What Is Company Culture? (With Definition and Examples)

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  2. What Is Company Culture? (With Definition and Examples)

What Is Company Culture? (With Definition and Examples)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated December 5, 2021 | Published February 15, 2021

Updated December 5, 2021

Published February 15, 2021

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A company’s culture includes the qualities that set them apart from other organizations. How employees function within the workplace and how the public perceives the organization is two key components of company culture. If you’re looking for a new job, it’s important to find a workplace that fits your values to feel productive and satisfied with the work you do. In this article, we define company culture and provide culture examples you might encounter in your job search.

What is company culture?

The culture of a company is a set of shared core values and practices that define an organization, both internally for employees and externally as part of its public image. The more well-defined a company’s culture is, the more likely they are to attract top talent that prioritizes shared values.

Why is strong company culture important?

Strong company culture helps make work feel exciting and purposeful by enhancing the following areas:

Employee engagement

Employee engagement is the extent to which employees feel motivated and passionate about the work they do. A strong company culture encourages employees to feel committed to their work by creating a community of like-minded individuals driven by similar principles. Employees who are more engaged when they come to work are also more likely to relate to one another and solve problems effectively.

Productivity

Employees are most productive when they feel like a valued member of their team. A strong culture creates a diverse, inclusive workplace where employees feel their contributions matter. This sense of value can increase productivity, leading to consistent output and better results overall.

Talent retention

Workers who enjoy their company and its culture are more likely to remain there long term. This can also increase a company’s external reputation as it becomes known for being a workplace where employees want to stay and grow.

What defines a good company culture?

Each company or organization is unique in its approach to the work and values that bring them together as a team. Good company culture is consistent and authentic to those specific values. There are three common attributes that companies tend to consider when defining and strengthening their company’s culture:

  • Performance: This is the quality of work employees produce rather than the hours they put in. Focusing on performance emphasizes celebrating the work employees do and encourages them to recognize each other’s achievements.

  • Autonomy: Autonomy the belief in employee’s independence and ability to work on their own. This allows employees to take pride in their work and empowers them to succeed.

  • Passion: Passion is the intrinsic motivation that employees feel for their work. Employees guided by passion can feel more connected to their purpose at work.

Related: Guide To Company Culture

Components of company culture

Although company culture is unique to each individual organization, several broad elements make up every company culture:

  • Missions and values

  • Relationship between leadership and employees

  • Employee acknowledgment

  • Professional development

  • Aesthetics and culture

Missions and values

A company’s mission and core values are the ideas, beliefs and practices that guide operations. The missions and values of a company unite employees through a shared purpose and provide a sense of community. Some examples of values for a business include integrity, diversity and innovation.

Relationship between leadership and employees

Employees look to management to perform their tasks and understand their role in the workplace. Part of a company’s culture is properly defining the relationship that exists between an organization’s management and its employees to set expectations.

Planning and defining consistent channels of communication also helps employees understand what their managers expected from them. Whether a company culture prioritizes a transparent, open-door policy or prefers to maintain traditional hierarchies, how they navigate communication with management will help establish the type of company they are.

Acknowledgement of achievement

A company’s culture should define how and to what degree management will acknowledge employee’s achievements. Employees that feel appreciated and valued are more likely to continue to produce quality work. Whether it is a quick recognition during a meeting or a quarterly event that rewards milestones, organizations with strong, well-defined cultures typically make sure that employees feel valued and celebrated for their work.

Related: A Guide To Meaningful Employee Recognition

Professional development

A company’s investment in its employees’ professional development can promote a culture of success and achievement. If a company puts a strong emphasis on their employees’ innovation, for example, it may be valuable to host workshops and promote certification programs that endorse these skills.

Aesthetics and atmosphere

The look and feel of a company is often the first thing a new hire notices, and that image can help define the rest of an organization’s culture.

A company’s dress code, office layout, perks program and social calendar are all examples of how aesthetics and atmosphere can influence company culture. Although these qualities are not all visual, they help employees understand how a company treats its employees and what they can expect from a life in that workplace.

Culture of a company examples

Here are some examples of common company cultures:

The traditionalists

Traditionalist companies prefer to adhere to conventional norms for hierarchy and professional etiquette. These organizations value normalcy and emphasize the importance of data-driven results.

Traditionalist companies will often maintain typical office structures and professional, business casual dress codes. They value a clear distinction between work and personal life, preferring to set conventional expectations for productivity.

The collective

Collective companies are less focused on hierarchy and more focused on encouraging diversity of thought from all of their employees, regardless of their job title. Collectives encourage participation from all employees in every aspect of the business and loosen professional etiquette standards, prioritizing open communication.

Collectives may prefer open office layouts that place individuals from different teams together to integrate every aspect of the business, and they often promote social gatherings that include all employees.

The achievers

The achiever company prioritizes competitive skills and elite talent. These companies often look for employees that can match their quality of work and for individuals that can support their status as innovative, success-driven organizations.

Achievement-based companies often promote professional development and networking opportunities, and they may recruit employees focused on innovation in the workplace and beyond.

The givers

Giver companies are service-driven, united by a shared purpose in personal development and corporate responsibility. These companies often promote volunteer work and encourage employees to devote themselves to shared social causes. Givers feel most motivated by the effect their work has on the world around them, and these types of companies use these shared values to inspire their employees to achieve.