Article by Sujan Patel on entrepeneur.com
Having great company culture is no longer just an option. Today’s workers consider it as much as they consider salary and benefits. In fact, fantastic company culture is almost expected along with other traditional benefits.
Zappos has become almost as well known for its culture as it is for the shoes that it sells online. What does that culture look like?
It starts with a cultural fit interview, which carries half the weight of whether the candidate is hired. New employees are offered $2,000 to quit after the first week of training if they decide the job isn’t for them. Ten core values are instilled in every team member. Employee raises come from workers who pass skills tests and exhibit increased capability, not from office politics. Portions of the budget are dedicated to employee team building and culture promotion.
Great benefits and a workplace that is fun and dedicated to making customers happy all fit in with the Zappos approach to company culture — when you get the company culture right, great customer service and a great brand will happen on its own.
Takeaway: Zappos hires according to cultural fit first and foremost. It has established what the company culture is, and fitting into that culture is the most important thing managers look for when hiring. This promotes the culture and happy employees, which ultimately leads to happy customers.
See also our own interview with Zappos : Delivering Happiness at Zappos
2. Warby Parker
Warby Parker has been making and selling prescription glasses online since 2010. It designs its own glasses, and sells directly to customers, cutting out the middleman and keeping prices low.
Company culture at Warby Parker instigates “culture crushes,” and one reason for that level of success is a team dedicated to culture. That team means that a positive culture is on the forefront, setting up fun lunches, events and programs. The company makes sure that there is always an upcoming event so the entire team has something to look forward to, and it uses methods to make sure the entire team works well together by insisting everyone helps keep break areas clean or sending random employees out to lunch together.
Takeaway: Warby Parker has made company culture deliberate by creating a dedicated team tasked with coming up with events and programs to promote community. Great company culture doesn’t happen on its own.
3. Southwest Airlines
The airline industry is often mocked for grumpy employees and poor customer service, but Southwest Airlines bucks those trends. Customers loyal to Southwest often point to happy and friendly employees who try hard to help.
Southwest isn’t new to the game. It’s been in operation for 43 years. Yet somehow, during all that time, the company has managed to communicate its goals and vision to employees in a way that makes them a part of a unified team. Southwest also gives employees “permission” to go that extra mile to make customers happy, empowering them to do what they need to do to meet that vision.
Takeaway: Employees who are convinced of a larger common goal are people who are excited to be part of a larger purpose.
Employees of Twitter can’t stop raving about the company’s culture. Rooftop meetings, friendly coworkers and a team-oriented environment in which each person is motivated by the company’s goals have inspired that praise.
Employees of Twitter can also expect free meals at the San Francisco headquarters, along with yoga classes and unlimited vacations for some. These and many other perks are not unheard of in the startup world. But what sets Twitter apart?
Employees can’t stop talking about how they love working with other smart people. Workers rave about being part of a company that is doing something that matters in the world, and there is a sense that no one leaves until the work gets done.
Takeaway: You can’t beat having team members who are pleasant and friendly to each other, and are both good at and love what they are doing. No program, activity or set of rules tops having happy and fulfilled employees who feel that what they are doing matters.
While oil and gas companies are prime targets for a lot of negative PR and public ire, Chevron employees responded favorably towards the company’s culture. Employees compared Chevron with other similar companies and pointed out “the Chevron way” as being one dedicated to safety, supporting employees and team members looking out for each other.
Chevron shows it cares about employees by providing health and fitness centers on site or through health-club memberships. It offers other health-oriented programs such as massages and personal training. Chevron insists employees take regular breaks. In other words, the company shows it cares about the well-being of employees, and employees know that they are valued.
Takeaway: Your company culture doesn’t have to be ping-pong tables and free beer. Simply providing employee’s with a sense of safety and well-being and creating a policy where everyone looks out for each other can easily suffice.
Find out about the other 5 companies in the original article.