You know what your company culture is like — you live and breathe it every single day. What’s challenging, however, is describing the unique relationships, behaviors and interests that make up your company’s culture to someone who isn’t part of it.
What Is Company Culture?
To help bring life to your culture, we’ve dissected some of the most frequently used words to describe company culture and rounded up 39 examples of culture statements.
Strategies to decode, maintain and improve company culture.
How to Describe Company Culture
Before we get into the specific words to use when talking about workplace culture, let’s take a step back and first discuss how to accurately describe your company culture.
STEP 1: LEAN ON YOUR CORE VALUES
To start, refer back to your company’s core values. These are the driving force behind your culture and dictate how you treat employees, clients and generally do business. Additionally, your core values should describe the working style in the office. For example, as a company that values innovation, you might work to create a collaborative culture where employees are encouraged to share ideas with one another.
STEP 2: INCORPORATE YOUR MISSION STATEMENT
You’ll also want to think about your company mission statement when describing your workplace culture. What is the overarching goal of your company, and how do you envision achieving it? Who is your target audience made up of, and how will you make an impact in society? Let’s say your company aims to be on the cutting edge of the e-commerce technology sector — you’ll want to create a daring company culture that encourages risk-taking. Your mission statement should give meaning to your core values and infuse your company culture with purpose.
STEP 3: CONSIDER YOUR EMPLOYEES
Think of your current employees and how you would describe them. Organizational culture is a living, breathing facet of your company, and it’s largely the result of the people on your team. While you can successfully change your company culture, you can’t do so without the buy-in of your existing team members. Think of how they interact with one another, how they like to receive feedback and the characteristics that make your team unique.
Examine these three elements before setting out to describe your work environment. Doing so will paint a picture of honesty and appeal for prospective candidates. Do not use language that inaccurately reflects the company culture you’ve created. If candidates accept a job thinking they’re joining a collaborative environment when in reality they rarely interact with their coworkers, they’ll quickly seek work elsewhere. In fact, employees who do not like their company culture are 24 percent more likely to leave the organization within a year.
Now, let’s take a look at some of the most commonly used words to describe company culture.
Common Words to Describe Company Culture
In today’s candidate market, job seekers can afford to be picky about the type of company they choose to join. For that reason, it’s crucial to describe your company culture in a way that’s both enticing and easy to understand. Plus, accurately describing your company culture will improve recruitment efforts by making it easier to identify candidates who connect with your company as culture adds instead of culture fits.
Common Words to Describe Company Culture
You can use all the buzzwords you want, but if your language doesn’t align with your work environment, you’ll confuse job seekers, appear disingenuous and may even lose great employees. Include specific examples of how your team embodies your company culture statement. If you describe your culture as flexible, explain how — are employees able to adjust their schedule or work remotely? Giving significance to your culture statement assures prospective employees that you mean what you say.
Below are 15 commonly used words to describe company culture along with what they mean to job seekers. If a majority of these words seem inapplicable, you may be at risk for a bad company culture. And if that’s the case, don’t fret. We’ve built a guide to create a positive work culture.
Remember to use the following adjectives thoughtfully and only if they apply to your company.
What job seekers hear: This team takes risks and enjoys exploring new ideas. The company encourages creativity and bold pursuits that will help propel the business forward. In this role, I’ll be expected to contribute new, envelope-pushing ideas.
What job seekers hear: This team is highly adaptive. They frequently reassess and redirect their course of action to adjust to the changing marketplace. This job will likely keep me on my toes and provide little structure at times. However, there will be opportunities to work outside of my job description.
What job seekers hear: This company culture will push me to work hard and perform well. There will likely be obstacles to my work that I’ll need to tackle head on. Problem solving isn’t an asset; it’s an expectation.
What job seekers hear: I’ll be able to work with my colleagues often and in an informal, engaging way. Employees will be expected to bounce ideas off of each other and work well as part of a team. I won’t be siloed from the rest of the company, but I may need to ask for independent work if I want it.
What job seekers hear: This company culture operates outside of the typical office structure. Employees are often working together and there’s an emphasis on brainstorming, feedback and innovation. Processes are more casual, but team projects are still results-oriented.
What job seekers hear: This company is eager to push boundaries and test limits. They’re likely in their early stages where they can afford to take risks and may have less structure than other organizations. The company culture urges individuals to work hard and challenge the status quo.
What job seekers hear: This is a dynamic company culture where employees are eager to succeed. Individuals are motivated and have a lot of company pride; the work environment is vibrant.
What job seekers hear: There’s no shortage of work to be done at this company. Employees are juggling multiple tasks at once and completing ad hoc projects regularly. The workday goes by quickly and no two days are exactly alike.
What job seekers hear: This company culture prioritizes work-life balance. The job offers remote work opportunities and/or flexible scheduling. I can tailor the role to fit my life outside of the office.
What job seekers hear: Employees are more than just coworkers. Individuals treat each other with respect and kindness, and the company culture encourages meaningful interactions between colleagues.
What job seekers hear: The company prioritizes making employees from all walks of life feel welcome. Individuals are celebrated and everyone feels like they have a place at the company. Exclusionary behavior is not tolerated.
What job seekers hear: This company culture is closely tied to the organization’s mission. Leadership has a clear objective on how to make an impact in society and use it to motivate employees. Working in this role, I’ll be empowered by the company’s long-term objectives.
What job seekers hear: Employees are driven and go the extra mile. This company culture motivates team members to give their full selves to the job and invest in the company’s future. Individuals see value in their work and are eager to do well in their roles.
What job seekers hear: This is a fun culture where team members don’t take themselves too seriously. The office is probably boisterous with regular social events, and employees interact with each other frequently.
What job seekers hear: This is a company culture that will encourage me to think deeply. There are lively conversations happening and lots to be learned. I will be expected to grow in my role and help the team evolve.
Examples of Company Culture Statements
Now, it’s time to put these words to work. Drafting a culture statement for your company is like writing a thesis; it needs to be succinct and all-encompassing. Think carefully about the type of organizational culture you aim to create and the candidates you hope to attract.
Use the following examples of company culture statements to get started creating your own.
Keep in mind that every culture reflects the specific people, mission and values of an organization that coincide with geographical and local cultural nuances. Use these examples to brainstorm and assign words to the living, changing organism that is your company’s culture.
How Almanac describes its culture:
“Work from anywhere in the world (with good wifi). We prioritize time for deep work weekly and only have meetings when we have to. So you can work around your life—not live around your work.”
How Array describes its culture:
“We’re laser-focused on providing innovative credit and identity tools to our customers, and their end-users. We’re equally as dedicated to supporting each of our employees during their time at Array. We welcome builders who look at the world differently.”
How Beeswax describes its culture:
“Our culture and values reflect our bee namesake, albee-it in a slightly different fashion.
Open. Effective. Customer Driven. Curious.”
How Bevi describes its culture:
“Our shared values: Doing what we do at Bevi means living by a special set of ideals and beliefs.
1. Put customers first
Go beyond just satisfying them. Deliver on what they want, before they even know it.
2. Be great to work with
Some roles come with more responsibility than others, but all roles come with equal respect.
3. Raise the bar together
Learn from the losses. Celebrate the wins. Do it all together.
4. Act like you own the business
Make decisions like you’re running the place, and then make the place even better.
5. Be curious and ask why
Question the status quo. Encourage different ideas, and welcome challenges to your own.
6. Champion sustainability
The power to save the planet comes from the power of your example.”
How BlackCloak describes its culture:
“Respect all with humility and patience. Empathize with others and invest in their success. Innovate with speed, passion, and curiosity. Act as an owner, doer, and as one team. Delight beyond expectations.”
How Braintree describes its culture:
“At Braintree, opportunities to shine happen daily. We value what makes you different, and encourage you to act on your ideas — no matter how pie-in-the-sky. You bring skills and a customer-first mentality, and we'll bring the tools and environment you need to do the best work of your life.”
How Cantina describes its culture:
“We’re a down to earth company. We value respect and trust. We count on and believe in one another. We aspire to greatness, while we also raise one another up. Our North Star guides us to do our best for one another and for our clients. As a result, Cantina is a place where you can build a career for the long haul. Our promise is to support you, give you meaningful challenges, and make your time with us worthwhile, wherever your career takes you.”
How Centro describes its culture:
“We are a culture grounded by personal growth and well-being. We have a strong moral compass and know the diﬀerence between right and wrong. We check our egos at the door and believe we can make the world a better place. We roll up our sleeves, work hard and move fast. We hold each other accountable and solve problems. We care about each other, ourselves, our communities and the environment which we live in. We create raving fans of our customers and have a lot of fun along the way.”
How Clearcover describes its culture:
“We believe that employee satisfaction starts with creating a supportive and inclusive environment where every employee feels welcome, no matter their personal or professional backgrounds. We are looking for candidates who are excited to nurture an inclusive environment and who will add to our incredible culture.”
How Compass describes its culture:
“We’re building a place of belonging. To create the most inspirational company in the world we must be a place where employees can do their best work and be their best selves. We prioritize diversity and believe in a culture rooted in collaboration, growth, and mobility. From competitive salaries and benefit packages, to education reimbursement and equity, we offer employees benefits that improve their personal lives as well as their careers.”
How cove describes its culture:
“At cove, we want to be great — create great products, create a great solution for real estate and property management, and to be great contributors to our community.
This begins with great teammates, making cove a great place to work, and encouraging our team to learn and grow to help make us better. When you work at cove, you are joining a multi-disciplinary team, passionate about solving problems through technology, design, real estate strategy, and incredible experiences.”
How CreatorUp describes its culture:
“CreatorUp democratizes access to high quality video content through our industry-changing Marketplace. We create video content for organizations globally by training, certifying and matching the best creative talent to each engagement.
We cut our teeth working globally with Google and Twitter but our mission is to level the playing field for all. We help users create online lessons and virtual tours. They live stream events and launch new products. And, with social impact organizations like the Special Olympics, they share their mission, values and achievements, creating a powerful force for greater good.”
How Crema describes its culture:
“Our culture is always evolving, but values & purpose remain the same. We seek principles-aligned, curious people with the skillsets to achieve our desired results. We’re not looking for conformists. We want individuals with diverse perspectives that help shape our company for the better.”
How DoiT International describes its culture:
“At DoiT, we believe what sets us apart is You, our Do’ers. We are an organization where everyone is welcome and where everyone is respected for the unique perspective and experience they bring as individuals to enhance our team. We are committed to providing an experience that is inclusive, equitable and kind. We may be spread across the globe as a remote-first company, but we are and always will be One Team.”
How Etsy describes its culture:
“Etsy is the global marketplace for unique and creative goods. We build, power, and evolve the tools and technologies that connect entrepreneurs with buyers around the world. As an Etsy employee, you’ll tackle unique problems alongside talented coworkers committed to Keeping Commerce Human. We’re large enough that you’ll focus on meaningful, complex challenges, but small enough that you can make a rewarding impact.”
How FORM describes its culture:
“We are engineers, visionaries, data hounds, number crunchers, relationship builders, and storytellers helping field workers become frontline heroes.”
How Formstack describes its culture:
“Formstack’s strength lies in our unique culture and shared values centered on transparency, inclusivity, and peer appreciation.”
How Forward Financing describes its culture:
“We’re a fun, collaborative group that rallies around our dedication to empowering small businesses. From our amazing workspace to our accessible leadership team and unparalleled culture, Forward is a pretty special place to be.”
How Greenhouse Software describes its culture:
“We believe human potential is the most powerful force for progress and success we have. Building a culture of belonging – where every person is supported to bring their most authentic self to their work — is how we unlock it and enable them to do the best work of their life.”
How Honey describes its culture:
“Grow with Honey: Here at Honey we foster an environment that will stretch the limits of your abilities until you feel uncomfortable. But this is the magical boundary where growth happens. Continue to challenge yourself to be uncomfortable. We understand this is not for everyone and that's ok. But for everyone else who finds this exciting, you're in the right place.
Diversity at Honey: Our mission, to make the world more fair, starts with building a company where diversity is a priority. At Honey, we want to create an environment where everyone can do their best work and grow without limits. This starts with building a culture of respect and inclusivity. One where we seek to understand and value what makes us each unique, everyone feels like they belong, and is empowered to grow. We believe that you will do your best work when you can show up as your authentic self everyday.”
How LogicMonitor describes its culture:
“We operate as #OneTeam, and we believe that every individual has equal value in this world. We treasure the power of human differences and recognize that building a culture of respect, diversity, equality, and inclusion is an essential part of our workplace and company.”
How NetApp describes its culture:
“We have a history of making our own rules — in a good way. That’s because we approach every challenge with fresh eyes. As a result, you’ll find no cookie cutters in our kit, but we do like cookies. Customers say we push the limits above and beyond what they thought could ever be possible. We’ll take that. It’s a testament to our diversity, openness, and collaboration.”
How Noom describes its culture:
“We encourage you to voice your ideas and develop your own experiments so we can quickly test those ideas to implement the highest performers. Our appetite for fast learning shapes more than just our processes and products, it also shapes our culture and allows for substantial progress in short periods of time.
We believe our success is directly tied to your development. Have an eye on a book? Buy it. Want to attend a seminar? Sign up. Interested in a mentor? We’ll pay for their time. Noom is here to empower every aspect of your growth.”
How PatientPop describes its culture:
“Everyone at PatientPop is encouraged to bring their best selves to work, and given the resources and opportunity to realize their own personal success. Our culture fosters an environment that rewards employees based on merit and performance, not tenure.”
How Pax8 describes its culture:
“Passionate. Energetic. Unconventional. At Pax8, we tackle complex challenges, work hard, high five, and celebr8. Comprised of a quickly growing team from all over the US, Canada, and the UK, our offices aren’t limited to the standard brick and mortar walls. We’re testing the limits of what it means to be a cloud technology company.”
How Prodege LLC describes its culture:
“Why work with us? Our employees are passionate, creative, diverse and driven to help rethink the way consumers engage with brands. We’re looking for creative and collaborative self-starters that have a thirst for learning and sharing their knowledge and know how to have fun while doing so. In return, our employees are rewarded, recognized and celebrated!”
How Rapid7 describes its culture:
“Our core values may only be a few key phrases, but employees at Rapid7 said they’ve set the tone for a caring workplace that never stops advocating for each other and for its customers.
Bring You - We bring our authentic selves everyday
Never Done - We strive for continuous learning
Impact Together - We support each other and look for ways to collaborate
Challenge Convention - We challenge old ways of thinking
Be an Advocate - We act as a champion”
How RetailMeNot describes its culture:
“Our company values represent what each employee strives for every day and what makes RetailMeNot a great place to work. We’re proud to uphold the importance of teamwork, respect, risk-taking, courage and inspiration.”
How Retrieve Technologies describes its culture:
“At Retrieve, we are constantly investing in our employees and their growth. We work with each individual to set goals and plan how to achieve them- from learning new skills to taking on more responsibilities. We believe that the team of people that work here is our greatest asset.”
How RevenueCat describes its culture:
“We default to transparency. We record leadership meetings for all team members to view. Board meeting decks and investor updates are shared with the entire company. We document everything and don’t rely on oral tradition to retain important knowledge. We believe that people can do their best work when they have full context.”
How Rokt describes its culture:
“At Rokt, we have 4 key values that are part of our DNA:
We are smart with humility — we work together to achieve together. We don’t believe in egos.
We don’t get comfortable and love a challenge — we are curious explorers looking to conquer new frontiers.
Our customers’ success is our success — we walk in their shoes and pursue success with passion. We are customer obsessed.
Rokt’stars work hard but we enjoy the ride —we don’t take ourselves too seriously and always make time to have some fun.”
How SDI Presence describes its culture:
“Our reputation as a leading Managed Services Provider and IT Consultancy hinges on the quality of our people. Our culture is inclusive, diverse and unique in its own way. We are all passionate about our individual set of skills that collectively come together to form a multi-dimensional presence. From our diverse workforce to our team-building programs, we strive to maintain an open and friendly culture for everyone.”
How Sprout Social describes its culture:
“Grow your expertise: We’re a curious and dedicated bunch who come to work every day ready to tackle tough, meaningful problems. Alongside our diverse team, you’ll learn to think quickly on your feet and expand your own personal and professional skillset.
Grow your creativity: Our team is made up of talented, thoughtful and eclectic individuals who will inspire you to consider new perspectives and challenge you to become a better creator and innovator.
Grow your passions: Working at Sprout is an opportunity to explore the intersection of personal interest and professional experience. Everyone on our team is encouraged to pursue their passions both inside and beyond our walls.”
How Ticketmaster describes its culture:
“Employees who thrive here are self-starters who are experts at what they do. While we give a tremendous amount of independence to our employees, we are also precise and exacting about performance. There is no hiding behind process here. You are evaluated on your results and concrete contributions to our business.”
How UiPath describes its culture:
“We support the open and respectful exchange of ideas–from both within and outside of the company. We do not hide from our own failures or scorn the failures of others. We trust each other: to own our work, to always seek excellence, to reach beyond our past achievements. We believe in creating a safe, generous, accepting workplace where people can be their authentic, best selves. We are a meritocracy. We wholeheartedly share what we know —not just with each other, but with anyone who wants to explore and contribute. We prize introspection and action equally.We believe in our technology and its potential to accelerate human achievement.”
How Unacast describes its culture:
“Work like a Norwegian: We can’t fit the whole of New York into tiny Norway — our original home — so we’re bringing Norway to New York. That means we work differently. Coming from a country certified as the happiest in the world, we know that how we treat each other and how we work together matters. We believe that more trust + more autonomy + more humanity = more success. We also believe that a diverse team is a strong team, which is why we’re committed to improving diversity at Unacast.”
How VMware describes its culture:
“When you work here, you’re connected to a global community working together to solve the most critical technology challenges. You’re surrounded by a culture of possibility, where ideas ripple out and have a positive impact on communities everywhere. Work Here. Transform Everywhere.”
How VRBO describes its culture:
“We are travelers and technologists. We work across time zones, hemispheres, cultures and languages. We’re used to breaking things down and building them back up again, until they’re even better. We know travel can be hard, but we also know that it’s worth it, every time. And because we believe travel is a force for good, we take our roles seriously. We’re here to build great products, and facilitate connections between travelers and our partners that truly bring good into the world.”
How ZestFinance describes its culture:
“ZestFinance is determined to hire crazy smart people who are different from each other to create broad thinking, lots of different ideas, and by extension, build the best team possible. We’re growing fast, and we’re looking for exceptional, caring, “Zesty” people to join our team. Our culture is special to us, and we’re proud of it. We thrive on diversity in our workplace, and we offer awesome benefits. If you want to solve hard problems and make people’s lives better, talk to us!”
Be thoughtful with the way you choose to describe your company culture. Job seekers are increasingly more aware of culture during the application process, so dedicate ample amounts of time to solidify your core values and mission statement. Doing so will make it easier to write an accurate company culture statement that will attract elite candidates.
Strategies to decode, maintain and improve company culture.