A positive corporate culture can be an invaluable asset to any business organisation, regardless of its size, nature, and position in the market.
The most obvious benefit of a healthy and defined culture is the ability to attract top talent. Given the omnipresent tentacles of social media, it is easy for any prospective employee to quickly gain a clear idea about the prevalent culture of your organisation, while it can also have an impact on your reputation with consumers, too.
But what does this look like in practice?
Examples of Company Culture
To give you an idea of what a positive organisational setup should look like, we've compiled a list of companies who have mastered the art of workplace culture. As renowned business author Simon Sinek once observed, "customers will never love a company until the employees love it first", so these are the examples that your busines should be looking to follow.
According to former Google HR chief, Laszlo Bock, the global tech giant receives nearly 50,000 resumes every week. Suffice to say, it is one of the most sought after employers on the planet, and for a good reason, too. Besides being an industry leader and one of the largest brands in existence, the company is also frequently cited as offering one of the best work environments anywhere on the labour market.
Besides the incredible salaries and benefits packages, being a Google employee is all about self-improvement and growth – an enormously important driver for millennial recruitment and retention. Management provides each employee with a focused mentorship programme, while the relaxed, casual and bureaucracy-free work atmosphere enables productivity and strong morale.
Being one of the most sought after companies to work for also has its benefits for corporate culture – Google can afford to be incredibly picky when it comes to hiring candidates. When you have such a large talent pool available to you, you can always ensure that you are employing smart, bright individuals, who share the same values as you and your business.
2. Southwest Airlines
Generally speaking, the low-cost airline industry suffers from an abysmal reputation when it comes to employee satisfaction, workplace culture, and overall public perception. So when you find an airline with constantly smiling employees offering a consistently positive customer experience, they tend to stick out like a sore thumb.
In the industry's fiercely competitive North American segment, Southwest has survived and prospered for over 43 years. They have grown into the world's largest low-cost airlines thanks in large part to their unique corporate culture, based on the relentless focus of a shared goal and vision.
All employees are encouraged to buy into that shared vision and work hard for common goals, but it is not just about blindly sticking to directives or corporate dogma. Southwest Airlines allows its employees a lot of autonomy when customer satisfaction is at stake, leading to the creation of a devoted and loyal customer base; proof, if it was needed, that positive company culture is good for profits, too.
The veteran software giant is synonymous with creativity and imagination, which is perhaps unsurprising given their responsibility for the development of Photoshop, Illustrator and Flash. While the company is a true pioneer in the field of design and editing software, though, this was only achieved by providing their employees with a high level of creative autonomy.
Employees at Adobe get to sink their teeth into some of the most challenging projects in the industry, and with minimal micromanagement holding them back, too. This has helped create a robust level of trust between employees and company management.
Of course, providing workers with stock options has helped to raise performance, as well. People tend to be more productive when they are free from micromanagement and have a direct and tangible stake in the company they are working for. This is worth noting, particularly if your business operates in a similar sector.
Profits aside, energy companies have a generally thankless existence – they operate in a harsh and dangerous industry and continuously face the ire of critics on issues such as the environment and sustainability. Therefore, when facing so much hostility on the outside, perhaps it is not surprising to see companies like Chevron boast such a united workforce internally.
The company takes employee safety very seriously and also takes steps to improve general health and wellness. Instead of entertainment and games, Chevron offers gyms, health clubs, and other fitness-related facilities on its premises, while employees are encouraged to take frequent breaks to recharge their batteries.
This approach is known as the "Chevron Way", and is regularly referred to by employees. It places a high emphasis on workplace and employee safety, and encourage every employee to look out for their team members. As an example of convincing your employees that you have their best interests at heart, few companies can match Chevron; more reason, then, to ensure that you follow suit.
5. Whole Foods
With a heavy focus on healthy and organic products, this Amazon subsidiary is not just popular with health-conscious consumers; it is also favoured among employees and potential candidates, too. Indeed, since its inception, Whole Foods has consistently performed well across numerous employee satisfaction metrics.
The company looks to share its health-oriented vision with its employees, and not just through empty sermons, either. Whole Foods actively encourages its workers to stay healthy and productive by providing various incentives, including store discounts.
However, only employees who maintain and promote the healthy lifestyle marketed by the company get these discounts, with tech wearables provided to keep track of key indicators such as BMI and heart rate. While a slightly controversial practice, it can't be denied that Whole Foods practices what it preaches, with staff who are willing to buy into its vision well-placed to benefit.
As these different examples show, there is more than one way to create a positive company culture. They all have one thing in common, though – a heavy focus on the welfare of their employees.
It is not just about providing adequate salaries and benefits, either. Each of these organisations demonstrates that they care about their workers by going above and beyond what is deemed necessary.
As a business owner, this is an important lesson to take. By providing career growth opportunities, encouraging a healthier lifestyle, and providing more creative freedom and responsibility, employees at these companies feel that they matter – as proven by the impressive performance of each of these businesses. Always strive to put your staff in an environment where they can do the same for your organisation, and success will naturally follow.
What other great company culture examples can you think of? Let us know which organisations inspire you in the comment section below.