The 27 Best Company Culture Decks and How to Create One

Andy Cook
June 8, 2023

“That company is changing the world.”This is what people say about the most successful companies in the modern world, the companies that consistently blow expectations, and rival companies, out of the water. They are those with lists of accolades, like HubSpot, and those with scores of articles waxing poetic on how they found so much success, like Netflix.

We scoured the internet for all the culture decks we could find and curated a list of the most noteworthy examples in the business world.

Some are older, but they still serve as an important snapshot of the company’s growth.

All decks have been verified recently. Let’s dive in.

  • Need to manage your internal knowledge? Start with Tettra for free.

27 Examples of Company Culture Decks

  • Patreon logo


    Founded: 2013
    Location: San Francisco, CA
    Employees: ~150
    Loading culture deck...


    We have two missions: 1. Fund the creative class 2. Create a company where teammates build fulfilling lives

    Core values

    1. Put creators first
    2. Achieve ambitious outcomes
    3. Cultivate inclusion
    4. Add value quickly
    5. Be candid and kind
    6. Seek learning 

  • Tettra logo


    Founded: 2016
    Location: Cambridge, MA
    Employees: ~10
    Loading culture deck...


    We help businesses empower their employees to do their best work

    Core values

    We’re a team of makers in Boston, MA who take great pride in our work and want to create impactful and sustainable company. To do that, we believe that we should follow these "culture directives":
    Talk to customers
    Instead of guessing, try talking directly to a customer when you need to solve a problem.
    Prioritize customer impact
    Always try to prioritize doing things that directly help customers over things that make us feel good.
    Reduce scope before quality
    When making tradeoffs, always reduce the size or scope of a project before its quality.
    Share early and often
    We have the tendency to hide our work until we think it's perfect. Fight that urge and share your work, data, and ideas early and often.
    Stay curious
    Never assume something is unchangeable. Relentlessly seek the truth. Never assume someone is attacking you for asking questions.
    Don’t burn out
    It's a marathon, not a sprint. Use your time wisely, work hard while you're at work and live well when you're not.
    Be Inclusive
    Homogenous thinking can be dangerous. Seek other viewpoints, experiences, and backgrounds to enrich all the work you do.

  • Buffer logo


    Founded: 2010
    Location: Remote
    Employees: ~100
    Loading culture deck...


    We’re working to build the best products to help our customers build their brands and grow their businesses on social media.

    Core values

    Core values
    1. Default to transparency: As a team, we view transparency as an effective way to work remotely and establish a culture of trust.
    2. Cultivate positivity: We strive to approach things in a positive way while realizing all emotions are valid.

    3. Show gratitude: We regularly stop and demonstrate gratitude for our circumstances.

    4. Practice reflection: We believe the act of introspection is where true learning and life-changing adjustments originate.

    5. Improve consistently: We are biased toward action and have a higher expectation of ourselves and of our product than others have of us.

    6. Act beyond yourself: We consider the bigger picture, knowing our work goes beyond ourselves.

  • Asana logo


    Founded: 2008
    Location: San Francisco, CA
    Employees: ~450
    Loading culture deck...


    Help humanity thrive by enabling all teams to work together effortlessly.

    Core values

    Core values

    1. Mindfulness 
    2. Equanimity (over Suffering)
    3. Aiming to maximize impact
    4. Company as Collective of Peers
    5. Investing in Ourselves, Each other, and Our Efficiency.
    6. Trust in judgment over rules & incentives 
    7. Pragmatic craftsmanship
    8. Egolessness
    9. Balancing Reason and Intuition
    10. Balancing or Integrating Opposites
    11. Transparency by Default 
  • Zappos logo


    Founded: 1999
    Location: Las Vegas, NV
    Employees: ~1,400


    To provide the best customer service possible.

    Core values

    1. Deliver WOW Through Service
    2. Embrace and Drive Change 
    3. Create Fun and A Little Weirdness 
    4. Be Adventurous, Creative, and Open-Minded 
    5. Pursue Growth and Learning 
    6. Build Open and Honest Relationships With Communication 
    7. Build a Positive Team and Family Spirit 
    8. Do More With Less 
    9. Be Passionate and Determined 
    10. Be Humble
  • Spotify logo


    Founded: 2006
    Location: Stockholm, Sweden
    Employees: ~2,500


    To unlock the potential of human creativity by giving a million creators the opportunity to live off their art and billions of fans the opportunity to enjoy and be inspired by it.

    Core values

    1. Innovation at every level
    2. Learn from failure
    3. Iterative development
    4. Agile-first
    5. Data-driven
    6. Autonomous teams
    7. Continuous improvement
    8. Shared responsibility
    9. Transparency
    10. Trust
    11. Servant leadership
  • Valve logo


    Founded: 1996
    Location: Bellevue, WA
    Employees: ~350


    At Valve we make games, Steam, and hardware.

    Core values

    1.Our games define genres.

    2. Our platform connects players with the world's greatest entertainment.

    3. Our hardware is a happiness delivery vehicle.

    4. Iterate, test, repeat.


  • Hootsuite logo


    Founded: 2008
    Location: Vancouver, BC
    Employees: ~1,200
    Loading culture deck...


    Our vision is to revolutionize the customer journey via social. Our mission is to empower organizations to turn messages into meaningful relationships.

    Core values

    Lead with Humility
    Grit in All We Do
    Build a Better Way
    Passion for Customer Success

  • Disqus logo


    Founded: 2007
    Location: San Francisco, CA
    Employees: ~50


    Disqus exists to enable great online communities.

    Core values

    1. Entrepreneurial - Don't wait for someone else to build it. 
    2. Inventive - Be bold, be beautiful. Build things that last. 
    3. Generous - Sharing is caring. Give more than you get. 
    4. Impactful - You don't need to have a lot to make a big impact. 
    5. Humble - We do great work and are damn proud of it.
    6. Trust + Freedom > Politics + Bureaucracy
  • Netflix logo


    Founded: 1997
    Location: Los Gatos, CA
    Employees: ~3,100
    Loading culture deck...


    At Netflix, we aspire to entertain the world—creating great stories from anywhere and offering greater choice and control for people everywhere.

    Core values

    1. Judgment: you make wise decisions (people, technical, business, and creative) despite ambiguity
    2. Communication: You listen well, instead of reacting fast, so you can better understand
    3. Impact: You accomplish amazing amounts of important work
    4. Curiosity: You learn rapidly and eagerly
    5. Innovation: You re-conceptualize issues to discover practical solutions to hard problems
    6. Courage: You say what you think even if it is controversial
    7. Passion: You inspire others with your thirst for excellence
    8. Honesty: You are known for candor and directness
    9. Selflessness: You seek what is best for Netflix rather than best for yourself or your group
  • Google logo


    Founded: 1998
    Location: Mountain View, CA
    Employees: ~90,000
    Loading culture deck...


    Google's mission is to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful.

    Core values

    1. Focus on the user and all else will follow.
    2. It’s best to do one thing really, really well.
    3. Fast is better than slow.
    4. Democracy on the web works.
    5. You don’t need to be at your desk to need an answer.
    6. You can make money without doing evil.
    7. There’s always more information out there.
    8. The need for information crosses all borders.
    9. You can be serious without a suit.
    10. Great just isn’t good enough.
  • Github logo


    Founded: 2008
    Location: San Francisco, CA
    Employees: ~600
    Loading culture deck...


    We are dedicated to building a community and team that reflects the world we live in and pushes the boundaries of software innovation

    Core values

    1. Open source: the open source model works. Distributed collaboration.
    2. Geography: Smart people are everywhere. Build a company that can work anywhere. Tools are our office. All information should be accessible.
    3. Hours: people are creative at all hours. Code is a creative endeavor. You can’t enforce creativity. Let your people stay fresh.
    4. Minimal process: Every step you add increases complexity, onboarding, inefficiency. Minimize human processes. Ship code quicker.

    More details:

    Note bene: This presentation was published in 2011 by Zach Holman. According to Zach's site, "GitHub no longer works like this, electing instead to institute a hierarchical, manager-driven, top-down, geocentric organization." We included Zach's presentation on the site anyways for inspiration of how a how good technical companies can be run when starting out.

  • Grammarly logo


    Founded: 2008
    Location: San Francisco, CA
    Employees: ~100
    Loading culture deck...


    Help everyone succeed through better communication

    Core values

    We want to work with exceptional peers and expect each other to be E.A.G.E.R.

    • Ethical: be honorable, earn trust by doing the right thing every time, even when no one is watching
    • Adaptable: Embrace change, evolve and succeed with a positive, problem-solving attitude.
    • Gritty: Focus and persevere, achieve long-term goals by doing whatever it takes to get the job done, wherever necessary.
    • Empathetic: Treat others as they want to be treated, collaborate by actively listening toi put yourself in their shoes, and then responding accordingly.
    • Remarkable: Always be learning and humble, continually improve by seeking out mentores and learning opportunities.
  • Robin logo


    Founded: 2014
    Location: Boston, MA
    Employees: ~25
    Loading culture deck...


    Robin helps companies maximize success by facilitating connections between people, places, and purpose. Our platform shapes the future, making hybrid work more human through better workplace experiences.

    Core values

    1. Unite: We believe in the power of bringing people together, but recognize that we can expect healthy conflict when we do so. In every interaction, we prioritize being authentic over being nice. This unites us all by prioritizing  making the best, collective decisions.
    2. Innovate: We’re leading the market in defining hybrid work, and in order to build the products our customers need, it’s imperative to win the war against incrementalism. Our Robinauts think bigger - they’re not afraid to be creative, take a new idea and bring it to life.
    3. Drive: Robinauts trend toward action - we’re focused on forward momentum, driving results and a bias toward urgency. Our time is now.
    4. Adapt: Our industry is in a constant state of change - our team needs to be curious and agile. You’ll hear our Robinauts saying, “I can handle it, and I’ll learn from it.” They are excited to take on challenges and thrive when learning something new.
  • Percolate logo


    Founded: 2011
    Location: New York, NY
    Employees: ~250
    Loading culture deck...


    At Percolate, our vision is to create technology that builds the world’s best brands. Our mission is to be The System of Record for Marketing®.

    Core values

    1. GROWING: Startup = Growth. A startup isn’t determined by size; it’s a company fueled for growth. We must keep this spirit alive.
    2. THOUGHTFUL BY DESIGN: We aim for thoughtfulness in everything we do. This should be felt by colleagues, clients, and competition.
    3. JUDGE PERCOLATE AGAINST PERCOLATE: Know that everyone else has a lower bar than we do, never compromise.
    4. SHIPPING > NOT SHIPPING: Our orientation should always be towards delivery. Shipping, no matter how small, is always better than not.
    5. OWNERSHIP: You own this company. As we grow, it is your responsibility to ensure that we’re awesome. If it sucks, make it better.
    1. CONSTANT QUESTIONING: Asking ‘why?’ isn’t just for children. Being curious will make you and this company great.
    2. FOCUSED ON SCALE, BUT WILLING TO DO THINGS THAT DON’T: Sometimes the best way to reach scale in the long term is to do things that don’t in the short term.
    3. LED BY PRODUCT: Product is not just what we build, it’s the way we are. Everyone in the company should be thinking in, and building, products.
    4. NOT JUST A JOB: We want you to look back and feel that Percolate put your career on a new trajectory. You are proud, and you wouldn’t change a thing.
    5. JUST: At Percolate you are encouraged to run fast, be fearless, and work hard. If you make a mistake, let’s all learn from it.
  • Dell logo


    Founded: 1984
    Location: Round Rock, TX
    Employees: ~140,000
    Loading culture deck...


    We create technologies that drive human progress.

    Core values

    Customers: We believe our relationships with customers are the ultimate differentiator and the foundation for our success.
    Winning together: We believe in and value our people. We perform better, are smarter, and have more fun working as a team than as individuals.
    Innovation: We believe our ability to innovate and cultivate breakthrough thinking is an engine for growth, success and progress.
    Results: We believe in being accountable to an exceptional standard of excellence and performance.
    Integrity: We believe integrity must always govern our fierce desire to win.

  • Nordstrom logo


    Founded: 1901
    Location: Seattle, WA
    Employees: ~28,000
    Loading culture deck...


    We exist to help our customers feel good and look their best.

    Core values

    1. Top talent: nurturing, inspiring, and attracting top talent. Provide meaningful challenges and opportunities to grow at all levels.
    2. Meaningful work: We try to tie each team’s work to the company mission. 
    3. Empathy: We regularly practice being more curious (asking open-ended questions, probing deeper, and asking why).
    4. Empowerment: We trust our employees to work in the manner that’s best for them, and to ask for help when needed.
    5. Collaboration: We intentionally create opportunities and space for working together and idea sharing. 
    6. Fun environment: We look for ways to incorporate employees’ passions and interests into work.
    7. Unstructured Time: We encourage team members to participate in events that can push their boundaries.
    8. Innovation: We think big then make smaller steps towards that goal to better serve customers.


  • Lululemon logo


    Founded: 1998
    Location: Vancouver, BC
    Employees: ~2,900


    Provide people with the components to live a longer, healthier and more fun life.

    Core values

    1. We develop the highest quality products.
    2. We preserve our integrity by avoiding conflicts of interest.
    3. Our culture promotes a happy and healthy balanced life.
    4. We are all responsible for fostering a respectful and inclusive workplace
    5. Personal responsibility is the path to success.
  • The Motley Fool logo

    The Motley Fool

    Founded: 1993
    Location: Alexandria, VA
    Employees: ~450


    Making the world smarter, happier, and richer through expert investment guidance.

    Core values

    1. Motley: foster inclusion and belonging.
    2. Collaborative: do great things together
    3. Innovative: search for a better solution. Then top it.
    4. Fun: revel in your work.
    5. Honest: make us proud.
    6. Competitive: Play hard, play fair, play to win. 
  • RedMart logo


    Founded: 2011
    Location: Singapore
    Employees: ~250
    Loading culture deck...


    Vision: to become the world’s most customer-centric company. Mission: saving people time and money for the important things in life.

    Core values

    1. We put customers first and are customers ourselves.
    2. We innovate and always question the status quoa.
    3. we do more with less.
    4. We develop our people and give them autonomy.
    5. We value diversity. Be yourself and respect others!
    6. We take risks and believe in rapid experimentation. Fail fast, learn faster.
    7. We never, never, never give up!
    8. We are results-oriented.
    9. We are optimistic & crazily ambitious.
    10. We love what we do!

  • Nasa logo


    Founded: 1958
    Location: Washington, DC
    Employees: ~17,000


    NASA explores the unknown in air and space, innovates for the benefit of humanity, and inspires the world through discovery.

    Core values

    We share a set of core values:

    1. Safety
    2. Integrity
    3. Teamwork
    4. Excellence
    5. Inclusion

    They are evident in all that we do.

  • Nanigans logo


    Founded: 2010
    Location: Boston, MA
    Employees: ~200
    Loading culture deck...


    Arm marketing teams with the best software to manage their digital advertising in-house.

    Core values

    1. Like our industry, we’re always on, dynamic and fast-paced.
    2. Like our product, we’re analytical - embracing challenges, chaos and complexities to create real value
    3. Like our customers, we’re focused and results-driven on the surface with a fierce work ethic underneath

    People at Nanigans are:

    1. Willing: everyone is busy, yet still willing to drop everything to help you out.
    2. Invested: People united in the vision of growing the company. 
    3. Impressive: The caliber of people here is incredible. Everyone is impressive every day. 
    4. Unfiltered: Everyone is open and honest with one another instead of just glossing over things. 
    5. Caring: People express gratitude and really care.
    6. Fun: There’s an internal sense of humor here - it just shows that we’re human. 
  • UberFlip logo


    Founded: 2008
    Location: Toronto, ON, Canada
    Employees: ~75
    Loading culture deck...


    We empower marketers to personalize content experiences to help drive business growth by enriching go-to-market strategies with relevant content to accelerate customer engagement at scale.

    Core values

    1. We are H.U.S.T.L.E.
    2. Culture > Product > Revenue
    3. Communicate openly and with transparency
    4. Create great experience
    5. Be valuable, relevant and consistent
    6. Give back

  • Etsy logo


    Founded: 2005
    Location: Brooklyn, NY
    Employees: ~2,500
    Loading culture deck...


    Reimagine commerce in ways that build a more fulfilling and lasting world.

    Core values

    - We are a mindful, transparent, and humane business.
    - We plan and build for the long term.
    - We value craftsmanship in all we make.
    - We believe fun should be part of everything we do.
    - We keep it real, always.

  • IDEO logo


    Founded: 1991
    Location: Palo Alto, CA
    Employees: ~600
    Loading culture deck...


    As problem solvers, we drive change, build new ventures, and design digital and tangible experiences for business, social, and governmental sectors through co-creation with our clients.

    Core values

    1. Be optimistic: believing that something is possible will somehow make it so.
      2. Collaborate: the most powerful asset we have in our arsenal is the word “we.”
    2. Embrace Ambiguity: get comfortable with uncomfortable-ness.
      4. Learn from Failure: ask for forgiveness, not permission.
    3. Make Others Successful: going out of your way to help others succeed is the secret sauce
      6. Take Ownership: the unwritten social contract here: individual ownership supports collective responsibility. Own that.
    4. Talk less, do more: nothing is a bigger buzz--kill than over-intellectualizing. Design is about rolling up your sleeves and making things right.
  • Handy logo


    Founded: 2012
    Location: Manhattan, New York
    Employees: ~400
    Loading culture deck...


    Deliver and amazing service experience to everyone by consistently delighting and empowering people around the world.

    Core values

    1. Embrace challenges: We believe we should be stretched to hit big goals.
    2. Support smart & passionate people: We believe in constantly raising the bar by hiring, developing and supporting the smartest, most passionate people in the world.
    3. Today not tomorrow: We work with urgency and believe moving fast is one of our key advantages with the end goal of always moving forward.
    4. Build for love: We put heart into our work and strive to create an experience that enhances customers’ and professionals’ lives.
    5. Growth always: When faced with tough choices we will choose the path that allows us to serve the most people in a responsible way over the long term.
    6. Data beats opinion: We focus on the details and make decisions based on analytics and data, not anecdotes.
    7. Do more with less: By being resourceful, innovative and disciplined, we can outrun any competition.
    8. Enjoy the journey: We believe work should be fun, and aim to create meaningful friendships throughout the company. 
  • LinkedIn logo


    Founded: 2003
    Location: Mountain View, CA
    Employees: ~12,000
    Loading culture deck...


    Empower the world's professionals.

    Core values

    LinkedIn has a culture centered around 5 dimensions:

    1. Transformation: Above all else, we are a culture of transformation.
    2. Integrity: We don’t believe the ends justify the means. We expect employees to do the right thing. Period.
    3. Collaboration: As valuable as we are as individuals, we are exponentially more valuable when aligned and working together.
    4. Humor: Changing the world is hard work, so it’s important to not take ourselves too seriously and have a few laughs along the way.
    5. Results: We set clear, actionable goals and have high expectations for our performance. If you can’t measure it, you can’t fix it. 

    …and 6 core values:

    1. Our Members Come First: We encourage employees to know and understand our members and to ensure that we foster the long-term vitality of the LinkedIn ecosystem.
    2. Relationships Matter: By fostering trust with colleagues and partners, we all succeed. We fundamentally believe that doing what is right is more important than being right. We manage compassionately by recognizing that people have experiences and perspectives that may differ from our own. We put ourselves in the shoes of others before drawing conclusions.
    3. Be Open, Honest and Constructive: We expect our employees to communicate with clarity and provide feedback with consistency in a constructive way.
    4. Demand Excellence: Our employees are encouraged to lead by example, seek to solve big challenges, set measurable and actionable goals, and continuously learn, iterate and improve.
    5. Take Intelligent Risks: Taking intelligent risks has been paramount in building the company to date. No matter how large we become we strive to never lose our startup mentality.
    6. Act Like an Owner: Talent is our most important asset. We expect our employees to act as an owner in each decision they make, no matter how big or small.

What is a company culture deck?

Company Culture Deck: a breakdown of company culture, core values and main missions, also outlining what success means and how ideals may look in practice.

At its most basic, a culture deck is a slideshow that breaks down your company’s culture, core values, and mission into clear, easy-to-absorb pieces. However, this is more ambitious than it sounds.

Everyone benefits from having a clear-cut guide to how and why your company does certain things. A well-articulated mission helps you attract the best talent, individuals who share your same motivations and value your unique philosophies. And when you make these hires, the culture deck works to uphold any expectations set.

As you scale, the culture deck helps keep your business on track. It’s the ultimate compass for maintaining focus on your original purpose, although the best great culture deck also evolves over time. In this sense, they give you a living record of your history, reminding you where you started, whilst also staying open to innovative ideologies.

A proper culture deck is the purest distillation of your business’s ethos, in all areas, from who you hire to how you conduct business. They help your company get on the same page and stay on the same page.

Company Culture Decks for Talent and Customers

It’s worth considering whether you want to make your deck available to the outside world. Doing so may benefit your recruiting and hiring processes, since candidates can more easily determine whether they align with the team culture.

(Google Culture Deck, Attracting Smart Creatives) 

You can also find that customers greatly appreciate the opportunity to read about the company with whom they do business.

Sharing your values can help create an even stronger bond with your brand enthusiasts, assuming they support the same philosophies.

The culture decks are a big part of why these companies are so strong. And you know what’s great? It’s an easy tool for your own business to leverage when finding its own success.

By creating a culture deck yourself, (or at least defining your cultural values,) you’ll create a defensible competitive advantage. It will help you hire and build the best possible team in a way no one else can replicate.

Building one takes nothing more than an understanding of your business and a desire to operate things at their best.

How can you build an amazing culture deck?

Ambitious as it may sound, creating a culture deck is achievable for even the smallest and largest teams. For example, the world-famous design team, IDEO, created their culture deck decades after they started.

To make a culture deck, you need to be willing to dig deep and be thoughtful about what makes your business unique. You also need to think about what your goals are, and what you believe in when it comes to business and high performance.

Every culture deck will be customized to the business, but they share some core attributes, so you can follow this process, no matter your company’s size, industry, or culture.

1. Center on your mission

At the core of your culture deck should be your company’s mission. This is the explanation of what you’re trying to accomplish and why you’re doing it. That will likely involve defining your customers or clients, so be sure to include what you see as your duty to them.

This is also where you should briefly sum up your company’s history to date. Even if your business recently started, it’s good to make mention of your origin story so that you and your employees can keep the business’s roots in mind as you grow.

If your business already has a motto or a North Star philosophy, the first few slides are the perfect place to include them. This isn’t the place for a lot of industry jargon. Instead, explain the motto or philosophy in a way that someone who has never heard of your company will understand.

Task-list tool Asana does a particularly good job of this. On the fourth slide of their culture deck, they state that their “mission is to help humanity thrive by enabling all teams to work together effortlessly,” and go on to align their attributes very explicitly with that overarching statement. 

They even explain why they’re even talking about their mission, “to make sure everyone at Asana is aligned around the same goal.” When you know that you’re hiring smart, savvy people, you can be transparent with them about the purpose of the culture deck from the very start.

Questions to consider:

  • What is your company hoping to achieve?
  • What’s your philosophy on your industry?
  • What is the core problem your company wants to solve?
  • How did your business begin?

The beginning of your culture deck is also the natural place to briefly sum up your company’s history to date. Even if your business recently started, it’s good to make mention of your origin story so that you and your employees can keep the business’s roots in mind as you grow.

2. Build in your values

Your mission is about what you’re trying to do. Your company values are about how you work towards that mission, as well as the way you conduct yourself along the way.

Values might be as simple as two or three sentences describing what you see as important in running an ethical business. Or they may be a complex network of quotes and examples of the way you want your employees to view the world.

 (Image – Lululemon Value Board)

One interesting approach is the one taken by women’s activewear company, Lululemon. Their culture deck is a single page, but packed edge to edge with philosophies, phrases, and ideas that sum up what the company is all about.

While any one of these phrases in isolation may not express a company’s values very well, taken together, you can see the picture of a positive, athletic, idealistic group of people. Even the design contributes to the idea of a great company culture that cares about creativity and an out-of-the-box approach to work.

When including your company’s values in your culture deck, think about what a thriving company looks like to you. How do you hope your employees see and treat one another? If your concept is nebulous at first, don’t be afraid to include charts, images, and quotes that express the idea for you.

Questions to consider:

  • What does a leader look like at your company?
  • What qualities are you seeking in new talent?
  • What does ideal teamwork look like?
  • If failures happen, what comes next?

3. Make your processes as transparent as possible

Excellent culture decks are transparent. That doesn’t mean you have to share all of your business’s financial details or upper-level strategies, but it does mean being open about what matters to your company.

You should make it clear how you define success, and how you define failure. You should also be open about what sorts of ideas, behaviors, and results will add up to an employee moving up in your company, as well as the behaviors that won’t be tolerated. Help people understand what these behaviors look like in practice. This makes it far easier for employees to engage in the way you’d like.

You should make it abundantly clear how you define success, and your philosophy on failure. You should also be open about what sorts of ideas, behaviors, and results will contribute towards an employee being able to move up in your company, as well as any things that simply won’t be tolerated.

If you can help people understand what these behaviors look like in practice, it’s far easier for employees to engage in the way you’d like. In the culture deck given to the Spotify engineering team, success is very nicely summed up.

Spotify doesn’t leave any room for confusion or debate. They outline success for everyone, from new hires to team leaders, and lay it out in a way that’s easy to understand and reference. If you flick through the slides, you’ll see that Spotify actually breaks down each of these headings into a few slides for even greater clarity.

Questions to consider:

  • What does success mean for you?
  • What outcomes or behaviors result in promotion?
  • What outcomes or behaviors call for corrective action, and what does that look like?

4. Get your whole team involved (but also choose a “DRI”)

Seeking varied perspectives will help you create a strong culture deck, and in turn increase buy-in. That said, you still need a DRI (“Directly Responsible Individual“) to keep on top of things. Given that many people may feel a sense of ownership over the team culture, it’s particularly important to identify the DRI.

The DRI needs to know that they have the entire company’s permission and backing throughout the process. On the flip side, the team needs to realize that the DRI is empowered to make tough choices, should there be misalignment between different perspectives.

Good candidates for a DRI include:

  • Founder
  • CEO
  • HR Leader
  • Brand Executive
  • Communications Leader

It’s one thing to create a slideshow full of ideals. But if those ideals don’t reflect the feel of your company, they’ll never be fully integrated into the business. Make sure your culture deck reflects reality by finding out what employees have to say about the culture.

One way to do this is by interviewing your employees. Do they often find themselves referring to your current mission statement? Do they feel like it applies to the work they’re doing? YYou can also set up an anonymous survey using an employee survey platform and collect responses that way, which may generate more candid input than in-person interviews.

Dell kept this process pretty straightforward by asking their team the simple question: ‘If you could describe Dell in one word, which would you use?’

This gave them a solid foundation on which to adapt their values and continue to grow.

Cloud-based digital marketing solution Nanigans asked their team “What defines a great company?” They found out that most of their staff thought the answer was “great people.”

Crafts and vintage e-commerce site Etsy’s phrases all of its values with the collective

  • “We are a mindful, transparent, and humane business.
  • We plan and build for the long term.
  • We value craftsmanship in all we make.
  • We believe fun should be part of everything we do.
  • We keep it real, always.”

They use these kinds of statements so that their employees feel included from the moment they’re hired. This is a simple change you can make to help your culture feel more relatable, and make your deck integrated as soon as it’s introduced.

If you’d like to replicate this inclusivity with your company culture deck, make sure to involve people who have a different perspective. You may find newer hires better able to see the forest for the trees, identifying things that have long gone unnoticed. At the same time, your field reps might pinpoint cultural norms in a much clearer way than those who work in the office every day.

The more contributions you get, the broader your perspective on how people perceive the culture at your company. The more you leverage these opinions, the better-rounded your culture deck will become. You could end up making changes as big as your values or mission statement, or as simple (yet meaningful) as shifting the language you use to express those ideals.

Questions to consider:

  • Who has enough comfort with the team to solicit broad input but also has the confidence to make hard decisions, should they arise?
  • Who are the stars at your company? What traits do they have in common?
  • Whose voices haven’t you heard in discussions of company culture?

5. Weave your culture deck into daily operations

In the end, the trick is creating a culture deck that contains useful information, is easy to reference, and really ties into what your employees do each day. It doesn’t really matter how you design it, as long as it’s being used.

In Patreon’s culture deck, they make the distinction between ‘core values’ and ‘core behaviors’ to support the idea that “behaviors are lower in the stack than values, and thus, more actionable.” Nordstrom reserves a slide in their culture deck to emphasize something similar, stating the importance of “connecting the dots between work and Nordstrom’s strategic objectives.” 

Video game company Valve created their culture deck in the style of an old-fashioned employee handbook, with a twist. They use illustrations of characters from their games, sprinkling in annotations to give it a playful style that suits a game company.

Their team handbook is full of important information that helps people acclimate to the team and do their jobs better. They include both philosophical, as well as actionable information like definitions of team structures, why they’re built as they are, and how to get involved with new projects.

The result is an engaging document that’s easy to reference and read through without employees’ eyes glazing over before they absorb important information. By making the deck reflect their own laid-back, fun culture, Valve has made it far easier and more engaging for employees to reference.

You can help employees apply your ideals to their daily work by weaving them naturally into strategy and projects. It’s always worthwhile to spend a little time tying every new project to your company’s mission and values in some way.

Questions to consider:

  •  What’s the best way to make your culture deck accessible for your team?
  • How can you tie in projects to your central mission?
  •  What aspects of the company should you monitor for changes?

What should we do with our culture deck? Save it in Tettra.

Once you’ve done the hard work of creating the deck, make it broadly available.

If it’s easily accessible, team members are more likely to leverage it in the daily work they’re doing.

Knowledge management software like Tettra is a great home for your culture deck, so people can add questions or comments.

Share your company knowledge on Tettra. Start for free.

Putting it in Tettra also helps teams that use Slack, since people will see a Slack notification whenever you make edits to the deck.

It’s also worth considering whether you want to make your deck available to the outside world.

Doing so may benefit your hiring processes and work environment, since candidates can more easily determine whether they align with the team culture.

You may find that customers appreciate the opportunity to read about the company with whom they do business. Sharing your values can help create an even stronger bond with your brand enthusiasts, assuming they share the same values.

Be ready to make adjustments to your culture deck to reflect your progression, and broadcast any amendments to the entire company with a simple button. Sharing your updates instills trust and communicates that you’re flexible and upfront with your team.

Creating a thoughtful, intentional culture deck is central to helping your company thrive. But building one takes nothing more than an understanding of your business and a desire to help it be its best.