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3 Company Culture Code Examples [Plus The Benefits to Having One]

Oct 07, 2020

Company culture can make your office an enjoyable place to work and improve productivity. The key is to create a clear culture that is easy for everyone -- both leadership and employees -- to follow. One solution to help you achieve your envisioned company culture: creating a company culture code. 

What is a culture code?

Usually shown through a presentation, a culture code outlines in detail the culture of your company. It identifies the driving factors, people and passions that create and sustain the culture, and the ways people are expected to engage with each other.

Culture codes work because they give purposeful direction. More than simply discussing general values and mission statements, they describe how a desired company culture can be created and cultivated.

Lastly, a culture code that works must have buy-in from the entire company, from leadership and management to frontline employees.

To get a better idea of what a good culture code entails, take a look at these four company culture code examples from successful companies.

Netflix

Netflix’s culture code also shows that they prioritize a “People-First” culture by stating their core philosophy: People over process. Then they specify the five things that makes Netflix unique: 

  1. encourage independent decision-making by employees
  2. share information openly, broadly and deliberately
  3. are extraordinarily candid with each other
  4. keep only our highly effective people
  5. avoid rules

To provide direction on how these five traits are made possible, Netflix also shares their core values and behaviors, with several actionable items for each value, showing how employees can emulate them.

HubSpot

In 2013, HubSpot shared its HubSpot Culture Code slide deck (which has been updated various times since). In the deck, HubSpot compared their past culture to their current one, which implements many of the elements of a modern workplace, such as remote work, flexible hours, and emphasizing value to the customer.

Overall, HubSpot states the importance of giving employees agency in their decisions. This is shown through their three-word policy on most things: “Use Good Judgment.” They also shared seven tenets to describe their culture: 

  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.

Patreon

Patreon, a membership platform, created a culture deck in 2017. In one part of their culture code, they go over a list of their core behaviors. These core behaviors include:

  • Be an energy giver
  • Seek learning
  • Put creators first
  • Respect your teammates’ time
  • Be candid, always
  • Move fast as hell
  • Just fix it

In their culture code, Patreon focuses on core behaviors rather than core values because behaviors are actionable. When creating their code, Patreon recognized the disconnect between values and day-to-day culture. Therefore, they emphasize consistent focus on these applicable behaviors which ultimately shape the culture that makes Patreon unique.

Why should your organization have a culture code?

It can increase employee engagement

Employee engagement and company culture are directly correlated. So, a strong company culture equals high employee engagement. As I’ve said before, a culture code gives your company a roadmap to the culture you want. The result of following this roadmap? Happier employees who feel more connected to your company’s mission and values and who are inspired to reach their goals. 

Pro tip: Treating your culture code as an ever-evolving collaborative effort where employees have a say can also help employees feel valued.

It’s a helpful recruiting tool

A good company culture is a top priority for job candidates. Therefore, a strong culture code that helps you create a valuable company culture can help your organization attract the right people. A written culture code on your website will show prospective employees what your business is about and what it values.

It’s a good measure of culture

Sometimes, the actual culture in the office is different from the company’s values. Are your employees actions in line with your values or acceptable behaviors? A thoroughly-written culture code can be a great reference to see if your culture is sticking in day-to-day operations. 

Improve your company culture 

A culture code can help your organization create a strong culture and make sure it is maintained. Want more help and guidance in improving your company culture? Contact me today to get started! I can help you come up with a personalized plan to increase morale and employee engagement.

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