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Crafting Impactful Company Culture Statements

A great company culture is vital to your organization’s success. But building your culture is only half the challenge, you also need to communicate it effectively. In this guide, we’ll explore how you can craft impactful company culture statements to communicate your efforts to the world. 

As a leader, company culture is something you live and breathe every day. If you’re reading this you no doubt already understand the positive impact it can have on your business, as well as the foundations you have to put in place to build a lasting company culture. 

Now comes the hard part. How do you translate that culture into words? 

It can feel like an insurmountable task. After all, your culture is inherently intangible – a collection of interactions, behaviors and relationships that feel almost impossible to condense into a few lines of copy. 

That’s where company culture statements come in. These essential tools encapsulate your company culture and communicate it to the wider world. But crafting impactful company culture statements isn’t something you can easily scribble out between meetings. It takes careful consideration and strategic thinking to compile a statement that effectively communicates what makes your culture so special.   

To help bring your company culture statements to life we’ve put together a guide to teach you everything you need to know about crafting them, alongside some real-life examples to help inspire your inner wordsmith. 

parts of a great company culture statement

In this guide, you’ll learn…

What are company culture statements?

How do company culture statements differ from your mission and values?

How can company culture statements impact your business? 

Tips to help you describe your company culture. 

Real-life examples of impactful company culture statements. 

What Are Company Culture Statements?

Before we begin to explore how you can craft your own company culture statements, let’s take a step back and define exactly what they are. 

We know that company culture is the catch-all term to describe the mission, values, behavior and conduct that makes your organization unique. Following on from that, company culture statements are the words that you use to bring that all to life. 

But we’re not just talking about any words. 

How you describe your company culture is important because it can influence how your existing employees behave, how prospective candidates view you and even whether possible investors choose to back your business. It’s a touchstone that you will return to again and again, as well a key differentiator that will set you apart from the competition. 

The Difference Between A Mission Statement, Core Values And Company Culture Statements

“Now hold on a minute,” we hear you ask. “Haven’t we already done that when we wrote down our mission statement and company values?”

It’s a good question, especially as your mission and values can help to contribute to your company culture statement. But there are key differences between each of these pieces of writing as well as their intended purpose. 

Mission statement

Your company’s mission statement is the reason your company exists. It defines the long-term goals of your company, what it’s trying to achieve, how it will serve people and what its overarching objectives are. A clear mission statement ensures that everyone in the company knows what they are working towards and communicates the shared goal that they are all working towards. 

Values

If your mission statement is the purpose that brings your people together, your company values are the virtues and beliefs they live by. While your mission statement may evolve, these values are set in stone. They are the core beliefs that form the foundations of everything you do, guide decision-making and inform how you operate. If your mission statement is your end goal, the core values inform how your company will approach reaching it. 

Company culture statement

Your company culture statement is the guide that defines and dictates what your workplace environment is. Just as your culture is built up of many different components from within your organization, your company culture statement will include aspects of your mission statement, your brand story and your company values. These company culture statements should function as a standalone boilerplate that effectively communicates your company culture. To reinforce company culture statements and the key themes in your messaging, considering using a recognition program to help you communicate the statement with your team. Recognition software like Bucketlist Rewards can help you recognize employees for living the values expressed in the culture statement and for contributing to a positive culture.

How A Company Culture Statement Can Benefit Your Business

Though your company culture is your organization’s DNA it can be hard to put your finger on exactly what it is. That’s because it’s incredibly nebulous – a collection of values, attitudes, beliefs and interactions rather than cold hard facts. Company culture statements help to solve this problem, providing a great tool to define the intangible factors that make your company tick.

But that’s not their only benefit…

From recruitment and retention to decision-making and employee engagement, company culture statements can have an impact on just about every area of your organization.

Retention

Crafting an impactful company culture statement can actually help you to keep a hold of your best performers. In the current climate, where the battle for talent is raging and the cost of recruitment is spiraling, ensuring your people stay in their roles is more important than ever. When it comes to retention, company culture can be your secret weapon, but only if it’s thriving. People want to be a part of a great culture, but great cultures don’t happen by accident. Instead, they need to be nurtured. 

That’s why company culture statements are so valuable. Get it right and they become self-fulfilling tools that encourage everyone to live out the kind of culture you want to create. Best of all, by formalizing your culture you’ve created a reference point that people can return to time and again if they need reminding about why your company is such a great place to work. 

Recruitment

It’s not just existing employees who benefit from impactful company culture statements, they can also be an effective tool to attract potential candidates. Company culture has become a key part of candidates’ decision-making, and can make the difference between them accepting a job or passing on the opportunity. So by including your company culture statement as part of your job posting and on your corporate website, you can sell your organization to prospective employees. 

Onboarding

Even once those candidates have signed on the dotted line your company culture statement still has some heavy lifting to do. They can be incredibly effective onboarding tools that help new starters understand how your company culture works and what’s expected of them. Put it in your employee handbook, write it on the wall, place it on your intranet – by making your company culture statement as prominent as possible you’re giving new starters an instructional manual for how you want them to interact with their new colleagues. 

onboarding candidates.

Employee engagement

Your company culture is the lifeblood of your business, a crucial factor in determining whether you will ultimately thrive or fail. But only if people live and breathe it every single day. It’s no good idealizing what your culture should look like and then doing nothing to turn those ideals into a reality. Instead, you’ve got to take action to strategically implement your ideas. Company culture statements can help to remind your employees what part they play in all of this. They remind people of the values, behaviors and ethics that you expect from them, ultimately creating a virtuous cycle that constantly reinforces itself. 

Decision-making

What guides your decision-making? Is it data? A hunch? Advice from trusted colleagues? Some decisions, especially those that might impact company culture, are too important to be left to chance. But by using a company culture statement you always have a point of reference that you can return to to guide your decision-making. Perhaps you’re wondering if someone would be the right fit for your company, you’re considering a change to people’s working arrangements, or even attempting to decide if a prospective client is right for you – all of these questions can be answered by using your statement as a guide. 

Investment

It’s not just potential employees who consider your company culture these days, prospective investors take it just as seriously. Why? Well because company culture influences every aspect of your business. It can be the difference between success and failure, or for investors, between a safe investment and a risky one. By ensuring that your company culture statement is on point and prominently displayed as part of your marketing materials, you can help to attract would-be backers rather than putting them off.

If you hire people just because they can do a job, they’ll work for your money. But if you hire people who believe what you believe, they’ll work for you with blood and sweat and tears.

– Simon Sinek

How To Write Your Company Culture Statement

Now that we understand the theory behind company culture statements, it’s time to put those ideas into action. Writing a company culture statement can feel like a daunting task, but remember no one is better placed to describe your company culture than you.

The key is to be as strategic about your company culture statement as you were about building your culture in the first place. You can’t just scribble down a few words and hope for the best. Instead careful planning and consideration should go into every word you commit to the page. 

To help bring your company culture statement to life, here are a few hints and tips to get you started. 

What To Include In Your Company Culture Statement

Company culture statements are as varied as the organizations that they describe. That means that your statement will be unique to your company, a representation of what sets it apart from other employers. But there are some common components that the very best company culture statements include.

Mission / vision statement

Why does your company exist? What’s the reason that everyone comes to work in the morning? And what is it you are trying to achieve? These are questions that are key to any company culture and will be front-of-mind for people reading your statement. By including your mission in your company culture statement you can signpost readers towards the foundations on which your company culture is built, a shared vision that gives everybody purpose. 

Company history

It’s not just where your organization is going that’s important to readers, but also where it has been. The story behind your company’s creation and the journey it has taken to reach this point in time plays a crucial part in your culture, so make sure that it’s front and center in your company culture statement. 

Values and ethics

What are the values that your company holds dear and the ethics that guide your decision-making? For many people, these are the very core of any company culture. So make sure that your statement lays out the behaviors, interactions and practices that collectively contribute to your environment. 

including values in your culture statement

Personality

If your company were meeting someone for the first time, what impression would it give? Company culture is often described as your organization’s “personality” and for good reason. Just like your personality, company cultures influence your identity, how others perceive you and how you perceive others. And just like personalities every company culture has unique quirks, traits and characteristics that set it apart from the crowd. It’s vital that you communicate this as part of your company culture statement so that the wider world knows what to expect when they interact with your business. 

Work environment

What’s it like to work in your organization? Is the office fun? Inspiring? Innovative? Is it like one big family, or are people collaborating to drive change? You don’t need to go into the nitty gritty of layouts and facilities, but describing the kind of environment you create for your people to work in is a key component of an impactful company culture statement. 

What makes your company unique

Just like the people who work in them, every company is different. That’s why your uniqueness should be central to your company culture statement. Drilling down to the kernel of what makes your organization tick, will help your readers to understand why your business operates the way it does.

Most companies overlook the most basic of all training functions: the onboarding of new employees into their corporate culture.

– Jay Samit

How to Describe Your Company Culture

Words matter. Remember that for many people, your company culture statement will form the first impression of what your organization is actually like to work in. That means how you choose to describe your company culture will have a huge impact on how people view your organization. The style you adopt and the tone of voice you employ can play a vital role in getting your message across. But above all, it’s the language that you use that will leave a lasting impact on your readers. 

You can use all of the buzzwords you want, but if your language doesn’t align with the kind of culture you’ve actually created then you’ll confuse candidates and appear disingenuous to your existing employees. At the same time, if your company culture statement is bland or boring then it’s going to fail. 

Below you’ll find 13 words that you may find useful when it comes to composing your own company culture statement, alongside the message they send to readers.

Agile

Alternatives: fast-moving, nimble, adaptable.

When it comes to company culture, the word “agile” refers to a team that is adaptable. Typically agile cultures are always on the move, quickly able to pivot and change in order to embrace new opportunities. Agile organizations don’t always have strict hierarchies in place, instead, they tend to operate with flat structures that enable them to adapt and evolve. 

Friendly

Alternatives: family-like, warm, sociable.

“Friendly” refers to cultures where your co-workers are more than just colleagues. Friendly cultures prioritize team-building and social interaction. They’re environments that value the bonds between people and work tirelessly to strengthen them. 

Collaborative

Alternatives: team-focussed, synergistic.

Collaborative environments break through siloes to ensure that people work together to achieve a common goal. Employees that work in collaborative environments can expect to be involved in multiple projects, or asked to contribute to different areas of the business. 

Customer-focused 

Alternatives: customer-centric, people-first, people-driven.

If your organization is customer-focused then your business will tend to prioritize its customers over its bottom line. That idea filters down into the culture too where people are encouraged to go the extra mile to deliver exceptional service and build long-term relationships. 

customer focused culture

Fast-paced

Alternatives: dynamic, energetic, stimulating.

There’s no shortage of work to be done at “fast-paced” companies. Instead employees can expect to be juggling multiple tasks and multiple projects, often working to tight timescales or urgent deadlines. These are exciting businesses where clock-watching isn’t an option and where no two days are the same.

Creative

Alternatives: innovative, inventive, visionary. 

The emphasis in creative cultures is on thinking outside of the box to develop fresh concepts, ideas and innovations. Creative companies tend to bypass traditional working structures to instead prioritize innovation above all else. 

Daring

Alternatives: bold, game-changing, rule-breaking.

Daring companies don’t follow traditional playbooks. They test boundaries, push limits and color outside of the lines. Daring companies are bold, fearless and encourage their employees to take risks and challenge working norms. 

Flexible

Alternatives: supportive, accommodating, people-first. 

More than just a buzzword, truly flexible companies ensure that work fits in around their people’s lives and not the other way around. Flexible cultures offer remote and hybrid working as well as initiatives designed to encourage better work/life balance. 

Inclusive

Alternatives: welcoming, friendly, open.

These companies embrace diversity with open arms, encouraging people from different backgrounds to come together to create a business that’s greater than the sum of its parts. 

Fun

Alternatives: enjoyable, sociable, playful, lively. 

Beyond pizza Fridays and the occasional work quiz, companies with fun cultures ensure that their work environment is where employees can find happiness. These companies don’t take themselves too seriously, they’re not corporate or full of bureaucracy. Instead, they believe that how you work is just as important as the work itself. 

Growth-orientated

Alternatives: fostering, nurturing, development-focussed. 

These cultures value progression and offer employees opportunities to develop both personally and professionally., 

Purpose-driven 

Alternatives: passionate, purposeful, inspiring. 

These cultures are passionate about their purpose. Both employees and the organizations they work for believe in the greater good and dedicate their efforts towards achieving their aim. 

Challenging

Alternatives: engaging, focussed, demanding. 

Challenging cultures believe in pushing people outside of their comfort zones. Typically these companies expect their employees to go above and beyond, to regularly prove themselves in pursuit of progress. 

challenging culture

3 Tips For Writing An Impactful Company Culture Statement 

Now that you’ve got the language you need to write your own company culture statement it’s almost time to get to work. But before you do, here are a few of our top tips to help make sure your statement is as impactful as possible. 

Involve your employees

Company culture is a living, breathing thing. It’s constantly changing, ebbing and flowing along with the day-to-day activities of your company. That means that no one is better placed to describe what it looks like than the people who work for you. 

Engaging your employees during the process of writing your company culture statement can be incredibly impactful. Whether you employ them to help you brainstorm what your company culture statement should look like or offer feedback on your initial drafts, by including them in the process you can ensure your statement captures the true personality of your organization providing an authentic representation of what it’s truly like to work there. 

Make it specific

One of the problems of company cultures is that they are inherently intangible. Because they’re made up of a collection of values, beliefs, behaviors and interactions they can be difficult to pin down and even harder to describe. Naturally, that means that many company culture statements are vague, filled with buzzwords or phrases that don’t mean anything at all. 

That’s why it’s a good idea to use specific examples to demonstrate your company culture or share stories that reinforce your message. This will help to lend some specificity to your company culture statement so that it clearly communicates what it’s like to work at your organization. 

Don’t rely on AI

We can all write, but not everyone is a writer. If you’re not comfortable with words then you might be tempted to lean on some of the latest AI tools to help compile your company culture statement. But this goes against everything that you are trying to achieve. After all, your company culture statement is going to provide people with a first impression of your organization’s personality. Is that something you really want to leave in the hands of a computer program?

At best AI could make your culture sound robotic and bland. At worst it could send people a message that you don’t really care about your culture at all. Instead, it’s best to treat your company culture statement as you would any other piece of marketing, seeking out the support of experts (both in-house and external) to make it as impactful as possible.

Culture, more than products or services, is what differentiates an organization from competitors, both in the minds of customers and of employees.

– Joe Tye

writing a company culture statement for employees

6 Examples Of Great Company Culture Statements

Still in need of some inspiration? If you’re struggling to put together your own impactful company culture statements we’ve put together some examples from the world’s best employers to help get your creative juices flowing. 

1. Nike

“Our mission is what drives us to do everything possible to expand human potential. We do that by creating groundbreaking sport innovations, by making our products more sustainable, by building a creative and diverse global team and by making a positive impact in communities where we live and work.”

2. LiveNation 

“We recognize that our most important assets are our employees, the rock stars who keep the live experience going. Generous vacation, healthcare, and retirement benefits are just some of the great perks we offer to support our global workforce of more than 38,000. For any stage in your career, our many unique benefit programs are designed to help you live life to the fullest. We offer student loan repayment to support recent grads, six months of paid caregiver leave to support new parents, perks like Roadie Babies (bring your little ones & a caretaker along with you on work trips) and Music @ Home (stipend to cultivate your little ones’ music interest), and tuition reimbursement to fuel your ongoing professional development. Plus, working for the world’s largest live event and ticketing company means you’ll have access to free concerts, festivals, sports games, and more through our exclusive employee ticket concierge. There is no bigger stage for your career.”

3. Etsy

“Three little words sum up one big mission: Keep Commerce Human.

Tackle unique problems alongside talented coworkers and teams. We’re large enough that you’ll focus on meaningful, complex challenges, but small enough that you can make a rewarding impact. See your work make a true difference in people’s lives.”

4. VRBO

“We are travelers and technologists.

We work across time zones, hemispheres, cultures, and languages. We stay open and curious. We thrive on breaking things down and building them back up again until they’re even better.

We know travel can be hard. But we also know it’s worth it every time. Because we believe travel is a force for good, we take our roles seriously. We’re here to build great products and create connections that truly bring good into the world.”

5. HubSpot

“When people ask what it’s like to work at HubSpot, you’ll usually hear the same few sentiments.

There’s no inner circle.

Everyone from the C-suite to interns share information, knowledge, and ideas. Being radically transparent helps us all think like founders, and stay focused on solving for our customers.

Everyone’s empowered to work autonomously.

We trust amazing people to do amazing things. At HubSpot, you have ownership over work that directly impacts the business. You can move fast, and learn even faster.

Diverse perspectives are celebrated.

We believe different perspectives make HubSpot a better company. We work hard to build a diverse and inclusive environment where you feel you belong. We are committed to providing reasonable accommodations throughout the application and interview process.

Employees are treated like people, not line items.

Employees are whole people, with families, hobbies, and lives outside of work. We work remotely, keep non-traditional hours, and use unlimited vacation to create work-life “fit” for us and the people we love.”

6. Patagonia

“At Patagonia, we appreciate that all life on earth is under threat of extinction. We’re using the resources we have—our business, our investments, our voice and our imaginations—to do something about it.

We’re looking for highly motivated, unconventional thinkers to join us. If you love big challenges, taking action and want to help save our home planet.”

Frequently asked questions about company culture statements

FAQ

What is a company culture statement? 

Company culture statements are the words that you use to bring your company culture to life. They create a first impression, telling people what it’s like to work at your organization. 

Why are company culture statements important? 

Company culture statements define what it’s like to work at your organization. They are an important recruitment tool but can also play a role in employee onboarding and engaging existing talent. 

What information should I include in my company culture statement? 

Your company culture statement should include information on your values, your mission, your ways of working, your personality and your purpose. 

How do I write a company culture statement? 

Your company culture statement is as unique as you are. Take time to plan your statement to ensure that it’s authentic and enticing not boring or disingenuous. If you need help why not ask your employees to engage in the process so it truly reflects what it’s like to work at your organization. 

The Bottom Line

We all know how important company culture is to your organization’s success. But even the best cultures aren’t going to succeed if they can’t communicate what makes them so special. Company culture statements are a vital tool to help you define and promote what it’s like to work at your business. 

In the current climate, where the battle for talent is raging, promoting your company culture is an opportunity to get ahead of the competition. Your company culture statement is the first impression you will create with prospective employees. It’s your shopfront and as such it should entice people to come on in and find out more about your organization. Beyond attracting the best talent it can also engage your current employees, onboard new starters and even help to guide decision-making across your business.

Add it all together and it could be one of the most vital documents your business ever puts together. So take the time to give it the attention it deserves and deliver an impactful company culture statement that does your organization justice. 

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