Employee Culture: What Separates Major Corporations Like Apple From the Rest?

Business.com / Strategy / Last Modified: February 22, 2017

As it turns out, a great employee culture is much more important than most people realize. Here's how to make sure it's a priority for you.

SMBs look at large companies like Apple, Starbucks, and Adobe and wonder what they’re doing to be so successful.

The strong culture in both their marketing tactics and employees stands far above many of the corporations we see today.

As it turns out, a great employee culture is much more important than most people realize.  Employee culture is a fairly vague term since it encompasses several important factors.

When you think about the society within a workplace, it generally encompasses things like culture, morale, level of productivity, and more. But overall, the most important thing to remember is that if your employees don’t love working there, you’re doing something wrong.

Related Article: Why Company Culture Matters More to Employee Than Pay

Apple Reigns Supreme in Employee Culture

One of the best ways to improve employee culture corporate wide is to closely analyze a number of high-level corporations. There are some companies that people love working for more than others. Usually, when you mention major companies, the first name people think of is Apple.

Talk to any Apple representative and they’ll probably tell you they love their job. The company is very flexible with their employees and works hard to ensure that everyone is comfortable and happy. From those working in retail locations to those telecommuting from home, Apple is a great company to work for.

It’s no coincidence that Apple is also one of the largest technology companies in the world with some of the best customer service. “Over the last 14 years, Apple has elevated customer service into a science,” says Yoni Heisler, contributor of BGR.  “Today, the company stands shoulders above the competition when it comes to alleviating the stresses that accompany a faulty tech product.”

There are a number of reasons for their success including the vast number of retail stores and native phone support representatives as well as the efforts Apple has made in hiring more educated employees. All of these things also improve the corporate culture, and this is one of the many reasons that they’re able to not only retain customers but also gain them at an increasing rate.

Related Article: Is Your Culture Toxic? Tell-Tale Signs That Your Company Culture Needs a Re-Boot

Implementing a Top Employee Culture

Monitoring the techniques of major companies with a great organizational culture, such as Apple, is an important step in developing that culture in your own business. Though you may not have the resources or knowledge necessary to mimic them completely, there will still be several things you can institute for businesses of any size. Here are a few suggestions.

Make Health a Priority

Though your employees may grumble at first when you take away the vending machines and replace them with baskets of fruits and vegetables, they’ll thank you in the long run when they feel better about themselves. There’s a direct link between health and overall workplace productivity and morale.

There are several things you can do to promote health in the workplace, including installing gym equipment and walk-and-work stations. If it’s in the budget, consider building a cafeteria that serves only healthful foods, such as kale salads and low-sodium sandwiches. These healthier alternatives will give your employees the nutrients they need to be productive and present.  

Offer Motivational Incentives

Human beings are motivated by both intrinsic and extrinsic rewards, and playing off of that can warm to their desires and motivations. Some companies elect to use a points system that leads up to a greater reward while some lean toward gift cards and other incentives of that nature.

It’s also a good idea to hold a regular public meeting to let employees know that they’re valued. Recognize those that really stood out to you. This kind of attention engenders a workplace where people want to stick around.

Renovate the Physical Atmosphere

Not every company has the ability to change their physical atmosphere to be more inviting, but those that do can benefit from including more windows, bringing in some plants, adding color to the walls, and taking down the cubicles. Simple things such as changing the light bulbs or bringing in light boxes can also significantly alter the mood of the office substantially.

Adding a little fun to the office never hurt either. Ping-Pong tables, bean bags in the break room, and projectors for corporate movie nights also help people feel good about coming to work.

Related Article: Creating An Employee-Centric Company Culture Will Not Be The Death Of Your Business

Cultivating a culture that will have employees begging to stay doesn’t happen overnight. It will take time for all of your employees to go from one frame of mind to the next. But the overall employee experience can improve from the moment you choose to make a change. A culture of reward, recognition, fun, and excitement may be exactly what you need to bring your company to the next level.

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