The 5 Types of Company Culture

Company culture can influence every aspect of your company, from the general public’s perception of your brand, employees’ job satisfaction, even your bottom line. When there’s that much at stake, we’re sure you know how important it is that your company’s culture is adaptable and open to improvement. There are many nuances to company cultures, which is why no two are exactly alike. There are defining characteristics that tend to organize company cultures into one of five categories.

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Team-first Corporate Culture

Team-oriented companies will prioritize hiring people who will fit into the company culture and put skills and experience second. This company would make employee engagement of utmost importance. They may do this in a variety of ways including giving meaningful feedback, emphasizing a work-life balance, and organizing frequent company outings.

Team-oriented companies believe happy employees make for happy customers, that’s why this focus is great for service-oriented businesses.

Elite Corporate Culture

If a company seeks to hire only the best because they’re focused solely on innovation—this is the hallmark of an elite company culture. Companies with this culture type tend to be more daring, hiring confident, capable, competitive candidates. This results in a company which makes big splashes in their market and grow rapidly.

Elite companies are often seeking to change the world through untested means. Their customers are usually other businesses which need their products to remain relevant and capable in new business environments.

Horizontal Corporate Culture

Among startup companies, horizontal cultures are rather common because they often seek a collaborative mindset where everyone pitches-in to get projects done. Horizontal cultures are frequently found in younger companies which have a product or service they’re trying to provide, but are more flexible and able to change based on market research or customer feedback. Since their customer satisfaction is of paramount importance to them, these smaller teams will do whatever is needed to keep customers happy.

Titles don’t usually mean much in this culture type because executives are often in the same physical space as their employees.

Conventional Corporate Culture

In traditional companies with clearly defined hierarchies, conventional cultures will help grapple with the learning curve of communicating through new media. Dress codes tend to be indicative of conventional cultures, as are numbers-focused approaches and risk-averse decision-making. In these companies, the bottom-line sometimes takes precedence while customer satisfaction is sometimes relegated to secondary.

This company culture type is less common in the digital age, partially because (or perhaps entirely because of) social media and the rise of software as a service (SaaS) companies.

Progressive Corporate Culture

When two or more companies merge into one, companies have to appease investors, customers, and employees; and since the employees often don’t know what will happen next, a progressive culture may be useful. This culture will help manage expectation and address rumors through regular communication. This can also help clarify new goals or missions.

So, which of the five company culture types sums up your company best and does if fit your business model? Do you have elements of each? While no culture type is “the best”, it does provide a meaningful way to meet your business goals and to ensure you are hiring people who fit the “right” culture for you.

The 5 Types of Company Culture