Learn from these Masters of Company Culture


HR Insights for ProfessionalsThe latest thought leadership for HR pros

Monday, November 28, 2016

Companies are creating working environments that help mold employees into a loyal, dedicated and trustworthy workforce.

Article 4 Minutes
Learn from these Masters of Company Culture

Culture, of course, differs from company to company, but most work incentives are similar and many businesses adopt comparable values to ensure that they are creating the best conditions for their employees.

The more content the workers, the higher the desire to work hard to maximize output. In fact, a GCC Insights® report found solid evidence to support the idea that happy employees are more productive at work.

In this article we will touch upon a few noteworthy companies that have made waves with their interpretation of company values; setting the bar high for crafting a culture within the office.

Netflix - Employ the right people

For Netflix, the development of the company culture starts with the employment of talented individuals. To find the best company fit, they evaluate the employee to see if they respect their two main principles: freedom and responsibility. Their focus is on the behaviors and skills that are valued in their employees. They note nine qualities and skills that they base their hiring and promotion on: judgement, communication, impact, curiosity, innovation, courage, passion, honesty and selflessness. At the initial interview process interviewees will be assessed to see if they possess these qualities, and at this time the company can get a feel for how they would fit into the office culture.

Patty McCord, the woman behind the Netflix interview process, found other methods outdated. She wrote down the real values of Netflix and their expectations of their employees, and worked from there. "If you look at an innovator’s mind, the innovator never says, ‘I know what we should do. We should look around and see what everyone else is doing and do it a smidge better,’" says McCord. "We just took risks with the people stuff, just like we took risks with the business."

Continental - Look after your employees

Continental's company philosophy is one that may cause some controversy; the concept of putting the employee first ,even over the customer. Gordon Bethune, previous CEO of Continental famously said, “You can’t treat your employees like serfs. You have to value them. If they think that you won’t support them when a customer is out of line, even the smallest problem can cause resentment.”  Herb Kelleher, also former CEO of Continental, is a champion of the concept. After receiving an extensive customer complaint that Kelleher didn’t agree with, he wrote a letter to the complainant simply stating; “Dear Mrs. Crabapple, we will miss you. Love, Herb.”

This instils mutual respect within the workplace and improves employee’s relationship with management. The company culture at Continental has been molded so that employees do not feel resented by management when there are issues. This mutual respect makes the workforce feel valued, allowing them to get on with their work knowing that they are not alone when issues arise.

ETSY – Educate and Promote

A great example of how a company has used education to craft company culture is Etsy. Through programs such as their Engineer Exchange and Hacker School hybrid, the company has used investment and collaboration to provide employees with unique educational opportunities to help them enhance the skills beneficial to their engineering job roles.

By nurturing talent within an organization, time and resources can be saved as employees will want to grow and develop with the company.

Google - Perks and incentives

Perhaps one of the most famous of office cultures, or campus cultures, is Google. Maintaining the company culture is a priority, and they have capitalized on the gratification of the employees, consistently being named for building one of the most effective company cultures in the world. It does come at a cost: free organic meals, free haircuts, free dry cleaning, free healthcare, nap pods and on site gyms to name but a few of the benefits, set Google back a pretty penny. Employee satisfaction is paramount at Google, so creativity can flow, and daily stresses can be eliminated to make way for innovation.

However, as they are recruiting the worlds’ top talent, “one of the consequences of hiring smart, talented, and ambitious people is, no matter how good the culture is, many of them receive enticing offers from other places or wish to start their own ventures,” says Kissmetrics.

Twitter – Teamwork

Flying to the top of company culture rankings is Twitter. Similar to Google with their free perks, Twitter have substantiated a culture where creatives can contribute to the evolution of the company. Everyone’s voice is valued and heard; making teamwork imperative and innovation possible. A Twitter Software Engineer commented on Glassdoor saying that, "Team meetings on the roof are the best, great teamwork and a lot of smart people. I love how the 10 core values drive the company to always be better."

By developing effective core values, a company culture can be crafted to create a working environment where employees feel valued and trusted. This will improve efficiency of the workforce, who want to work hard for a company that is investing in them as individuals.

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