Company culture: 4 organisations showing us the way forward


company culture

Are there any businesses out there who don’t aspire to have an amazing company culture? Highly unlikely; it’s something that’s a key focus for most businesses of virtually every size. Even companies known for having great cultures recognise they can’t just rest on their laurels. Cultures are dynamic entities shaped every day by the beliefs and actions of employees in their organisation. Here are some approaches organisations are taking as they up their game even further to grow and improve their company culture by nurturing mindsets (and heart-sets) the right way.

  1. Get employees to drive the employee value proposition (EVP)

Getting recruitment right is an important start. In fact, research suggests up to 50% of employee engagement comes from being the right cultural fit. That means attracting the right kind of people so companies are taking a look at their EVP to make sure it’s representing who they are and attracting individuals who’ll love being part of their culture.

Companies like Adobe subscribe to the view that the best EVPs are the ones powered by the employees themselves. It encourages its employees to share stories on social media about what makes it a best-in-class company through the hashtag #adobelife brilliantly; visit their Twitter feed and you’ll see how it’s become an ongoing conversation about the positives of life in the company.

  1. Give onboarding processes some TLC

Once someone’s joined the company, their first real taste of its culture comes during the initial few days and weeks via the onboarding process. Cosmetics company L’Oreal is so convinced about the importance of the role of effective onboarding in introducing and building their company culture, they’ve even launched an app to support it.

It’s part of a wider process to help integrate newcomers into the company so while other businesses might not be planning on building bespoke apps, there are plenty of other ideas from L’Oreal including culture-decoding seminars, learning games and mentor and buddy programmes that could give some inspiration for making an onboarding process enjoyable and effective.

  1. Prioritise employee wellness

Everyone knows what a struggle work can be when they’re feeling distracted by worries or not feeling well and there are many reasons why people can feel pretty jaded and not able to give work their all.

Some companies recognise this. They have been looking at ways they can nurture all aspects of employee wellbeing by developing cultures that increase energy. They want to actively avoid creating an environment where employees feel they have to struggle on and put on a front. The Energy Project urges companies to energise employees across four dimensions of energy: physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual. Using this approach, they’ve worked with companies like Schneider Electric to create a company culture where the focus on wellbeing is a major contributor towards fuelling sustainable high performance.

  1. Tell employees they’re making a difference

If someone knows their work’s having a positive impact, it’ll make what they’re doing a lot more meaningful than if they’re just drifting along. How will they know their work’s having a positive impact? One of the more obvious (and sometimes underutilised) ways is by other people telling them…

If people are in the habit of showing their appreciation, it creates a positive culture of gratitude. It motivates prosocial behaviour vital for a healthy culture. Giving an occasional few warm words then reverting back to business as usual is less likely to build the right kind of company culture. Showing appreciation every day creates a culture where engagement and a sense of purpose is business as usual.

Snacknation is one company that encourages employees to celebrate one another’s successes at company-wide meetings. Employees nominate peers, recognising their innovations or things they’ve done that support the company’s core values. Informal, spontaneous and genuine employee recognition has become their cultural norm and it’s helped the company go from strength to strength.


Jason Harney

Founder, also Director of Product and Marketing at Workstars. Jason has been instrumental in progressing social recognition software to the forefront of HR, against a backdrop of the traditional reward industry. As HR strategy begins to shift and innovate to meet the people and social challenges of the day. Trust, culture, values and engagement, matter more than ever. This is where Jason spends his time.