How Top Companies Live and Breathe Their Culture Everyday

How Top Companies Live and Breathe Their Culture Everyday

Company culture isn’t just a sign you put on the wall, a values statement you post on the website or an award you receive at the end of the year. Company culture needs to be something that is lived every day in order to engage employees to bring their best selves to work, so they can engage with customers in ways that build a true connection.


So, how do today’s top organizations build these cultures of connection? By putting people first, understanding what motivates and empowers people, and aligning what people care about with the way the business is run.


I’ve been talking to leaders of some of America’s top companies about these ideas, and here is what they shared with me about how their companies are are living their culture every day.





Create Traditions of Respect


In many cultures, traditions of respect are an important part of establishing and maintaining business relationships. In Japan, for instance, people bow when they meet. In military organizations, people salute one another. In most businesses, people still shake hands upon meeting.


As work cultures become more tech-oriented and less formal, these kinds of physical demonstrations of respect still matter. Says Greg Besner, Founder and CEO of CultureIQ, “We have a tradition of a week-ending handshake that started right after we launched. It was a Friday, the team was working so hard, and it just felt like an act of respect needed to happen. Now it’s a tradition: every employee shakes everyone’s hand and says thank you.”


Other physical manifestations matter as well. For instance, many CultureIQ employees select a specific company value to incorporate into their email signature. Says Besner, “It’s going back to basics. People think of tech companies as being so tech oriented but I think old-fashioned habits and traditions like these can sometimes be most impactful.”


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