How to Describe Company Culture

Company culture is a term on the minds of employees and executives everywhere. Having a positive, supportive, and uplifting culture within a business takes a basic job and turns it into a full-fledged career. Gallup found that companies with highly engaged workforces experience up to 60% less turnover. We know that company culture is an important aspect of the professional world, but it can be tricky to define it. To help, we turned to some of our favorite professional minds to ask the age-old question: What is company culture?

Five Tech CEOs and What Company Culture Means to Them

Ask any employee at your company, from executive, to manager, to entry-level, “What is company culture? Do you know how to describe your company culture?” If they can’t describe your company’s culture in 3 to 5 words or give company culture examples (or corporate culture examples for executives), it may be time to focus on developing and defining what an engaged workplace looks like.

Heather Haas, President of ADVISA, says the ability to define your company culture is often a byproduct of the everyday work environment. “Company culture is really the feel of working at a company. It’s created by how people behave. It’s created by what people value and the way that translates into the way decisions get made, the way that it translates into what kinds of behaviors get recognized and celebrated.” Ryan Brock, CEO of Metonymy Media, agreed, adding that, “I think culture is something that you can be intentional about, but also it sort of passively creates itself.”

So, how can we be proactive about defining company culture without sacrificing the way that people work? The answer is by establishing a dialogue with employees and learning what is truly important to them. Haley Altman, CEO and founder of Doxly, said the best corporate culture statements translate the values of people. But how can you be sure that you’re not using a bland definition in examples of company culture statements?  How do you know what are the best corporate culture statements? Altman spoke of the initial difficulties at Doxly when establishing their own culture. “Writing core values is hard. I think the first time we did it we came up with a bunch of words that we thought were important, like ‘collaboration’ and ‘teamwork’. Things that are nice to enjoy thinking about. But those are buzzwords.”

Company culture is sometimes thought of in surface-level terms. We’ve heard of companies claiming they’re changing the world or using generic company culture words. But Jeremey Reymer, CEO of DriverReach says, “If you’re just focused on the superficial, people will pick that up quickly and won’t care if you have ping pong tables and free lunch.” According to Reymer, defining company culture starts with sincerity and authentic leadership.

The importance of remaining authentic is huge for Jeb Banner, CEO of SmallBox. “I think that culture is something that permeates every aspect of your employee and customer experience.  It’s your brand, your office, your compensation, your values. It’s defining those values and refining them over time.” As a company grows, it’s a good idea to know what language should be used when describing ideal company culture.

Negative Words to Describe Company Culture

In business, we use lots of different words, some good and some bad. No one wants to hear negative words to describe a company or negative words to describe company culture, as these bad company culture words are indicative of setting weak organizational culture examples. How do you know if you have bad corporate culture examples? If you hear or read any of these terms you’ll know it’s time to rethink your culture:

  • Discriminatory
  • Toxic
  • Unsupportive
  •  Inconsistent
  • Rushed
  • Tense
  • Poor communication

Though they all mean something different, these are all synonymous with negative company culture. What you want is to focus and cultivate the positive sides and find more optimistic viewpoints.

Positive Words to Describe Company Culture

When we properly use words to describe the culture of an organization, we hear and read words to describe company values. The words to describe a workplace should be good company culture examples, that reflect positive organizational culture. Even when looking at resources like this how to improve organizational culture pdf, it’s easy to notice positive words like:

  • Rewarding
  • Relaxed
  • Engaging
  • Fun
  • Nurturing
  • Collaborative
  • Inclusive

Defining company culture is often just as important and challenging as embodying it. Your business should be a place where people want to grow, and where the work environment reflects the people in it. Using the right language and techniques comes from practice, but also from connecting with other professionals doing the same. When you join the Powderkeg network, you can foster relationships to ensure you have the right culture fit within your walls.