Group of co-workers standing in a common area of an office talking to each other.
Fostering a positive company culture goes deeper than offering fun perks. Learn from these examples of companies that have successful and desired cultures. — Getty Images/10'000 Hours

When inquiring about a company’s work culture, potential employees want to know how workers are treated within a company. Companies that cultivate a positive work culture will not only be highly sought after by top candidates but may reap higher work output.

Here are some top tips to help build a strong company work culture and some examples to learn from.

What is company culture, and why is it important?

A successful organizational culture requires a shared system of beliefs and values supported by both strategy and structure.

Company culture consists of what is valued most internally; it encompasses how employees are treated and how employees treat each other. You cannot force a positive and “good” company culture, but you can cultivate one.

A now famously common mistake made by younger startup companies is to entice employees with “cultural perks” like an open bar at the office or Taco Tuesdays in the break room.

While these things are nice to have and do show a level of appreciation for employees, no amount of free beverages or meals can fix internal culture problems.

While the intentions of such companies might be in the right place, focus on your employees instead by listening to their needs and conducting the research necessary to improve work culture.

Best company work cultures to learn from

While dollars and numbers might be the most obvious sign of a profitable business, many companies’ successes come from their internal culture. In fact, Forbes proposed in 2021 that 2022 would be the “Year of Workplace Culture,” following trends in millennial and Gen Z workforce preferences and the global shift to remote work.

[Read more: How to Improve Company Culture for Remote Employees]

How a company treats its employees can be reflected in the work those employees put out. That’s why it comes as no surprise that some of the most successful names in business are also some of the most highly rated when it comes to company culture.

Capital One

Capital One isn’t just one of the top banks in the U.S.; it’s also famous for being a great place to work. For example, 96% of employees say they are made to feel welcome when they join the company. This can seem like a small action, but it makes a big impact.

While Capital One is a large company, this is a practice that can be implemented at any level of growth. Whether your company has 3 people or 300 people, making employees feel like they belong is one of the first steps you can take toward a great company culture.

A 2022 report named Microsoft as the world’s best company to work for. Microsoft’s value statement prioritizes trust, fairness, and innovation. It’s not easy building trust with employees, but the results are worth it.

American Express

American Express is another company with a proven track record of company culture success. American Express’s stand-out value is its customer-centric approach which is emulated throughout the organization.

At AmEx, employees are customers too, so the organization is built to support employees in everything from great benefits to personal development opportunities and community work. When you support your employees fully, they can in turn support the customer fully.


Google states that it values freedom and fun. Not only are Google employees given flexible work schedules, but they’re also encouraged to utilize creativity and view problem-solving as an opportunity to come up with new ideas. Any company can foster this positivity in the workplace by doing less reprimanding for mistakes and more praising for ingenuity.


A 2022 report named Microsoft as the world’s best company to work for. Microsoft’s value statement prioritizes trust, fairness, and innovation. It’s not easy building trust with employees, but the results are worth it. This is a value many companies may claim to have — but living by them is another story.


Known for its suite of creative and design tools, Adobe earns a top spot for company culture due to its excellence in diversity, leadership, and career growth. As a result, 95% of employees say they have a positive work environment — a number that is no small feat for a company of Adobe’s size.

CO— aims to bring you inspiration from leading respected experts. However, before making any business decision, you should consult a professional who can advise you based on your individual situation.

Follow us on Instagram for more expert tips & business owners’ stories.

Applications are open for the CO—100! Now is your chance to join an exclusive group of outstanding small businesses. Share your story with us — apply today.

CO—is committed to helping you start, run and grow your small business. Learn more about the benefits of small business membership in the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, here.

Brought to you by
Let's Make Tea Breaks Happen! Apply for a Pure Leaf Tea Break Grant
The Pure Leaf Tea Break Grants Program for small businesses and 501(c)(3) nonprofits is now open! Apply for a chance to fund ideas that foster healthier workplace culture and norms! Ideas can be new or already underway, can come from HR, C-level, or the frontline- as long as they improve employee well-being through culture change. Learn more about the Contest, including how to enter at the link below.
Learn More

Get recognized. Get rewarded. Get $25K.

Is your small business one of the best in America? Apply for our premier awards program for small businesses, the CO—100, today to get recognized and rewarded. One hundred businesses will be honored and one business will be awarded $25,000.