Culture is a vital and integral part of any organization. Bad company culture has very real repercussions on engagement, productivity and health. Whereas a good company culture is conducive to a healthy work lifestyle and has benefits for the company with respect to retention and productivity. It is one of the key reasons why an individual decides to join a team or organization, and one of the most cited reason for them leaving them.
At a basic level, you can imagine company culture as the personality of the company, the lifeblood of an organization. It shapes the organization, makes people want to come into work. I also helps build and foster relationships within the organization, makes people want to work and work for you! One can view culture as the combination of values, goals, ethics, environment and company mission.
The dictionary definition of culture is:
‘the ideas, customs and social behaviour of a particular people or society.’
Patagonia has a very different take to company culture. Not only does it have a unique approach to business model, but it also has a different take to management philosophy, the hiring process and employee benefits. As a set this alternative approach to organizational culture has a positive effect on employee experience at Patagonia.
That got us thinking…
As a technology company, what other tech companies have great company cultures and what can we learn from them? This is what we found…
It’s no secret that Google has a different take on culture than the classic corporate work environment. Take a look at the Googleplex and that is the clearest evidence of different culture. Being a Google team member comes with some serious perks:
Google has also been praised for leadership, mentoring and development programmes.
Thus, it’s no surprise that Google receive over 3 million applications per year. It’s clear that great organizational culture is imperative in recruitment and retention.
Masabi is a mobile ticketing platform, making city transport smarter by simplifying ticketing and streamlining fare collection, validation and management for transport providers across all modes of public transportation. Masabi use the #LoveWhatYouDo mantra.
Although it is often a cliché, they really do believe that the products they build for customers are only as good as those that build them. Masabi take a different approach to a more traditional hierarchical management structure. Instead they have developed an agile working culture that supports development and autonomy.
Masabi experiment with their culture and get their employees to be directly involved with morphing the culture in the company. In essence, the culture at Masabi is a blend agile management, autonomy, self-governance, regular evaluation and engagement tracking. This approach has feed forward influences on coaching and development.
If you work in marketing, then you know about Buffer. Buffer only began operations in 2010 and currently has 72 employees split globally. Buffer have a very open approach to their culture, both with their employees and with the wider world. A huge element to Buffer’s culture is transparency.
Buffer pride themselves on being transparent. When experiencing a decline in traffic, Buffer made no attempts to hide this. Instead they shared it with the world and discussing their ways of trying to regain this traffic. Trying to become even more transparent, they’ve released all their employee’s salary information on their site!
Culture at Adobe is multi-award winning. As with most of these examples, Adobe have particularly generous employee perks and incentives. Adobe offer staff onsite cafes and yoga, good health care and even paid vacations! But more importantly Adobe invest heavily in employee development and in their corporate responsibility.
Adobe make sure their employees know, adhere to and embrace their core company values, which in turn transcends down to their customers. Adobe focus on honesty, innovation and community involvement. Adobe provide staff with a huge amount of opportunities to be innovative and they encourage their staff to explore new ideas with the room to allow for failure.
Bluecore is a retail marketing platform which uses AI tech to help companies improve their campaign performance. Bluecore connects real time product and consumer data. Recently, Bluecore conducted an employee survey measuring rewards, innovation, culture, management and leadership. The results indicated that 96% of employees rated Bluecore a great place to work.
“At Bluecore, we are deeply proud of our culture and our people just as much as our cutting-edge retail marketing technology,” - Laura Cooper (Senior VP of People)
There is a heavy focus on employee development at Bluecore with senior leaders offering career guidance and coaching to employees. Further, at Bluecore there is an explicit link between customer and employee satisfaction. They make it very clear that they are focused on improving both the employee and customer experience believing that they operate hand in hand.
So, what have we learned? Well we definitely know that culture is important. But what is shown above is culture can be built in different ways. Transparency, integrity and development are all independent methods and examples of building company culture. Think about what your core values are and try and build a culture that works for you.
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