Posted on August 24, 2015

Learning from the Best: How to Build an Excellent Company Culture

Company culture is the personality of an organization, the energy that flows through each interaction and the values lived by employees. Culture can make or break an employee’s experience with any company and it is the reason many people choose to stay or flee. Many businesses, especially large tech companies, are known for having exceptional cultures. Check out some of the ways that these superstar companies make their corporate culture rock.

Accountability at Hubspot

In their slide deck on corporate culture, Hubspot says, “We have a 3-word policy on just about everything: use good judgment.” Each person is responsible for themselves, accountable for their own projects, and free to complete those projects in the way they feel will be most effective. Instead of micromanaging, Hubspot leaders give the reins and the responsibility to their team; after all, they hired them because they are great at what they do. Try entrusting projects and goals to your employees; if they are responsible for the outcomes, they’ll need to take more ownership and initiative to succeed, which in turn works wonders on a company’s culture.

Freedom to Fail at Progressive

At Progressive, “taking chances and pushing innovation is a way of life.” If no one ever took risks, no one would ever improve. In order to best serve customers and turn a profit, companies need to be on the cutting edge of their industry. When employees are afraid they’ll be punished for failure, they will hold back ideas they think are too ambitious and set lower goals. Freedom to fail, accountability, and encouragement to continuously try again are the perfect environment for genius and innovation to flourish.

Transparency at Twitter

Twice a year, Twitter publishes a "Transparency Report" in order to encourage their employees and users to “communicate fearlessly to build trust.” As a company built around sharing ideas and being a “window to the world,” Twitter's policy of openness and readily sharing information permeates their corporate culture in addition to their product. Obviously not everything needs to be shared, but if employees feel their managers don’t trust them or have something to hide, then your culture will suffer.

Collaboration at Google

Google’s workspaces are “designed to encourage interactions between Googlers within and across teams.” Google is consistently rated as one of the best places to work, in part because of its culture of collaboration and openness. The productivity and happiness of their employees speaks to the value of sharing difficulties, ideas, information, inspiration, and expertise among colleagues.

Passionate People at Netflix

Netflix calls for its employees to “inspire others with your thirst for excellence.” A culture cannot just be declared by the CEO; it has to be a part of the lived experience at your company. The excitement employees bring to work is contagious; it increases efficiency and spurs innovation. Hire people passionate about your company’s mission and then make their experience meaningful there.

There are many ways to make your company’s culture excellent, but none of them can be forced and none of them become effective overnight. If you have more questions about HR and your business, try reading this free whitepaper or check out Paycor’s HR Support Center.

Related articles:
5 Tips for Increasing Employee Engagement
How Technology Influences Corporate Culture
3 Tips for Empowering Your Workforce

Sources: Hubspot, Progressive, Twitter, Google, Netflix