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More Than Nerf Guns—Creating a Great Company Culture, Part 1: Core Values

CoreValues_Culture

The Stonyfield Culture

Stonyfield is an organic food company known all over the country for its delicious yogurt, and if you live in New England, you probably know that it’s locally based, headquartered in Londonderry. Stonyfield has an enormous following online, a team of ambassador bloggers (the Yo-Getters) and some of the happiest employees you’ll find around.

Stonyfield’s mission is: Healthy Food, Healthy People, Healthy Business, Healthy Planet. They’ve infused this mission into all aspects of their company, including employee perks like a weekly chiropractor and massage therapist office visits, a free yogurt fridge (naturally) and optional auto-deducted farmshare participation with office delivery. In addition to membership at an exclusive nearby gym, they also have access to on-site treadmills, elliptical machines, pool tables and ping pong tables for staying in shape and having fun.

With their health-centric mission in mind, let’s take a look specifically at a few of their core values and some of the ways they have executed those values into a company-wide culture that exudes “Healthy.”

  • Core Value: We “stir it up” because nothing is impossible.
    Embracing differences and respecting the power of asking “why not?” is at the top of their Values board, which hangs in each and every conference room and office, reminding all employees to constantly rethink and imagine new solutions.
  • Core Value: We win together
    By “we,” Stonyfield mentions “our planet, cows, employees, customers, consumers, shareholders and future generations.” They know that each one benefits when all the others succeed, fostering an atmosphere of support.
  • Core Value: We educate ourselves and our stakeholders
    Part of Stonyfield’s online content is entirely devoted to educating the public on the difference between “Organic” and “Natural,” facts about pesticides, GMOs, legislation and other farming and food issues. They even have many of their farmers blogging, and sharing updates on what happens at their farms. Consumers who are educated are more likely to choose better and healthier food, and Stonyfield has established a culture around healthy food.
  • Core Value: We walk our talk
    This year, Stonyfield is not only the Official Yogurt Sponsor of the Boston Marathon, they also have a team of Stonyfield runners that includes a Stonyfield employee. Encouraged to walk—or run—their talk, Stonyfield employees have been inspired by the Marathoners and started their own running programs.

These are just a few examples of how commitment to core values results in a great company culture. We know there are countless others. And check out what LEGACY has to say in a recent white paper on the subject, “Company Culture Counts.”

What do you think about culture in the workplace? What does it mean to you, and how do you see it manifested in companies around you? Feel free to share some of your favorites with us on Twitter!

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