Company culture is important, that much we know. But it’s also a phenomenon that is difficult to grasp since it’s always evolving. Building an awesome company culture, therefore, isn’t an easy task.
In this article, we’ll take a look at 3 great company culture examples. Before we dive into those examples though, we’ll define company culture and discuss some of the reasons why organizational culture matters so much.
What is company culture?
Company culture is best described as the personality of an organization. It’s what defines the environment in which people work and it includes various elements: a company’s values, ethics, goals, mission, work environment and of course its people.
Why is company culture important?
Over the past years, company culture has become more and more important. 21-st century job seekers find it important to work for a company that has values and beliefs that are aligned with those of their own. But there are other reasons why company culture – and finding people who fit in your organizational culture – matters:
A competitive advantage
We probably talk about the war for talent as much as we talk about company culture these days. As it turns out, one thing leads to the other: 82% of the respondents to Deloitte’s 2016 Global Human Capital Trends survey said they believe that culture is a potential competitive advantage.
As such, your company culture has a direct impact on your organization’s ability to recruit top talent and is something that is reflected in your candidate experience. In fact, 4 out of 5 candidates say that the overall candidate experience they get is an indicator of how a company values its employees.
It doesn’t matter how good a person is at their job, if they feel like they’re not in the right place in your organization they’ll leave eventually. If, on the other hand, someone’s needs and values are in line with those of the company they work for, they are more likely to enjoy their time at work – and less likely to leave prematurely.
Increase quality of hire & employee engagement
Naturally, when people are happy to be working for you, they are more productive and engaged. It will take less time to get them operational and on top of that, they’ll have a positive impact on their colleagues’ mindsets too.
All of these elements lead to increased employee productivity. Once again, this emphasizes the importance of hiring for culture fit and not just for job fit.
Employees who are happy and feel at their place in your organization won’t get in late or leave early, nor will they take coffee breaks every hour. In other words: they’ll be much more productive than employees who don’t fit in your company culture.
3 Great Company Culture Examples
Enough talking now, why not look at a couple of companies that got it right in terms of creating a strong organizational identity? We’ve selected 3 cool company culture examples for you to get inspired (in no particular order).
1. Tony’s Chocolonely
Tony’s Chocolonely has a clear company mission: to make chocolate 100% slave free together. Every new employee receives a Tony’s Happy Box when they start at the company filled with a T-shirt, chocolate bars (of course) but also the company’s Annual Fair Report to make sure they’re up to speed on the status of the chocolate arena.
One of the company’s most important values is ‘Team first’ something they apply, among other things, with their weekly Monday morning meeting when everybody goes offline together to keep track of what is going on in the organization.
Another thing they do to express their team first spirit is a quarterly ‘Tony Awards’ ceremony. During this event, which takes place after the company’s quarterly meeting, three Tony’s – that’s how they call themselves – are being celebrated because they did something extraordinary or went the extra mile.
They’ve also got a Tony’s friendship booklet in which the company’s culture is written down. Besides being a ‘normal’ friendship booklet, this is another way for employees to familiarize themselves with the organization’s core values and beliefs.
Twice a year, a new chocolate bar is being launched and temporarily added to the selection. This temporary bar is referred to as the Relay Bar. To celebrate the creation of a new Relay Bar, the entire team gathers and runs a relay race.
Kabbage is a company that extends capital to small businesses to help them build their company. They claim to be as proud of their products as they are of their company culture. The company’s mission: driving innovation and improving through data and automation.
One of the company’s core values is ‘Eat up, drink up’, which they apply through free catered lunches, a fully stocked fridge, and a snack area. On Fridays, people can even enjoy a beer while working.
On a more serious note, Kabbage cares about its customers, its investors, and its community. In order to practice what they preach, they participate via Kabbage Cares in projects to, for example, go and deliver animal shelter, to deliver meals to refugee kids, to raise money for various projects in the community, etc.
Transparency is something they value greatly at Kabbage, which is why the company’s management doesn’t hesitate to share everything that is going on in the business with its employees.
Besides providing its people with enough sustenance, Kabbage believes that people have a clearer brain when they regularly work out. For that, boot camp and yoga classes are available for free and for those who like to have a little fun at the same time, the company has a playroom with, among other things, a ping pong table.
It’s virtually impossible to think of great company culture examples without mentioning Zappos. The online retailer is known for the high importance it attaches to its company culture. So much even, that when Zappos thinks of hiring a candidate to work for them, the first thing that candidate has to do is start with a culture fit interview. This interview has a weight of 50% in the final decision of whether or not someone is hired.
And they take things a little further even.
All Zapponians go through a 4-week call center training, regardless of the job they’ll be doing. During this period, the company’s 10 core values are instilled into each new hire. After the first week, Zappos offers people $2000 to quit. This allows them, to speak with the words of the company’s CEO, ‘to retain those people who are genuinely passionate about the job they will be doing.’
So while Zappos seems like a super fun company to work for, company culture is definitely not something they joke about…
Check one of our previous articles out if you want to watch more cool company culture videos.
Building a great company culture isn’t something you do overnight. It’s something that requires careful thought and consideration and it’s unique to every organization – just like our personality is unique to us human beings. The 3 company culture examples in this article, however, can hopefully feed you with ideas and inspiration so you can take your company culture to the next level.
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