13. Hubspot

Hubspot is not only a worthy platform for scaling businesses, but it also does not leave a stone unturned to cater to its employees' needs. Hence, its company culture speaks volumes about its commitment to building a thriving workplace for employees.

The culture at HubSpot is fueled by a collective dedication to its mission and achieving business objectives. The company approaches culture like product design. Its culture code is approached in the same manner as the programmers do when creating software. The sole distinction lies in the fact that instead of developing it for customers, they constructed one tailored for their employees.

HubSpot captures its five core values through the HEART acronym. These are the attributes that the company values in employees. These are Humble, Empathetic, Adaptable, Remarkable, and Transparent.

What makes Hubspot’s Company Culture Great:

  • Hubspot practices a ‘no-door’ policy that allows everyone to have open access to anyone in the company.
  • It prioritizes results over the number of hours people work or where they work from.
  • Hubspot is more open to accepting mistakes. It believes that frequent failure makes them try new things, which allows them to grow.
  • Employees are entitled to receive clear, honest, and constructive feedback, which they can request at any time.
  • HubSpot’s global Culture Team enhances employee experience through location or market-specific programming that covers creating employee resource groups, celebrating local holidays, and hosting events that bring awareness to local culture.

14. Adswerve

As an ad tech company, Adswerve highlights its expertise in media, data, and tech by providing consulting services to its clients that, in turn, help the company build stronger customer relationships. The services they boast of include:

  • Using first-party data to tailor customer experience,
  • Training teams that help them make the most out of their tech,
  • Utilizing analytics to predict future trends and other aspects concerning the digital marketing strategy.

What Makes Adswerve’s Company Culture Great:

  • As a virtual-first team with dispersed workplaces in six countries and 26 states, Adswerve does not falter in staying connected. Using digital strategies like monthly all-hands meetings, webinars, and Slack channels, Adswerve creates opportunities for people to connect across different time zones and locations and share diverse ideas and perspectives.
  • It consistently makes efforts to create a collaborative and inclusive culture. For that, it prioritizes encouraging diversity of thought by allowing everyone to put forward their unique perspectives.

15. Workiva

The cloud platform facilitates companies in data management across departments, including performance reporting, financial reporting, controlled collaboration, etc. Building and maintaining such a complex technology would require a perfect blend of sound leadership and open communication across teams, which Workiva has stood in tune with.

Nurturing a high-performance, fast-paced, innovative culture where everyone's ideas are encouraged and collaboratively debated takes considerable patience, openness, and vulnerability.
– Michael Bevilacqua, VP of product development at Workiva

What makes Workiva’s Company Culture Great:

  • Debate is a crucial aspect of Workiva’s culture that is highly encouraged and supported across departments.
  • Workiva’s leadership team has cultivated in shaping an environment that allows employees to give and receive employee feedback.
  • In addition, leaders demonstrate a willingness to admit mistakes, support opinions and disagreements, recognize individual talents, and exhibit patience by being considerate of the team’s overall health and well-being.

Wrapping It Up

Regardless of what a company does, its culture defines how people can do their best work.

As evident from the examples of company culture illustrated above, CEOs need to believe in the culture to succeed in the long run.

As a leader, you must seek new ideas and theories to foster, improve, and grow a healthy culture.

FAQs

How does company culture affect employees?

Company culture influences employee morale, engagement, job satisfaction, and productivity. It also impacts employee retention and attraction of top talent.

What are some examples of positive company culture?

Positive company culture examples include fostering open communication, promoting work-life balance, offering professional development opportunities, recognizing employee contributions, and prioritizing diversity and inclusion.

This article was co-authored by Riha Jaishi and Barasha Medhi, who work as digital marketers at Vantage Circle. For any queries reach out to editor@vantagecircle.com.

+
+
Book My 30-min Demo
Join us in driving a
Culture of Employee Appreciation Globally!
Discover
Vantage Rewards
Celebrating 2M+ Happy Corporate Employees
Elevating Company Culture Across
700+
companies

100+
countries
Know More
Not Interested
 

The Ultimate Guide to Employee Rewards and Recognition

The Ultimate Guide to Employee Rewards and Recognition