I agree that culture means nothing in the context of "We have great culture! Woho!", but if you dig a little deeper you usually find out what that culture consists of. Is it ping pong tables, beer at the office and amazing parties? Not for me.
For me culture is things like a genuine engagement in your colleagues, being able to be your true self and an atmosphere that encourages having the courage to stand up for what you believe in.
It is what we tried:
And most people are really willing to work (and live) in a safe (traffic jam free) place, even if it means to half his/her salary.
But there is another factor: costs.
Let's say, the company denies you a raise but spend 10x of your salary in an event. It is enough to lower your moral. It is was the reason why I left my first job.
Also, some people think they are in high-school, and it is not. Mistakes have consequences such as to be fired, sued, or arrested.
Yeah, stuff like ping-pong tables, TVs and parties might sound nice but without an underlying core that's based on more people focused values, it won't create a culture worth savoring.
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