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4 Companies With Office Cultures You’ll Envy

company culture you love

Whether you’re an enthusiastic entrepreneur building your first startup or a veteran small business owner hoping to take your company to the next level, developing a company culture that allows your employees to perform at their best is fundamental to success.

Research, like that published in “Corporate Culture and Performance,” supports the strong link between the strength of company culture and its financial performance. A positive work environment also attracts and retains top-notch workers, and it all begins with you. As the company leader, your values and priorities set the tone for your company’s culture.

We’ve tracked down four successful companies with leaders that understand the far-reaching effects of a strong company culture. Read on to discover how they’ve fashioned a company culture that works and take away a tip or two about leadership.

1. Stella and Dot

Company culture: Work-life balance is possible

Stella and Dot founder Jessica Herrin knew what kind of company culture she wanted long before she started her highly successful direct sales accessory company. In fact, it’s one reason she began it.

Herrin began Stella and Dot in 2004, from her living room. Her goal was to create a family friendly alternative to the typical 9-5 career. Today her 200 million dollar business offers a company culture that values work-life balance. And Herrin leads by example, realizing that she sets the culture for her company.  She doesn’t hold meetings during the evening when employees want to be spending time with their family, and when she travels for a week she’ll come in a bit later the next. She also supports employees who want time off to spend with their family, and understands that a happy worker with a proper work-life balance is one that’s not likely to leave.

The boutique jewelry and accessory sales company has experienced unbelievable growth since it got off the ground a decade ago. Along the way it has reinvented flexible entrepreneurship and developed a company culture has helped thousands of women enjoy a flexible work schedule and the work-life balance they deserve. They also receive free trips to exotic locations.

stella & dot

2. Buffer

Company culture: Tackling the transparency taboo

At Buffer, the company culture is all about transparency. Founder Joel Gascoigne not only makes salaries open, but the formulas he uses for determining them too. The incredibly successful startup, whose app allows users to schedule social media updates to be posted at a later time, even published the story behind how it received seed funding from each of its investors.

In addition to salaries, Gascoigne makes other typically hush-hush information available to employees, including revenue and other financials. And when someone is fired, he shares why and references the company’s culture.  By being transparent, Gascoigne hopes to encourage communication that nips problems in the bud, and minimize the “grass is greener” mentality that results in employees jumping from one company to the next. It’s an unorthodox and bold, but Gascoigne transparency strategy could be one reason why the app enjoys almost one million users.

buffer app

3. AWeber

Company culture: Fostering teamwork through fun and food

AWeber, a Pennsylvania based email marketing software company, was founded by Tom Kulzer in his two bedroom apartment when he was just 21. Today, it serves over 100,000 customers, employs nearly 100 people and was recently named one of the best places to work in its region.

Kulzer’s employee centric company culture could have something to do with its success. Fun, food and teamwork are key components of its culture. Two slides, a tricked-out game room that boasts table tennis, arcade games, pool and foosball, and two theater rooms are sure to keep workers in a positive state of mind. Desk can be adjusted to a standing or sitting position depending on the employees’ preference, and all desks are on wheels to promote collaboration and communication. AWeber offers fully covered health insurance and the teamwork culture is strengthened daily as employees sit down with one another and enjoy a tasty lunch provided free of charge.

Kulzer believes that doing the ordinary in a different way might be considered crazy, but that probably means you’re on to something. His company’s culture is a shining example.


4. Toms

Company culture: Doing good is good for business

Blake Mycoskie founded the shoe company Toms after travelling through Argentina and realizing so many children went without shoes. The company’s famous “one for one” model (for every pair of shoes sold, Toms gives a pair to a child in need) established a company culture that’s based on philanthropy.

In fact, Toms has given away over 10 million pairs of shoes, and two years ago, Toms launched an eyewear line that’s already restored vision for 150,000 people in 13 countries. Mycoskie believes that cultivating a close knit supportive culture is essential to long term success, and his company’s philanthropic culture proves that giving in business is not just the right thing to do, it can be quite lucrative as well.


There’s a lot to be learned from these leaders about company culture. We hope they’ve inspired you to develop a company culture that pushes your business to its potential.

Alexia Chianis

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