Culture Codes of Best Places to Work - Glassdoor for Employers

Highlights of the Winners

Culture Codes of Best Places to Work

Culture Codes of Best Places to Work


Building and maintaining a great company culture is key to becoming a contender for Glassdoor’s Best Places to Work list. Defining the components that set your company culture apart will help you sell your company to potential candidates while helping you weed out applicants that may not thrive in your company’s working environment.

Gain some inspiration from our Best Places to Work winners who share the secret ingredients that make up each of their unique cultures. Learn from and adapt these ideas for your own organisation for the best results.

Your Mission and Values

Company mission and vision go hand and hand with values — across roles, teams, departments and the entire organisation. The ease with which employees find themselves aligning with a company’s mission and embodying its values contributes highly to employee engagement and satisfaction.

Here’s an example of company values put to work at SAP:

“We know success means different things to different people. That’s why we go to great lengths to ensure that everyone who works for us has every chance to succeed — in their own unique way. Because we firmly believe that an individual’s success and wellbeing leads to ours, we put huge effort into creating an exciting work environment that attracts individuals who are eager to drive innovation and wow customers in a team-based environment.”

Salesforce puts its values to work by embracing the spirit of Ohana, the Hawaiian concept that families — blood-related, adopted, or intentional — are bound together, and that family members are responsible for one another.

“The #SalesforceOhana is our close-knit ecosystem of employees, customers, partners and communities. We take care of each other, have fun together and work collaboratively to make the world a better place.”

Expedia’s values represent the principles that guide its employees’ conduct with one another and with their customers, partners, shareholders and communities.

BE DIFFERENT: We seek new ideas, different ways of thinking, diverse backgrounds and approaches.

LEAD HUMBLY: None of us has all of the answers, but we are curious and we are always looking to learn.

BE TRANSPARENT: We communicate openly and honestly at all levels: upwards, sideways and downwards. We surface difficult issues quickly, we act, we learn.

ORGANISE FOR SPEED: We seek to gather data as fast as possible, and move. Speed allows us to make mistakes and constantly improve.

ACT AS ONE TEAM: We look to optimise for the greater good, not just our own, or even our own teams’ interests.

Your People

Although each individual at an organisation has a unique skill set and personality that they bring to the company, there are key ideals that draw all employees together as a cohesive team. The people that make up an organisation are the vehicles for putting great company culture to work.

One way you can ensure your organisation is hiring the best people who will live and breathe your unique company culture is through your interview process.

SAP makes approximately 15,000 hires a year. To enhance the interview experience for both candidates and recruiters, the company rethought the entire interview process to analyse how to find the right candidate, for the right role, at the right time who is absolutely right for the hiring manager. This analysis provided the framework for the new SAP culture and role fit assessments

“We have developed engaging and interactive games such as the “Get Home” game and “Perfect Match” Facebook app, which help us identify people with potential to perform a role at SAP. These provide instant personality profiles and match roles for the candidates.

Action Tip

For a guide to conducting interviews that uncover the right candidates, use our Behavioural Interview Questions template.

The key to HomeServe UK’s great engagement rate: “your people are your strongest asset and we believe if you take care of them, they will take care of your customers, and the rest takes care of itself.”

HomeServe has a strong set of People promises, created with our People, which we all live by daily:

  • Dare to Care
  • Own It
  • Do the Right Thing
  • Always Improve
  • Win Together, Trust Each Other

Company Policies

Company policies and procedures establish the rules of conduct within an organisation, outlining the responsibilities of both employees and employers. Think of policies as the Magna Carta for running your company.

SAP promotes a set of policies called “how we run”: Keep the promise, tell it like it is, stay curious, build bridges not silos, embrace differences:

“Our ‘How We Run’ behaviours encourage our employees to be reliable, say what they’ll do and do what they say, and listen with empathy to customers’ challenges and goals”team member respectfully, in private.”

Salesforce’s policies are embodied by the hawaiian greeting “aloha,” which means compassion, respect and affection:

“We must treat others ethically and always do right by the people who depend upon us.”


Perks, Benefits & Career Development

Perks and benefits should reflect your company’s values and play a critical role in hiring the type of employees who bring your company culture to life. In fact, perks and benefits are one of the top five factors job seekers take into consideration when deciding to apply to a job.1 Although perks should not be confused with company culture, they often help support the kind of working environment that suits your organisation.

Here a few examples of unique perks and benefits Best Places to Work companies are providing their employees:


  • Monthly Ticket Perk (from their platform)
  • Music Streaming Account
  • CitiBike Membership
  • Conference and Educational Stipend


  • Travel Allowance ranging from £6,000 to to £10,000 depending on seniority
  • On-site Table Tennis, Table Football and Go Karts


  • Employee Assistance Programme for professional counselling services
  • Summer Half-Day Fridays

Physical Workspace & Location(s)

Physical workspace impacts the way your employees feel when they come to work each day. The amenities you provide and the location of your workplace can enhance employee satisfaction and productivity, which in turn can have an effect on your company culture.

Much of SAP’s architecture around the world features large amounts of glass and open space to let in natural light, and makes use of materials and colours that foster an energising environment.

“Our office locations provide some of the most state-of-the-art workspaces that are out there. Our workspaces reflect our belief that adaptation and flexibility are the core principles of innovation. In our Cloud Services workspace, all the furniture is on wheels and the walls are writable, making it easy to customise the environment to our needs on the fly — and brainstorm with colleagues on almost any surface.”

Metromile keeps things consistent with a motoring theme in their office.

“Our office actually occupies space from an old car parking garage, which is funny given we’re a car-related company."

Their space is customised to fit their collaborative needs with an open floor plan. The office’s location offers plenty of opportunity to catch some fresh air at a local park or gain inspiration at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

HomeServe UK's head office is infused with the spirit of the town in which it was formed.

“We are based right at the heart of Walsall, a community we have been proud to have been part of for over 20 years. On site, we have two restaurants as well as seating areas and 24-hour catering available. We also have on-site trikes and cycles to help our People travel to meetings in other buildings.”


Although all of these companies have cultures crafted to each of their specific needs, some of the key things they have in common are:

  • A well-defined mission that employees can relate to and adopt.
  • Talented people who jive with the company mission.
  • A culture of transparency that starts at the top.

If you keep these three important factors in mind when creating your own culture code, you’ll be on the right path.


  1. Site Survey, January 2016