6 Real-Life Examples of Cultivating a Strong Company Culture

Creating a positive environment in your workplace can sometimes be challenging. Learn how some of the world's best companies do it with these famous company culture examples.

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Company culture is an organization’s foundation influencing everything from employee morale to bottom-line profitability, not just a trendy catchphrase. In today’s competitive market, cultivating a beneficial company culture isn't just “nice-to-have”, it’s a must.

From boosting employee engagement to attracting top-tier talent and enhancing overall productivity, a positive workplace culture is a game-changer for any organization. However, navigating the terrain of culture-building isn't always crystal clear. That's where insights from exemplary companies can help, providing inspiration and practical strategies for cultivating your own culture of excellence.

The Benefits of a Strong Company Culture

Company culture isn't just another corporate buzzword. It can affect just about every aspect of a company — including profitability. Having a strong company culture can benefit an organization in so many ways, including:

  • Increasing employees' connection to the company mission
  • Making employees feel that the work they do matters
  • Employees being more likely to work harder, which translates to increased profits
  • Attracting and retaining top talent, which is especially important in an ultra-competitive landscape
  • Ensuring employees are more engaged, leading to better productivity, decreased turnover, and less burnout

Still, for all the benefits it has, building a positive workplace culture isn't easy. Sometimes, you need someone to show you the way. Just like your executive team may read books or take training courses to help them get better at their jobs, observing companies that have built strong cultures can help you build one, too.

Let's Explore 6 Companies Known for Their Positive Company Culture:

The Best Company Culture Companies

A positive corporate culture has many benefits for the company and its employees. However, it can sometimes be tough to know what a good company culture looks like. Here are several real-world examples of great company cultures to help you as you build yours.

1. Google

Perks, Perks, Perks! 🌟

Google has earned a spot on many "best places to work" lists. Even those who don't work in tech have heard about all the perks those who work at Google have. These include free lunch, fitness facilities, access to mental health apps, and even a laundromat.

Employees love these perks because they make them feel like the company genuinely cares about them. In turn, many employees don't mind working hard to help the company achieve its strategic goals.

These perks are definitely something for employees to brag about, which does a lot to improve Google's employer brand. However, this isn't the only reason that Google provides them.

They also make employees want to come to work, whether in person or remotely. In turn, this makes for a truly vibrant work environment. People working in places like these are much happier, less stressed, and have the bandwidth to be more creative and innovative.

All this positivity in Google's innovative culture often leads to a much more collaborative workplace. 

In 2021, the company fully embraced a hybrid work environment. Their workforce has been able to leverage cloud computing and digital communication tools to collaborate. This makes it much easier for their global team to work together on innovative projects.

Additionally, Google prioritizes and promotes openness among all employees. Regardless of positioning or hierarchy, they want their team to be able to share information freely and be transparent with each other.

Google's floor plan encourages this. Its sprawling campus is built around the idea of "bent rectangles" and ensuring employees are never too far away from each other for what former head of real estate David Radcliffe once called "casual collisions of the workforce."

That commitment to open communication also goes both ways. Google encourages employees to bring their authentic selves to work. 

The organization works hard at fostering a sense of psychological safety. It promotes two-way communication and on-the-spot feedback where everyone can share ideas and concerns with their teammates.

There is a reason Google is known as one of the most innovative companies on the planet. It may be due to its vibrant and collaborative culture.

The takeaway: If you want to build a positive culture, show your employees you truly care about them and work to build psychological safety where everyone's ideas are welcome.

2. Zappos

Creating Fun and a Little Weirdness 👟

To its customers, Zappos.com is known as an online retail shop that sells shoes, clothing, and accessories with free round-trip shipping. On the inside, Zappos employees think of the business as much more than a retailer. Some see Zappos as being less about a business and more about being on a mission.

The team at Zappos makes it abundantly clear that they want employees to be themselves at work. In fact, this idea is baked into the way they approach everything.

The company did away with traditional hierarchies a long time ago. It has also long had a two-interview hiring process. In the first, they assess the candidate's background and skills. The second interview is about whether they're a good fit for Zappos' progressive corporate culture.

The company's mission embraces 10 core values, including:

  • Create fun and a little weirdness
  • Embrace and drive change
  • Be adventurous, creative, and open-minded
  • Be passionate and determined
  • Build a positive team and family spirit

These values are no doubt great for driving innovation throughout the company. However, there's no denying the fact that they also make working at Zappos sound like a lot of fun. 

Zappos wants to work with people who don't just see these as core company values. When Zappos hires team members, they also want to know whether employees are living out these values in their time away from work, too.

The company is so committed to hiring candidates who fit in with a fun culture that they'll pay them to leave if they don't like it. If you get hired at Zappos and decide after your training that you don't like it, the company will pay you $2,000 to leave. This is how seriously their team takes workplace happiness and positivity.

When employee well-being is faltering, companies lose money on

There is much evidence that focusing on workplace happiness is a good idea. When employee well-being is faltering, companies lose money on:

  • Higher medical costs
  • Increased turnover
  • Decreased productivity
  • Increased stress and burnout
  • Lost opportunities

However, when employee happiness and well-being are thriving, the reverse becomes true. Employees are more engaged, and outcomes are far better.

The takeaway: Although it may seem like a good idea to focus on profits, your company may find more success ensuring employee happiness and engagement are top priorities.

3. Salesforce

Building Business Value Through Equality ⚖️

Every company has a different way to approach building a positive company culture. Salesforce's focus is on building business value through ensuring equality throughout its organization

Some may question whether diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives can truly drive real returns. Fortunately, research has proven that they can, and Salesforce is banking on it.

One of Salesforce's top priorities is to build a workplace that mirrors the world around them. The company has spent years collecting data about the cultural and social makeup of the United States. Through a voluntary self-ID initiative, Salesforce has also collected the same type of data about its own workforce.

In comparing the two datasets every year, the company has made great progress in its efforts toward better representation.

Currently, over half of Salesforce's employees in the United States come from underrepresented groups. Still, the company recognizes it has work to do and has goals to increase the representation of women-identifying and non-binary employees across its global workforce. 

The good news is that this hard work is paying off. Salesforce was awarded multiple prestigious honors in the last few years, including:

  • Being one of the World's Most Admired Companies (2022)
  • A score of 100% on the Corporate Equality Index (2022)
  • The #2 spot on Fortune's Best Companies to Work For List (2021)
  • A score of 100% on the Disability Equality Index (2020)

If research is a good indicator of where Salesforce is headed, this quest for diversity and equity, coupled with the company's commitment to philanthropy, will hopefully help the company maintain profitability and performance for many years to come.

The takeaway: Equality won't happen on its own. If you want to build a more inclusive and equitable workplace for all, you must be intentional about it. Assess the makeup of your company and create initiatives that will attract and retain people who share the same values.

4. HubSpot

Creating a Company You Love ❤️

Hubspot doesn't just talk about the importance of a good company culture. Their leaders have taken the initiative to codify it. One of their biggest and most important mantras is, "Whether you like it or not, you're going to have a culture. Why not make it one you love?"

Company culture quote from Hubspot

Fortunately, the company's leaders are working hard to do just that through two major commitments — transparency and flexibility. Hubspot achieves these goals in a few ways.

With regard to transparency, Hubspot doesn't just stop at an open-door policy. They've got a "no-door" policy. This means that any employee has access to anyone in the company at any time. 

Employees are always encouraged to bring their ideas, concerns, and feedback to work with no worries about whether offering them may get them in trouble.

Their company leaders also believe that success comes through sharing knowledge, not hoarding it. For this reason, their leaders make P&L statements available to everyone. This builds trust between executives and employees and streamlines true collaboration.

Hubspot also works to ensure flexibility for all employees. The company doesn't micromanage employees' sick days or behavior. Instead, employees are encouraged to simply "use good judgment." Employees have unlimited vacation and earn a paid month-long sabbatical for every five years they work at the company.

What has all this earned them? They've got the #2 spot for Best Place To Work in Glassdoor's Employee Choice Award. Additionally, 88% of Hubspot employees say it's a great place to work, compared to 57% at a typical company. This can help Hubspot attract and retain top talent that will help their company soar to even higher heights.

The takeaway: Don't approach culture-building haphazardly. Put your core values in writing to solidify your commitment to making them a reality.

5. REI

Healthy Culture, Healthy Employees 🧗

Let's start with the results — in 2023, REI made the Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For List for the 26th year in a row. This means the company has had an attractive culture for nearly three decades. How have they accomplished this?

For starters, REI cares deeply about employee well-being and work-life balance. Employees become eligible for high-quality healthcare benefits at 20 hours, not the 30 required by the federal government. The company also offers paid holidays, vacations, sabbaticals, and leaves of absence to take care of personal issues.

The company also pays employees to go outside. They get one paid day of outdoor activity every six months and $300 in products to take on a challenging outdoor activity. In its #OptOutside campaign, the store closes every Black Friday, instead paying employees to take the day off and get outdoors.

This, along with competitive pay and greater scheduling predictability, has led to an employee engagement level that is consistently above 85% and a 90%+ increase in applications to work for the company. If you're looking for a talent acquisition strategy, it's clear that nothing works better than a commitment to employee well-being.

The takeaway: A healthy culture starts with caring about your employees. Find ways to ensure your employees know you value them deeply. This helps keep them motivated and engaged, as well as empowering them to leave employee feedback that only makes the culture stronger.

6. GoDaddy

Culture Champions 🌟

Last but not least, let’s look at GoDaddy as an example of exceptional company culture initiatives, especially when it comes to being a diversity-minded, transparent, people-first culture. GoDaddy’s Corporate Programs Manager was recently awarded as one of Confetti’s 2023 Culture Champions for her outstanding work in building a workplace community that facilitates connection and belonging. 

Quote on employee engagement from Emily Sherburne

GoDaddy is among the first companies to not only announce but publish their pay parity results. These results show how they’ve achieved both gender and ethnic pay parity in almost all areas of the business. They’ve also partnered with Stanford to reduce unconscious bias in people processes such as performance reviews and promotions.

The company has received numerous awards as a top workplace for both women and the LGBTQIA+ community, including a 100% Corporate Equality Index Score from the Human Rights Campaign. These merits demonstrate a culture that embraces diversity and champions its employees as they are.

When it comes to health benefits for the whole family, GoDaddy goes above and beyond the bare minimum by offering generous time-off policies and family-friendly benefits such as daycare subsidies, paid parental leave, fertility coverage, and adoption assistance.

GoDaddy also centers regular employee engagement initiatives and rewards to keep their teams connected such as:

  • Company-wide events and celebrations, including TechFest, holiday parties, Town Halls, and more
  • Team kudos and employee recognition programs
  • Charitable grant matching and volunteer opportunities 
  • Team building and professional development activities (that they throw with Confetti!)

The takeaway: Company cultures are successful when they deeply care for the well-being of their employees and their families, invest in building diverse teams, meet employees where they’re at, and treat them with transparency and respect.

Confetti

Workplace Culture Platform of the Year 🏆

Here at Confetti, we’re proud to foster a company culture centered around the following values: 

  • Respect: We demonstrate our respect for all humans by being an inclusive company and by constantly reassessing ourselves to ensure we’re treating employees, customers, vendors, partners, investors, and users with the utmost respect and consideration.
  • Empathy: Despite the power of technology, we believe that humans are at the core of every business, so we approach all elements of our work with kindness & empathy, keeping that fact in mind.
  • Honesty: We try to always under-promise and over-deliver, but we admit to our mistakes when we make them. We know that people cannot and should not be responsible for understanding each one of us individually, so we do our best to communicate our own complex internal workings as transparently as possible.
  • Growth: We challenge ourselves to be open-minded, level-headed, and flexible. (And we insert fun into every place and situation we can!)
  • Impact: We pride ourselves on hard work that results in true value and quality for our end users. Our never-ending passion for innovation drives us to create a larger positive impact on this planet.

We know the business of remote work, which is why we’re proud to place a strong emphasis on work-life balance and recognize the importance of allowing employees to recharge and maintain a healthy lifestyle. Our flexible work arrangements and time-off benefits include:

  • A generous take-what-you-need time-off policy, including unlimited mental health and sick days
  • Parental leave
  • Fully remote office 
  • 401(k) and stock options
  • Volunteer days 

Throughout the year, Confetti engages the team through:

  • Public employee recognition channels
  • Company Town Halls
  • Employee-led events hosted by our very own CVO’s (“Chief Vibes Officers)
  • Quarterly team-building events
  • Health and wellness challenges… and more!

When it comes to awards, Confetti won Corporate Vision's Corporate Excellence Awards as Workplace Culture Platform of the Year 2023! We’re proud to spread the love towards other employee experience and company culture champions through our own Confetti Awards as well. 

Create a Great Company Culture With Confetti

Working toward a good organizational culture has many benefits for both companies and employees. These include increased alignment with mission and goals, a better employer brand (which attracts top talent), and more engaged and productive employees — all while increasing employee retention.

Building a positive culture and developing the company's core values takes hard work and constant learning. What better place to start than by looking at some of the best company culture examples the corporate world has to offer? Doing so can give you a launching pad from which to create your own unique cultural experience for your employees.

Whatever your values, they must be built on a foundation of true care for your employees and a commitment to teamwork and camaraderie. Fortunately, Confetti can help you make that happen.

From fun onboarding experiences to virtual employee happy hours, we have solutions that allow your team to have fun and learn together via a creative culture. With a lot of work and a little entertainment, you can encourage everyone to support each other in making the entire organization a better place to work.

Improve company culture by using Confetti's team-building experiences that help your employees stay engaged, learn new things, and have fun in the process.

Navigating the Workplace Revolution: Company Culture in a Distributed Workforce
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faq

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is company culture important for employee engagement? 

Positive company culture gives employees a greater sense of belonging and job satisfaction. Plus, encouraging collaboration and team building experiences can make a positive impact on productivity and employee engagement

What role do team building activities play in shaping company culture?

Team building activities build camaraderie, strengthen employee relationships, boost creativity thinking and problem solving skills, which all contribute to a positive work environment and align with company cultural goals.

How can company culture be adapted to accommodate the remote workplace?

To make sure company culture thrives in a remote setting, businesses should embrace virtual team building initiatives, encourage transparent communication, and prioritize flexibility to support employee wellbeing. 

How can businesses assess their current company culture?

Conducting employee engagement surveys, holding focus groups, and analyzing employee feedback are all ways to gain insights into existing cultural elements and identify areas for improvement.

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