Are your employees proud to say where they work? Do they leap at the opportunity to tell friends, family, and even strangers about how wonderful their job is?
If not, your company culture might need an overhaul. Sometimes it’s hard to evaluate your own work culture when you’re so close to it, so it helps to look at examples from others.
Bain and Company
Headquarters: Boston, MA
Number of employees: 18,000
Global management consulting firm Bain & Company has been ranked No. 1 on Glassdoor’s Best Places to Work list five times since the job site began issuing the rankings in 2009. In fact, Bain & Company has never fallen outside of the top 10.
Bain & Company’s employees are unapologetic in their loyalty to the Company, largely thanks to the organization’s commitment to its culture of support. On day one, new employees are taught the company motto, “A Bainie never lets another Bainie fail.” Bain & Company prioritizes professional development and invests heavily in training employees for success during their tenure at the Company and in their future endeavors.
The firm designed its workplace in such a way that employees are consistently exposed to diverse opinions and experiences. Instead of dividing workstations by department or rank, each part of the office has a mix of consultants, managers, and partners.
Headquarters: Cambridge, MA
Number of employees: 7,500
HubSpot is proud of its obsession with company culture. In 2013, it shared its HubSpot Culture Code slide deck on LinkedIn, and since then, it has been updated many times and amassed more than 6 million views.
With the state of the modern workplace in mind, HubSpot established its culture code, made up of the following ten tenets:
- We commit maniacally to both our metrics and mission.
- We obsess over customers, not competitors.
- We are radically and uncomfortably transparent.
- We give ourselves the autonomy to be awesome.
- We are unreasonably selective about our peers.
- We invest in individual mastery and market value.
- We defy conventional “wisdom” as it’s often unwise.
- We speak the truth and face the facts.
- We believe in work + life, not work vs. life.
- We are a perpetual work in progress.
The company also emphasizes the importance of having employees who are a great cultural fit. They encourage their workfroce to embrace the following attributes represented in their handy acronym, HEART:
Headquarters: Los Gatos, CA
Number of employees: 12,000
Being an entertainment company, it makes sense that Netflix would use a best-selling children’s book as inspiration for its approach to company culture.
On its Culture page, Netflix quotes The Little Prince, “If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up the people to gather wood, divide the work, and give orders. Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea.”
Netflix gives its employees the freedom to be responsible by encouraging them to use their best judgment and not feel obligated to involve management in every decision. The company culture centers around supporting collaboration and transparency. Nearly every document is open for anyone in the organization to read and comment on, including memos on strategies and competitor performance.
Netflix builds “dream teams,” which they define as a group of colleagues who are extraordinary at what they do and are highly effective collaborators. Netflix only has wonderful employee retention of top talent, but the company refuses to hire “brilliant jerks” because they believe the cost of effective teamwork is too high.
Headquarters: Dallas, TX
Number of employees: 66,000
Southwest prides itself on its commitment to its customers. In particular, its first customers — a.k.a., its employees. It has no problem declaring it prioritizes employee happiness and the employee experience above customer satisfaction.
The airline understands that by supporting its workforce and prioritizing the needs of its employees, it empowers employees to assist customers better. And clearly, it’s working. Southwest is the only domestic airline with 45 consecutive years of profitability and has been ranked No. 1 in the Department of Transportation Customer Satisfaction Ranking for 22 of the last 26 years.
Southwest asks its employees to “Live the Southwest Way” with a Warrior Spirit, a Servant’s Heart, and a Fun-LUVing Attitude. The airline rewards commitment to the organization through its Southwest Airlines Gratitude (SWAG) points, which are awarded monthly for perfect attendance and can be used to purchase items like gift cards and iPads. Southwest also encourages employee engagement by inviting workers to attend Southwest Airlines University, which offers professional development opportunities like public speaking classes.
How to build an exceptional company culture
Your company may not be like the ones in this list, but that doesn’t mean you can’t create an inspiring organizational culture. Creating an outstanding company culture is simply a matter of investing in creating a positive employee experience.
As long as you commit to building a supportive and smart workplace, provide employees with the tools and technologies they need to succeed, and invest in their wellbeing, you’re well on your way to building a work culture that will make your competitors jealous.