How to Find Examples of Great Corporate Culture

Top Ten Corporate Culture Carol RingThe search for examples of great corporate culture is on! Leaders are looking for models they can implement into their own organizations. And there is no shortage of listings out there.

From Entrepreneur magazine comes a list of the Top 10 Companies with Fantastic Cultures. Some are well known like Zappo’s and Southwest Airlines, others might surprise you. For example, eyeglass manufacturer Warby Parker has a dedicated team purposely managing their amazing culture. Marketing agency Big Spaceship sat down with two members of the team and came away with 7 key tips to creating a “superb” company culture. My personal favorite is #5 – Set role models. The Warby Parker team identified companies successful in growth, customer service and culture – things they aspire to do too. Check out how they’re tapping into the expertise of these role models.

What are employee saying about culture?

There are many organizations, including Great Place to Work®, which provide awards, certification and recognition for companies with strong positive cultures. But what about getting the rating from those that matter most – your employees? Glassdoor is a job and recruiting site where interviewees and employees can leave ratings about your company. Glassdoor annually sifts through millions of company reviews to come up with a top 25 Most Enjoyable Companies to Work For list. And Business Insider has done a great review of the list, highlighting examples of why organizations made the list.

There are two big themes that come out of this review. The first is around the behaviors of the leaders. Employees describe their leaders as being sincere, caring and wanting to help. An employee from Intuit says “Top leaders show by decisions and actions that they believe in the top value of integrity without compromise”. Over at Edleman, employees declare “Through the actions of middle to senior management, you are truly made to feel valued and appreciated”.

The other theme is around having a mission driven culture. Employees want to feel they are serving a worthwhile cause. They use phrases such as “our leaders believe in and live their mission”, “we share a common goal”, and “good corporate citizen”. This theme of working for an organization that contributes to society and community is one I see growing every day.

Cultures worth emulating

Cassie Paton over at software developer Enplug has done her own research into Organizational Cultures Worth Following. DogVacay, which she describes as “Airbnb for dogs” is one of her favorites. Their culture is one of creativity and collaboration which is enhanced by their open office environment and frequent team get-togethers. Another one on her list is Wrike, a project management software company. They do cross-team interviews when hiring to ensure good culture fit. They are strong recognizers of employee achievements, even personal achievements. And they encourage and empower creativity.

Finding the perfect culture

The real reason people have googled “corporate culture examples” over 9 million times is because leaders are looking for the secret sauce to corporate culture. Surely there is a recipe of values for the perfect culture out there somewhere. From my experience, it’s clear that people value the ability to collaborate and work together in a friendly, respectful and fun manner. This view of teamwork comes out over and over again. After all, we’re a pretty social species. And customer focus is another common, often foundational, value found in most organizations. After that, things start to vary. Sometimes it’s due to the particular industry focus. For example if you’re in software development then innovation and creativity will be highly valued.

But the truth of the matter is each company has a unique organizational culture DNA. This is because each leader has their own value system based on their beliefs and past experiences. Culture is created based on the behaviors of the leaders. It’s their walk and talk that ultimately shapes how work gets done. It’s also about understanding the lifecycle of the organization. When you’re in start-up mode, your business needs are much different than an established global organization. Understanding the culture required for business success and then putting leaders in place who can authentically manage that culture is the real challenge.

If you need support in determining your perfect culture, contact us today. We’re here to help. We want to see you at the top of the list!

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