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November 15, 2023
March 1, 2024

Best Ways to Describe Your Organizational Culture

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Whether you’re writing up a job listing, preparing for an interview, or posting a company social post, knowing how to best describe your company culture can be a big deal—especially in attracting the best talent.

The nature of work and the employee-employer relationship has been evolving and will continue to evolve. Employees have greater expectations than ever, and a modern, employee-centric organizational culture is the best way for organizations to show that they’re keeping up with the times.

In this post, we’ll go over some of the most impactful elements of organizational culture and how you can quickly and succinctly describe them.

What is organizational culture?

Organizational culture is defined as the attitudes, behaviors, values, and expectations that create the framework of your organization. This includes the principles, values, and policies at your company.

These are all important because they affect employee engagement, productivity, happiness, and retention, which will affect your bottom line. In fact, culture is 10X more important to employees than pay rates—this proves that employees want to work in a place that makes them feel cared for, valued, and supported.

The Pillars of Organizational Culture

There are some pillars that every company culture needs to build on in order to ensure employee comfort, happiness, and success. These pillars are:

  • Trust
  • Recognition
  • Purpose
  • Communication
  • Growth

The benefits of an organizational culture that is built on these foundational principles are amazing: 3X more loyalty, high feelings of inclusion, and 72% higher engagement to start.

And considering that 80% of employees consider a company’s culture before applying to openings, culture is a vital part of attracting and hiring the best talent, too.

So which words can you use to describe your culture? How can you show potential employees, applicants, and current employees that you value these pillars of organizational culture? Here are some words you can use to get that message across.

8 words to describe your company culture

1. Appreciative

Employees give a lot of their time and effort to the company, and a company that recognizes their people for their work has a strong culture. When recognition is a priority for your culture, employees are 56% less likely to quit, and 4X more likely to be engaged.

Build a culture that recognizes employees and shows them that they matter, and they’ll respond with better attitudes and better work. Plus, showing that your company appreciates your employees will make your culture much more attractive to potential talent.

2. Autonomous

Autonomy encompasses trust, but it’s much more than just that. It’s allowing employees to work in the ways that work best for them and trusting them to be responsible. It’s relying on employees’ intrinsic motivation and supporting their personal and professional growth.

The opposite of autonomy is micromanaging or a lack of control. Instead, create a culture where employees know they are trusted to perform their best in their preferred way. Provide resources, support, and recognition, and then let employees take control of their own success.

3. Collaborative

No one likes working in a silo—your culture should strive for open communication and collaboration between employees and teams. Company cultures are much more engaging when everyone shares in each others’ successes and supports each others’ challenges.

Leadership needs to be the example of collaborating and communicating. In doing so, feelings of trust and teamwork will trickle down to everyone else.

4. Challenging

This can be a good thing or a bad thing. For our purposes, we mean that your culture should provide learning and development opportunities for employees. People should feel challenged by their work so that they can grow and learn new skills.

61% of employees say that gaining new skills is important for them to stay at a job. Create a culture of growth and challenge, and your employees will stay around longer.

5. Flexible

Flexibility is more important to employees than ever before, and employees crave work-life balance. That’s why your organizational culture needs to prioritize flexibility. A strong culture of flexibility can raise the number of high-performing employees by 40%.

Let employees choose when, where, or how they work. Give them the PTO they need, including flex-time, and allow people to take care of their mental and physical health. Your employees will react with greater motivation, productivity, and trust.

6. Fun

Do we need to explain? Your culture needs to be enjoyable and engaging for employees. Your people should enjoy coming to work! Team parties, free lunches, team building activities, etc., are great ways to spread fun and build relationships.

These moments of fun will help your employees increase their motivation and enjoy their work more.

7. Inclusive

Companies with above-average diversity are 19% more innovative and earn 9% higher EBIT. But inclusivity is about more than just business outcomes. It’s about ensuring your employees feel welcomed and supported, regardless of their gender identity, cultural background, or age.

DEIB is a vital part of any business, and your organizational culture needs to include inclusivity in its description.

8. Value-Driven

Does your company have core values that they rely on? Does the organization exemplify those values? Do employees know how their work contributes to the values and missions statement? These questions are foundational to a value-driven culture.

When employees feel that the company’s mission makes them know that their work is impactful, they have 51% less absenteeism and 29% higher quality in their work. And employees who feel a purpose at work are 4X more engaged.

Create a Culture That’s Easy to Describe

Your organization’s culture is vital to attracting, engaging, and retaining the best talent. If you use these adjectives to shape the priorities of your culture, you’ll have an organization that employees love working at.

Awardco can help you develop core values, drive behaviors, increase inclusivity, and make work more rewarding through our recognition platform—request a demo to see how.