Company Culture Code: 4 Fantastic Examples

by Tiffany Bloodworth Rivers on January 30, 2019

Are your employees proud to say where they work? Do they leap at the opportunity to tell friends and family and even strangers about how wonderful their job is?

If not, your company culture might need an overhaul. Sometimes it’s hard to evaluate your own culture when you’re so close to it, so it helps to look at examples from others.

If you’re looking for some inspiration to revamp (or just refresh) your culture, check out these examples.

Company Culture: 4 Exceptional Examples

Bain & Company

Founded: 1973

Headquarters: Boston, MA

Number of Employees: 8,000

Global management consulting firm Bain & Company has been ranked No. 1 on Glassdoor’s Best Places to Work list five times since the job site began issuing the rankings in 2009. In fact, Bain & Company has never fallen outside of the top 10.

Bain & Company’s employees are unapologetic in their loyalty to the company, thanks in large part to the organization’s commitment to its culture of support. On day one, new employees are taught the company motto: “A Bainie never lets another Bainie fail.” Bain & Company highly prioritizes professional development and invests heavily in training employees for success both during their tenure at the company as well as in their future endeavors.

The firm designed its workplace in such a way that employees are consistently exposed to diverse opinions and experiences. Instead of dividing workstations by department or rank, each part of the office has a mix of consultants, managers and partners.


Founded: 2006

Headquarters: Cambridge, MA

Number of Employees: 2000

HubSpot is proud of its obsession with company culture. In 2013, it shared its HubSpot Culture Code slide deck on LinkedIn and since then, it has been updated over 25 times and amassed more than 4.2 million views.Company Culture Graphic

In the deck, the inbound marketing software provider explains some of the changes that inspired their unique approach to company culture:

With the state of modern work in mind, HubSpot established its culture code, made up of the following seven tenets:

  1. We commit maniacally to both our mission and metrics.
  2. We look to the long-term and Solve For The Customer.
  3. We share openly and are remarkably transparent.
  4. We favor autonomy and take ownership.
  5. We believe our best perk is amazing people.
  6. We dare to be different and question the status quo.
  7. We recognize that life is short.

The company also encourages its employees to be happier and more efficient by having them embrace the handy acronym, SCRAP:

  • Stop generating unused reports
  • Cancel unproductive meetings
  • Remove unnecessary rules
  • Automate manual processes
  • Prune extraneous process


Founded: 1997

Headquarters: Los Gatos, CA

Number of Employees: 5,400

Being an entertainment company, it makes sense that Netflix would use a best-selling children’s book as inspiration for its approach to company culture. On its Culture page, Netflix quotes The Little Prince:

“If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up the people to gather wood, divide the work, and give orders. Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea.”

Netflix gives its employees the freedom to be responsible by encouraging them to use their best judgment and not feel obligated to involve management in every decision. The company culture centers around supporting collaboration and transparency. Nearly every document is open for anyone in the organization to read and comment on, including memos on strategies and competitor performance.

Netflix builds “dream teams”, which they define as a group of colleagues who are “extraordinary at what they do and are highly effective collaborators.” Netflix only retains their most effective employees and refuses to hire “brilliant jerks” as the cost to effective teamwork is too high.

Southwest Airlines

Founded: 1967

Headquarters: Dallas, TX

Number of Employees: 58,000

Southwest prides itself on its commitment to its customers. In particular, its first customers — a.k.a., its employees. It has no problem declaring it prioritizes employee happiness above customer satisfaction.

The airline understands that by supporting its workforce and prioritizing the needs of its employees, it empowers employees to better assist customers. And clearly it’s working. Southwest is the only domestic airline with 45 consecutive years of profitability and has been ranked No. 1 in the Department of Transportation Customer Satisfaction Ranking for 22 of the last 26 years.

Southwest asks its employees to “Live the Southwest Way” with a Warrior Spirit, a Servant’s Heart and a Fun-LUVing Attitude. The airline rewards commitment to the organization through its Southwest Airlines Gratitude (SWAG) points, which are awarded monthly for perfect attendance and can be used to purchase items like gift cards and iPads. Employees are also invited to attend Southwest Airlines University, which offers professional development opportunities like public speaking classes.

How to Build an Exceptional Company Culture

Your company may not be anything like the companies in this list, but that doesn’t mean you can’t create an inspiring culture at your organization. Creating an outstanding company culture is simply a matter of investing in creating a positive employee experience.

As long as you commit to building a supportive, smart workplace, providing employees with the tools and technologies they need to succeed and invest in the wellbeing of your workforce, you’re well on your way to building a culture that will make your competitors jealous. 


Tiffany Bloodworth Rivers

Tiffany covers leadership and marketing topics and enjoys learning about how technology shapes our industry. Before iOFFICE, she worked in local news but don't hold that against her.

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