Brian Kristofek, President and CEO of Upshot, said, “Being a great place to work is the difference between being a good company and a great company.” If you look up company culture, you will find pages of top companies that are focusing on this important strategy. Here are the four we are most inspired by.
Google made number four on Glassdoor’s list of top 50 places to work in 2017. “You have to have the culture,” says Google Chairman Eric Schmidt, “and you need to get it right.” Google has made their culture a priority and has truly gone above and beyond to make it amazing. Check out just some highlights of their unique culture.
Data, data, data. Google collects and analyzes data for just about every facet of their operations, including employee satisfaction and morale. Following employee trends and keeping an eye on overall happiness using data keeps them from losing people and also makes them one of the top employers in the world.
Infuse a little fun. Just some of the many fun perks Google employees can take advantage of are bowling alleys, volleyball breaks, subsidized massages, and basketball courts.
Free food. Google supplies their employees with incredible and FREE food. From amazing fresh fruit options to crepes and fresh bagels, Google’s goal is to improve productivity by offering high quality energy to their employees.
State of the art facilities. The Googleplex is a fun, relaxing, and creative environment that is a major draw for job seekers and a popular place to hang out for employees.
Time to innovate. Founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin explained what employee’s 20% time is: “We encourage our employees, in addition to their regular projects, to spend 20% of their time working on what they think will most benefit Google. This empowers them to be more creative and innovative. Many of our significant advances have happened in this manner.”
Because it’s a major employer, Google has created such an interesting and admirable culture that it has naturally attracted a lot of attention. Interviews, articles, and lists of best companies to work at have highlighted Google and what it’s like to work there. It now serves as a model that other companies try to emulate.
Dee Ann Turner, Vice President of Corporate Talent at Chick-fil-A said, “Culture is the soul of an organization.” Infusing a soul into a company makes it easier for employees to engage, which is key to recruiting and keeping employees. Chick-fil-A has made this their mission. Here are some reasons their culture is so noteworthy.
Service. Chick-fil-A follows Christian principles. Their main goal is “to glorify God by being a faithful steward of all that is entrusted to us and to have a positive influence on all who come into contact with Chick-fil-A.” This means excellent service.
Respect and kindness. From the moment a possible hire walks through the door, Chick-fil-A hiring managers look for these two important attributes in their employees. This policy makes respect and kindness pervade every aspect of the company culture.
Honesty. Trust is a major element in employee AND customer satisfaction, and trust can’t be fostered without honesty. From the cash register to the board room, respectful truth telling is a major part of Chick-fil-A’s philosophy.
Family oriented. Firstly, Chick-fil-A is family owned and operated. Secondly, they have committed to community service, especially when it comes to helping families in need. Thirdly, restaurants commonly have indoor play areas for children, as well as free mini cups of cheerios for little ones. Helping and serving families is an integral part of the culture at Chick-fil-A.
Giving. Over the past 3 years, Chick-fil-A has contributed over $68 million to over 700 educational and charitable organizations as well as millions of dollars of food donations across the country. They have also created various educational opportunities for their team members and youth all over.
In November of 2015 Turner published her book, “It’s My Pleasure,” explaining the distinct and powerful culture of the company and why it has had so much success. Revealing this information to the public has only increased respect and positive attention to the company and made it a model for others to learn from.
Chick-fil-A shares its cultural qualities of dignity, respect, and honor with every customer that goes there. With $5.8 billion in sales in 2014, that’s a lot of positive exposure to the public. In January 2016, customers witnessed a store manager take the time to feed and pray with a homeless man who was begging for food. In its efforts to give and serve in local communities, people see the values of this business in action.
Dennis Madsen, president and CEO of REI, said in an interview, “Employees can get benefits and incentives anywhere, but it’s harder for them to find a place where they can totally immerse themselves in the culture.” Here is how REI has worked to build an amazing culture.
Commitment to the environment. REI has an outdoor recreation perspective, so it’s fitting that the company focuses on projects to clean up the environment and community support. From providing grants to organizations that clean up natural habitats to encouraging employee involvement in local community projects, REI is known for its good environmental work.
Only the best products. Quality sets REI apart from the competition, and this reputation for providing the best is important to the company’s reputation. Employees feel pride in working here and taking part in making the best possible product.
Customer ownership. REI is actually a “cooperative” business structure, meaning customers pay a membership fee, giving them access to great discounts and rebates. This is a form of profit sharing and ownership that customers love. This community perspective is a major part of REI’s culture.
REI’s passion for the outdoors permeates all aspects of its culture. The company’s website is well crafted and includes hundreds of videos, one of the most popular and digestible forms of media, that are purely instructional and helpful to customers. Having a reputation for supporting outdoor adventures through education and image has been a great way to circulate awareness of the company’s culture.
REI’s Facebook page is beautiful and full of photos, videos, and quotes about adventures, equipment, and environmental efforts posted by employees and customers. It is a great way to get insight into what the company is all about, and to inspire people through their feed to enrich their lives with the outdoors.
REI’s Promoting Environmental Awareness in Kids (PEAK) program teaches children about outdoor ethics, like cleaning up waste and respecting wildlife, as well as having fun in nature. Efforts like these contribute to the company’s brand and its customer loyalty.
Apple, while being known for being one of the biggest innovators of the century, most people don’t know much about the culture at Apple. This is intentional on Apple’s part. But, what we do know about Apple has made them one of the top culture creator’s in the industry. Here is what makes them unique and excellent for company culture.
Secrecy. Apple has a culture of secrecy, not just when it comes to the public, but within the company as well. Everyone keeps to their own area of responsibility; anything else is not their business. Protecting intellectual property is so important to Apple that people don’t speak publicly, on blogs, or even to spouses about their experiences working there. It creates an atmosphere that feels “special” and exclusive, which employees claim to enjoy.
Lack of internal politics. Adam Lashinsky, the author of Inside Apple, said, “There’s not a lot of politics at Apple because you don’t have any information with which to play politics. So instead you go to work and you work. And that’s the – in a short version – the way of life at Apple.”
Startup culture: Apple has been around since 1976 and is an extremely large company, but somehow they have maintained the agility and innovative attitudes of a startup. This gives employees the feeling that there is still more to do and more to create.
Expect nothing but the best. Being an employee of Apple is a mark of high approval in the industry. It means you are one of the brightest and most innovative professionals in your field. This culture contributes to the exclusive and high minded nature of the culture.
Apple doesn’t do a lot of proactive marketing when it comes to their company culture. Their strategy of secrecy tells the world that they are working on something amazing and one-of-a-kind. Tim Cook, CEO at Apple, when asked about their secrecy, said, “Well, that is a part of the magic of Apple. And I don’t want to let anybody know our magic because I don’t want anybody copying it.”
From Mission Impossible to Legally Blonde, There are countless examples of Apple product placement in movies and shows, spreading the cool and popular image the company has even more. This kind of marketing makes Apple products and Apple jobs even more coveted.
These four companies are just a small sampling of amazing companies that strategically set up influential and inspiring cultures for their employees, customers and the world. Your company may develop a totally different culture, but whatever it ends up being, be consistent and faithful to it.