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Fantastic Company Culture Starts at The top

Learn the nine values that lead to happy employees and successful businesses 

When a company has a positive culture, employees are more engaged and do better work. On the other hand, toxic company culture can lead to lower productivity, retention, and recruiting.  

But what defines a positive company culture? And where does it come from? Kisi, an office security technology corporation, turned to Glassdoor, a job board, and employer review site, to determine whether a strong company culture starts at the top. They posted their results in their Office Management Blog. 

In the study, Kisi analyzed Glassdoor company reviews and used The Culture 500 — a tool that scientifically ranks and compares the corporate cultures of the 500 largest companies in the world. The Culture 500 has identified nine cultural values, collectively known as the “Big 9,” that are present in companies whose employees identify their employers as having a good company culture.

Here they are, in alphabetical order. 

  • Agility: Employees can respond quickly to changes. 
  • Collaboration: Employees work well together, both within their teams and across other departments. 
  • Customer-centric: Employees put customers at the center of everything they do. 
  • Diversity: The company promotes a diverse and inclusive workplace. 
  • Execution: Employees are empowered to act, have the resources they need, adhere to process discipline and are held accountable for results. 
  • Innovation: The company pioneers novel products, services, technologies or ways of working. 
  • Integrity: Employees consistently act in an honest and ethical manner. 
  • Performance: The company rewards positive results through compensation, informal recognition and promotions. It also deals effectively with underperforming employees. 
  • Respect: Employees demonstrate consideration and courtesy for others and treat each other with dignity. 

Using Glassdoor reviews, Kisi examined 175 companies worldwide to determine how highly ranked they were in Glassdoor reviews in terms of The Big 9 values and how the companies’ CEOs were rated in these reviews.  

Among the companies analyzed in the study, the average CEO approval rating was 83%. More interestingly, companies with a 90-99% CEO approval rating also averaged the highest Big 9 cultural values ratings. In fact, the study results showed a consistent correlation between a CEO’s approval rating and the company’s culture and values ranking. The same essentially held true for other company leader ratings, including those for managers and supervisors. 

The takeaways? Fantastic company culture does indeed start at the top, but strong CEOs need to have a team of quality managers to transfer their values to all employees. Only then can consistently fantastic company culture be built. 

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