Your company culture reflects the beliefs, values and behaviors of everyone in your workforce. As a result, the culture has a significant effect on the success of a business.
It's important to cultivate a positive company culture right from the beginning because it is difficult to change behaviors and attitudes that have become the norm. If you need some inspiration when determining your desired company culture, it can be helpful to review examples of successful businesses so that you can emulate the cultures that make the most sense for yours. Here are five:
Examining the cultures of other companies can help you create a list of desired attitudes and behaviors that you will seek in the people you hire. When you avoid hiring the wrong people, you can improve employee satisfaction and reduce turnover. Google is one of the companies you might consider emulating, especially if your business is involved in the technology field. The company has an informal product development process and gives staff members access to the co-founders and chief executive.
If your company relies on customer service professionals to keep customers happy, examine the company culture of Wegmans Food Markets, which is consistently voted one of the best places to work in the United States. Instead of focusing on rapid expansion, Wegmans opens just a few new stores each year. This allows the company to send its best employees to the new locations to get the stores set up properly. Wegmans spends millions of dollars training employees and will not open a new store until all staff members are fully trained and ready to work.
3. DreamWorks Animation
If creativity is one of the most important traits you look for when hiring employees, the company culture of DreamWorks Animation may be worth reviewing. DreamWorks executives strive to foster creativity by encouraging employees to take risks and giving staff members the opportunity to engage in spontaneous discussions. This type of company culture seems to be paying off for DreamWorks because the company has an astonishing 97 percent employee retention rate.
Salesforce.com also has a company culture worth imitating if you work in the competitive technology field. Led by Marc Benioff, Salesforce.com delivers cloud computing solutions for businesses around the world. Staff members collaborate by sharing ideas via a social networking application called Chatter. This application allows employees to analyze data, compare drafts of documents and share ideas in real time. Real-time data sharing eliminates the lag associated with the use of email and other older methods of communication.
When considering pricing in determining your company culture, you may want to take a look at Apple's corporate culture. Apple is known for its innovative products and sleek designs. The company is also known for offering tech products at higher price points than its competitors, but consumers still line up to buy new products or purchase upgraded versions of existing products. Apple corporate culture is built on innovation, but critics report that the executives push their employees hard and expect nothing less than the best from them. The company's focus on creating seamless consumer technology has allowed it to prosper even when other tech companies have experienced declines in sales.
Create Your Own Culture
One of the major pitfalls of basing your culture on successful company culture examples is that culture is not a one-size-fits-all concept. You can gather valuable information by researching the corporate culture of other companies, but you must be sure to pick the values and behaviors that will work best for your particular business.
If you want to create a company culture that helps your business thrive, you must work toward that culture from the start-up phase of your business. Doing things right from the beginning will save you from having to correct undesirable behaviors or ask employees to change their attitudes at a later date. Investing in books and other educational tools about management and company culture can also help you create a culture that makes you proud.