An Overview of Organizational Culture
When it comes to recruiting top talent, if you don’t have a great organizational culture you'll struggle to attract those special talents.
Today, employees consider work culture as one of the most significant factors when exploring job opportunities, and they can identify a poor company culture from a mile away.
Your organizational culture should precisely reflect your company and its people. However, it never hurts to learn from businesses that are already getting it right.
With that in mind, let’s look into 6 business culture examples that will help anybody interested in developing a stronger organizational culture.
Organizational Culture Definition
According to Brian Chesky, Co-Founder & CEO of Airbnb, “Culture is simply a shared way of doing something with a passion.”
What is organizational culture? It’s a set of attitudes, principles, beliefs, objectives, and other traits a business follows to create a satisfying work environment.
Great company culture is the key to developing the characteristics essential for corporate success.
And you will observe its impacts on your bottom line. The key reasons to invest in developing company culture are better brand identity, reputation, and employee retention.
Businesses with healthy cultures have 1.5X more chances of witnessing revenue growth of 15% or more over 3 years and they are 2.5X more likely to see substantial stock growth over the same period.
Despite this, only 31% of HR leaders believe they have the organizational culture necessary to drive potential growth.
Getting there is not easy, which is why 85% of companies fail in transforming their work culture.
Top 6 Organizational Culture Examples
Source: BDC Network
1. Bento for Business
Bento for Business is a spending management platform that helps small companies control employee expenses with smart employee debit cards.
According to John Turner, Full-stack Engineer at Bento, “Although we move at a fast pace, and it might seem that we don’t have time to sit and explain things, every employee at Bento loves sharing, helping, and lifting others.”
The company’s motto “Be Human” exemplifies Bento’s commitment to both professional and personal development.
Source: Bento for Business
To support employees in all facets of their lives, Bento’s leadership team extends their mentorship beyond the workplace, helping workers be more human. This approach of helping and supporting one another is transferred throughout the business from coworkers to clients and partners.
“The open-door attitude at Bento is real — not just something leadership says or puts on a wall. Being able to work directly and chat freely with people with years and years of industry experience is important for my professional growth, and I have had that since day one,” says Shuyi Shang, Marketing Manager at Bento.
What Makes Bento’s Organizational Culture Great?
No matter their level, employees feel appreciated in all facets of their lives, including both their professional and personal goals. Everyone goes to lunch together which is always covered by Bento. This allows them to chat and foster relationships outside of the workplace.
The office design also supports Bento’s work culture as none of the employees have separate offices. They all sit together in an open-seating arrangement at long, shared desks. Moreover, the company doesn’t divide based on titles or hierarchy, so their CEO sits in the same room as their most junior developer.
Employees are given the liberty to select where they would like to sit. Being all together nurtures easy collaboration and great work, which in turn results in great company culture.
How Bento’s Organizational Culture Helps the Company?
Bento for Business was recognized with the 2019 Best Places to Work award from Built In Chicago, an online community for Chicago startups and tech companies.
Bento ranked at number 6 overall, as well as number 2 in the Best Small Companies category and number 2 in the Best Paying Companies category.
For Bento’s great work culture and efforts, the business has been acknowledged as one of Chicago’s “50 on Fire” technology companies. Moreover, CB Insights named Bento a small business FinTech trend to watch in its inaugural US Small Business FinTech Report.
The company has raised a total of $18.5 million in venture capital from leading investors and is a hot favorite among talented candidates for roles in engineering, operations, sales and marketing, and more.
Lessons to Learn from Bento’s Work Culture
Create a positive culture of leadership and mentoring. Encourage one-on-one meetings between different roles and teams.
Ensure all employees are comfortable working together with coworkers at all levels.
Blackbaud is a cloud-based software provider for the philanthropic industry. It has built its organizational culture around a shared passion for giving back.
“You can’t truly be successful at Blackbaud unless you are passionate about serving the nonprofit community,” says Brandon Phipps, VP of Sales & Market Development at Blackbaud.
Blackbaud encourages its employees to volunteer by organizing team-wide service projects, providing them with ample vacation time. It also offers a company match for employee charitable giving.
Workers are encouraged to take part in the selection process of the company’s Blackbaud Community Grants program that awards grant money to local nonprofits in Austin, Texas.
But it isn’t all work as the organization also arranges social events based on themes they love, such as pinewood derbies, potlucks, Harry Potter parties, and an annual Star Wars movie marathon.
“Every spring and fall, we sponsor a company-wide service event to get out with our coworkers and build relationships.” says Justin Womack, Senior Technical Account Manager at Blackbaud.
What Makes Blackbaud’s Organizational Culture Great?
Blackbaud has developed its business culture around people who are passionate about nonprofits. Bonding around a shared cause brings the team together and guarantees that everybody is working toward the same goal.
“Each day is different, but seeing an employee grow within an organization is truly inspiring. Blackbaud is a unique gem, combining a focus on social good and technology,” says Stefanie Greene, HR Manager at Blackbaud.
The company also has an employee-driven culture team that tries to organize at least one event per month catering to all interest areas.
They also championed having a float in the Austin Pride Parade in 2018 for the first time.
How Blackbaud’s Organizational Culture Helps the Company?
The company’s culture has helped it incessantly evolve over 30 years, moving its software to the cloud. This transition needed them to reinvent all of their in-house processes without disturbing their clients’ work. They had to be quick and adept at navigating changes.
Their close-knit team supported them at every step in changing their fundamental offering from a software solution to a series of capabilities and analytics that have an instant and measurable impact on consumer outcomes.
In 2018 and 2020, the company made it to the list of Forbes' Best Employers for Women. It was recognized in the IT/Internet software category for excellence in diversity, pay equity, professional development, family support, and more.
In addition to this recognition, Blackbaud's commitment to diversity and inclusion has earned it spots on Forbes' 2019 and 2018 America's Best Employers for Diversity list, Forbes' Best Midsize Employers list for four years, and AnitaB.org's list of Top Companies for Women Technologists for the past two years.
Lessons to Learn from Blackbaud’s Work Culture
It’s important to create a culture of passion. A company’s mission goes deeper than profits. Accentuating your company’s mission and employing like-minded people will reinforce the significance of what you do and nurture a self-sustaining culture of success.
3. CB Insights
CB Insights uses machine learning for data analysis, helping businesses understand industry trends and make informed decisions based on facts. For a business that analyzes trends, its workers must be updated with developing technology.
Managers frequently talk with employees about their pathways and where they’d like to grow personally and professionally. They also encourage teams to undertake new challenges. The company organizes a quarterly Hack Day where employees work on anything they want for the business for 24 hours.
What Makes CB Insights’ Organizational Culture Great?
CB Insights hires people who are hungry for knowledge and they continuously feed that hunger with opportunities to learn and grow.
“CB Insights gave me the room to learn and grow into the various positions I took on, especially when I switched to DevOps. I had never done anything like it, and the whole concept was new to me. CB Insights provided me with education stipends and paid for me to attend conferences that helped me develop into that role,” says Chima Atufunwa, Lead DevOps Engineer at CB Insights.
As a rapidly growing company, it maintains a collaborative and dynamic culture, and only engages people who embody its four H’s –happy, humble, helpful, and hungry.
The company’s work culture is built around people who are ambitious, innovative, and eager to solve problems.
How CB Insights’ Organizational Culture Helps the Company?
“We were less than 25 at the end of 2014 and crossed 60 in just 10 months. This growth is awesome (especially since it comes from revenue and profitability) but it also highlighted the importance of culture,” says Anand Sanwal, Founder of CB Insights.
CB Insights was rated number 9 among small and medium-sized companies in the US, according to Glassdoor’s 2018 Ranking of the “Best Places to Work – Employee’s Choice”.
Lessons to Learn from CB Insights’ Work Culture
Develop a culture that prioritizes individual development. Both professional and personal development are the main factors that contribute to a person’s success. Supporting the passions of your team members will engage them more and they’ll be more motivated at work and life in general.
FloQast is a cloud-based software provider that helps accounting departments streamline and improve workflows. Mike Whitmire, Co-Founder & CEO says, “Overall, I think it’s really important for management to be open about what’s going well and what’s going poorly with the business. I like discussing the good, but honestly, I see more value from discussing the bad.”
Having an open-door policy across teams and experience levels has built a supportive culture where everybody in the company is comfortable asking difficult questions and making a team effort to overcome hardships.
Moreover, employees are more comfortable to be their unfiltered selves and be open about their worries and requirements within their team and in their individual career paths.
What Makes FloQast’s Company Culture Great?
For FloQast, transparency is key to their culture. It is personified by everybody from the CEO to the latest recruit.
The secret to their continued success is not only the quality of their product but also the company’s commitment to transparency, teamwork, accountability, and empowerment of the right people with the right support.
This attitude is reflected in their HR strategy and has also helped their team at the individual level, many of whom started with FloQast in its initial stages and have grown along with the business.
How FloQast’s Organizational Culture Helps the Company?
The company grew tenfold in just over five years. Their dedication to developing an open culture strategy has been paying off too. FloQast received a $25 million Series B funding in 2017 and saw a 250% growth of their team. It also relocated to a 20,000-square-foot office space.
Over the years, the company has been able to retain its employees and Mike gives its credit to culture management. “To start, we simply tried to create a company in which we would want to work. From there, we continued to hire people who were great at what they do and who we enjoy working with" he says.
Recently, FloQast was named to Inc. magazine’s annual Best Workplaces list for 2021 based on its dynamic work culture, deep employee engagement, unbiased recruitment strategy, and remarkable benefits.
In January 2021, the company made it to the Best Place to Work in Los Angeles list by Built In LA, as well as one of LA’s Best Midsize Companies to Work For and an LA Company with the Best Benefits.
In 2020, it was named one of the Best Places to Work in Los Angeles by the Los Angeles Business Journal.
Lessons to Learn from FloQast’s Work Culture
Build a culture strategy around transparency. Have open discussions about business and the internal and external factors that impact its wellbeing. If managers are transparent with their direct reports, open discussions will flow through the business.
Hireology is a software provider that helps businesses manage their employee lifecycle. The company employs more than 100 in-house workers and over 40 remote employees, which makes it difficult to build an inclusive and coherent culture.
Joel Schlundt, VP of Engineering at Hireology says, “We’re able to build more diverse teams from a larger talent pool. When you have a blended team, your local staff can help bridge gaps and build empathy.”
Although remote work introduces opportunities for both businesses and employees, it can push the confines of virtual correspondence.
To guarantee seamless communication, the company has prepared its team with everything it needs, including video conferencing in every meeting space and training for remote employees to avoid technical glitches.
Hireology also flies remote employees to its Chicago office twice a year for onsite events and valuable face-to-face time.
What Makes Hireology’s Business Culture Great?
Empathy and communication are essential to developing relationships between remote and in-house employees. The company has even implemented empathy exercises, where workers exchange jobs for a few hours to help them understand the problems of other roles.
“The ability to understand a small slice of someone else’s job has helped teams communicate and really feel for each other,” says Scott Brinkman, VP of Product.
Recently, Hireology has completed an office expansion and renovation with their remote team in mind.
Each conference room is equipped with great audiovisual technology, and their presentation space is designed to provide a great experience for remote workers watching an in-office event.
How Hireology’s Organizational Culture Helps the Company?
Hireology has twice been recognized nationally as a “Top 50 Best Workplace” by Inc. Magazine and was named a “Top Company Culture” by Entrepreneur magazine. It has been named the "Best and Brightest Company to Work For" in Chicago each year since 2015.
The company was ranked number 133 in the 2018 Deloitte Technology Fast 500™ Awards for North America, with 834% revenue growth. This was the second consecutive year Hireology was recognized for its massive revenue growth.
In 2017, Hireology earned two esteemed awards from HRO Today magazine’s 2017 Baker’s Dozen Customer Satisfaction ranking.
Lessons to Learn from Hireology’s Company Culture
Create a culture that includes all employees –local as well as remote. Irrespective of where your workers are physically located, it’s critical to make them feel like they are an important part of the team.
Invest in quality technology and create a daily routine that includes remote and in-house workers so that they can build relationships and contribute to your organizational culture.
Nerdery is a digital business consultancy that helps medium to large-sized companies in the healthcare, retail, and manufacturing sectors.
To manage a broad customer base, the company has successfully developed a team of people with an extensive range of backgrounds and experiences.
Creating one culture that’s true to so many unique people may sound difficult, but it’s actually just the opposite.
According to Jim Butts, Principal Software Engineer and Team Manager at Nerdery, “Trying to create a culture from the top down never feels quite right. So my focus has been in supporting activities Nerds are passionate about and encouraging everyone to share their interests – however obscure.”
Nerdery inspires employees to explore their passions, and the office space echoes their range of interests with Jurassic Park and Chamber of Secrets-themed conference rooms and a Cabinet with over 400 games.
When a worker is promoted, the team celebrates by recording an artistic video (called “Level Up”) centered on their interest and individual personality.
Nerdery is one of those businesses that are abandoning the idea of “culture fit” and shifting to “culture add.”
What Makes Nerdery’s Work Culture Great?
The employee culture is centered on trust. Their employees are happy and proud to share their unique professional and personal passions. “We hire a lot of folks with different professional and cultural backgrounds. This is awesome because of the different views they bring and the amazing conversations that come from their stories,” says Gregg Walrod, Head of Engineering at Nerdery.
Even the company’s leadership demonstrates a true commitment to culture. Once they had a Nerd Therapy meetup event with a panel of several DEI leaders in the Chicago area.
Their leadership team heard about the event and Adrian Slobin, their CEO, flew from Minneapolis to Chicago just to attend and speak to the audience about their commitment to DEI.
Nerdery has spent time understanding what being diverse, impartial, and inclusive looks like, and is now applying those learnings. They are taking a closer look at many parts of the company to see where they need to make changes.
How Nerdery’s Organizational Culture Helps the Company?
It is frequently awarded ‘Best Place to Work’ by the Minneapolis Business Journal and the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Even Inc. Magazine has listed Nerdery as one of the fastest-growing companies in the US.
Lessons to Learn from Nerdery’s Business Culture
Build a culture based on authenticity and trust. Besides accepting the individual factors that make every worker unique, this methodology creates a more inclusive workplace where people can be honest with feedback and recommendations.
Ideas to Inspire Your Organizational Culture
When it comes to creating your company culture, here are a few strategies that you may consider:
- Create a culture of support and improvement - By investing in your employees, you’ll not only make them feel appreciated but they’ll be fortified for continued growth, which will only help the business.
- Focus on inclusivity - Determine the best ways to bring people together, because teams that bond well, work better together. They are intrinsically more comfortable giving and receiving feedback and brainstorming ideas.
- Recruit talent from a variety of backgrounds - This means stepping away from your go-to recruitment platforms and targeting diverse candidates.
- Allow autonomy - Create a work culture that balances pushing people beyond their comfort zones and allowing them to succeed at what they do well.