When developing your company culture you also need to know what elements of the employee experience are the best to target, so you see the most improvement. For example, do you first focus on appreciation, benefits or wellbeing? Over time, these changes should result in a healthier and happier culture that supports and nurtures your employees for many years to come.

In this article we cover:

  • What is company culture?
  • Why is culture important?
  • Company culture vs. team culture
  • 5 inspiring company culture examples
  • How to describe your company culture in 4 ways
  • Improve your company culture by enhancing employee experience
  • Create a supportive culture today

Remote employee enjoying an inclusive workplace culture

What is company culture?

Company culture is a term that refers to the core values, shared beliefs and attitudes of an organisation and its employees. Several elements contribute to company culture — for example leadership styles, mission statements and business goals. When thinking about cultivating a healthy company culture you first need to understand what your priorities are and the current state of your organisation.

A good way to get a sense of the direction in which you should be growing your culture is with the ‘Competing Values Framework’ assessment.1 According to this cultural development tool, there are four types of company culture, including:

  • Clan culture: When people talk about clan culture they’re describing a fun, friendly and wellbeing focussed environment. Leaders are mentors, not bosses. While clan culture is fantastic for giving employees the freedom to thrive, make sure it doesn’t come at the cost of missing targets or revenue.
  • Adhocracy culture: Adhocracy is derived from the Latin – adhoc, meaning when necessary or needed. This type of culture is naturally fast-paced and highly innovative. Organisations with an adhocracy culture tend to have an entrepreneur at the helm. Good examples of this are Amazon or Facebook. Working in such a fast-paced environment can take its toll though, so watch out for burnout among your teams.
  • Market culture: Market culture is your traditional high-performance, high-revenue generating business. It has similarities to adhocracy culture in that employees are encouraged to push themselves to reach challenging goals. But instead of the purpose being for innovation, it’s to generate as much return as possible. Divided teams and infighting can be common problems though, due to the competitive nature of this environment.
  • Hierarchy culture: This culture is the opposite of clan culture. There are rules and clear procedures to follow – it’s highly bureaucratic and there are few problems with authority because everyone knows what their responsibilities are. Issues with this culture tend to include slow communication as key decisions are signed off by upper management. Changes can also take a while to come into effect, despite being beneficial to the organisation.

People walking in an office

Why is culture important?

Maintaining a healthy company culture is incredibly important. When your employees are aligned with your culture, it means their needs and values are in sync with yours. The benefits of this not only include higher levels of productivity but also engagement.

When hiring new employees, it’s often too easy to focus on their skillset and lose sight of how they’ll fit into your organisation. Of course, you’ll always have an idea of how they’ll work within their teams – that’s part of the interview process. But you should also ask questions that indicate if they share the same values as your company. This will help you retain top talent for many years to come.

Company culture vs. team culture: what’s the difference?

Company culture and team culture are two distinct elements of employee experience. While both feed into the other, it’s not unusual for company culture to be different from team culture.

Team culture is derived from the people who work closely together within a group. For example, a team leader may focus on their direct reports’ wellbeing, despite the organisation having a market culture. Remember, market culture is about hard work and high rewards, with wellbeing not as high a priority. In the opposite scenario, a manager may want to push their team to achieve more challenging goals, despite being in an organisation that has adopted a clan culture.

In an ideal world, you’d want your team and company culture to be similar. But in some instances it’s good they’re different. In the market culture example, prioritising wellbeing is a benefit as it could be preventing burnout. Likewise, in the clan culture example, the team could have been too relaxed and were at risk of losing out on easily achievable targets.

HR professionals discussing company culture vs team culture

5 Inspiring company culture examples

If you want to know how to take your company culture to the next level, look no further. These companies consistently deliver an excellent employee experience.

1. Perkbox

At Perkbox we like to lead by example. After all, we’re in the employee benefits and rewards business, so it’s important we provide the best employee experience possible. Our core values include transparency and honesty, which is why we hold ‘Let’s Talk’ sessions. Here, employees can ask our exec team questions, no matter how challenging they may be.

Teamwork is another fundamental part of the Perkbox experience. That’s why, when we hit a significant company milestone, the entire organisation celebrates it. Past celebrations have ranged from band experiences to sip and paint parties. We like to make each event different, so all of our employees do something that resonates with them.

How can you be like Perkbox?

  • Create a safe space where your employees can share their thoughts and ideas
  • Choose core values that resonate with your organisation and put them into practice
  • Celebrate company milestones together. This doesn't have to be a grand gesture. Treating your teams to food and drink also works!

Co-workers celebrating at a company party

2. Traveltek

Traveltek develop digital solutions within the fast-moving travel technology sector and are always looking for ways to improve their employee experience. To keep their teams engaged and happy they have a dedicated culture squad who run fortnightly updates. Part of these updates involves company-wide shout-outs where they showcase the recognition employees have received on Celebration hub.

Traveltek use employee engagement tools to help boost engagement, but there are best practice methods too.

Learn more about them in our guide to building a strong company culture in the modern world

How can you be like Traveltek?

  • Have a dedicated culture team who can help bring employees together
  • Celebrate your employees’ achievements no matter how big or small they are
  • Think about how digital tools can make it easier to recognise and reward your employees

3. Around The World In So Many Ways

Around The World In So Many Ways have offices all over the globe, so for them it’s important their teams stay connected no matter how far apart they are. To maintain a harmonious and collaborative culture, they use Culture hub. This is a feature of our platform that helps bring your teams closer together. Think of it as a single source of truth for all things culture — you can share company news, updates, pictures, policies, values and more. You can also attach town hall recordings ro any other leadership messaging. The best bit is, you don’t have to worry about immediately adding new joiners to different email lists. Everything you post on Culture Hub can be easily accessible from our global app.

How you can you be like Around The World In So Many Ways?

  • Use digital tools to bring remote, in-office and international teams together
  • Stay in touch — it can be easy to let communication slide when you have employees working in different countries
  • Make the effort to get to know other employees. Arrange virtual meet-ups when it’s not possible to meet in person

4. Zoom

You’re probably fairly aware of Zoom, given they were one of the most popular video conferencing programs during the pandemic. But what you may not know is that they have a thriving company culture. Every new hire is invited to attend a training event in San Jose, where they learn more about Zoom culture. Managers also organise a buddy system where new employees are paired with a mentor who supports them in their new role. All employees benefit from weekly company-wide meetings where they share their successes and recognise colleagues who’ve gone the extra mile.

How you can you be like Zoom?

  • Make an effort to support your employees at the beginning of their journey
  • Show an interest in what your teams do and recognise their achievements
  • Take pride in your company’s culture and make a point of celebrating both small and big wins

5. Google

We can’t talk about company culture and not include Google! It’s quite obvious from the outside that Google have a highly organised culture. Yet unlike most other organisations that operate in this way, they’ve maintained a high degree of flexibility. How? Because they trust their teams, and every employee is treated as an individual. Google knows their people are experts in their fields and they treat them as such. Of course, you’ve probably heard about their nap pods, on-site doctors and free food. But what doesn’t get talked about is the amount of work Google put into understanding what their employees value. They didn’t just introduce nap-pods on a whim, they did it because survey responses indicated employees wanted them.

How can you be like Google?

  • Trust your teams and listen to what they have to say
  • Gather data from employee surveys and use it wisely
  • Nurture a culture of learning and encourage employees to share their expertise with others

Team members discussing company culture in a meeting

How to describe your company culture in 4 ways

Your company culture encompasses many elements. When describing your company culture you may want to focus on your:

1. Mission statement

Your mission statement summarises your values and describes what you want to achieve. Creating a meaningful mission statement is incredibly challenging, but when done well, it can resonate on both a functional and emotional level. When you have an empowering mission statement it can act as a North Star and help steer your company in the right direction during periods of expansion. That said, a mission statement can change, especially as your company grows and you create new goals.

Examples of mission statements include:

  • Life is Good (LG): To spread the power of optimism
  • IKEA: To create a better everyday life for many people
  • Tesla: To accelerate the world's transition to sustainable energy
  • TED: Spread ideas

2. Ethics and values

Your ethics and values are reflected in the day-to-day comings and goings of your organisation. They’re what you believe in as a company. It sometimes helps to think of ethics as the compass that guides you towards the values you choose to practise in your business.

Some examples of values include:

  • Diversity
  • Wellbeing
  • Respect
  • Growth
  • Honesty
  • Transparency
  • Sustainability
  • Trust
  • Results

If your organisation is in line with your values, every decision you make will be guided by them. For example, if sustainability is an important value, you would choose packaging that has the least impact on the environment, even if it’s more expensive to source.

HR managers aligning company ethics and values

3. Environment: for both office and remote employees

Your environment is a physical representation of what you value. For example, if you value collaboration, then your office should have plenty of break-out spaces where people can get together to discuss different ideas. On the other hand, if you have lots of cubicles it suggests your employees are more suited to working by themselves — or need lots of quiet spaces to take video calls.

Neither approach is right or wrong, it’s simply a matter of what your employees need to do their jobs well. Don’t install one or two meeting rooms if your employees need to work in large teams. Nobody wants to book a meeting room 3 weeks in advance’ it’s a very frustrating employee experience. Also keep in mind that if your employees are mainly working with remote colleagues, it’s important each room is set up for video calling and has excellent connectivity.

For ideas on how you can keep your company culture alive for employees who work remotely, use our helpful checklist

4. Communication

Are your teams open and honest with each other, do your employees feel they have a safe space to raise issues that concern them? If so, keep going! We recommend always including a communication section in a pulse survey to gauge how your employees are feeling. This applies to social events and workshops too. After every event you should ask for feedback, as this is the only way to understand what your employees enjoy about them.

Improving your company culture by enhancing employee experience

Improving company culture can be daunting, after all, you’re changing the mindset of an entire company. Before you begin to make any big changes we recommend focussing on these three elements of the employee experience:

Employee appreciation

Appreciation is one of the most important drivers of engagement and motivation.3 You should always encourage peer-to-peer recognition, in addition to praise during one on one meetings.

Fortunately, our platform makes showing appreciation both easy and intuitive. With Celebration hub your teams can recognise each other on the go, and tag each recognition they send to a company value. This not only boosts team morale but also lets your teams know exactly what behaviours you value as an organisation.

Employees appreciating each other in a meeting

Support and wellbeing

Prioritising welling has many benefits, the obvious ones being fewer absences and instances of burnout. But mentally and physically healthy employees are also more likely to be productive and engaged.2

To support employee wellbeing, we wanted to create a holistic digital solution that supports both mental and physical health. So, when we designed Wellness hub we wanted it to be capable of holding an ever-expanding library of wellbeing resources. Whether it’s workout videos, guided meditations, sleep stories or guides to things like quitting smoking — there’s something for everyone.

Perks and benefits

Investing in perks and other benefits is a great way to show your teams you care about them. When choosing a benefits package, it’s important to understand what your employees value. Otherwise, you run the risk of not seeing a return on your investment, as your benefits won’t get used.

With Perks hub, we offer over 4,000 global discounts and deals, which your employees can take advantage of no matter where they are in the world. Additionally, you can give your teams an allowance of Flexi points each month, which they can spend on Flexi Perks — a huge range of extras — at no cost to them. These range from a coffee, to a therapy session, to a streaming subscription.

Woman enjoying her remote employee benefits

Create a supportive corporate culture today

There are many ways to create a supportive company culture. Because each company is different, what works well for one may not for the other. For this reason, it’s important you research similar companies to your own, and make notes on what they do well.

Usually, companies focus on improving the employee experience as a way to enhance their culture. Often, they see value in using an all-in-one employee experience solution as all of their benefits, perks and wellbeing resources are in one place. Plus, they can also easily track what benefits their employees value most and use the platform to stay in touch with their teams.

If you want to know how Perkbox can help improve your company culture, request a demo and a member of our team will get back to you.

FAQS

What is a good company culture?

A strong company culture is one that’s in sync with its employees, processes and mission. An example of this would be a progressive corporate culture. Usually, organisations with this type of culture see higher levels of employee engagement, because they prioritise wellbeing. They understand that happy and healthy employees are better for business.

How do you create a good company culture?

What is the most important part of company culture?

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