15 Out-Of-The-Box Ways To Communicate Your Company Culture


Company culture is critical to the success and health of a business and its employees. Conveying this culture at onboarding will ensure that new employees thoroughly understand what the organization is all about.

Though traditional methods like orientation meetings and informational packets will do the trick, sometimes it pays to think outside of the box. Below, a panel of Forbes Business Council members shared 15 unconventional—yet effective— ways they communicate culture to their new hires during onboarding.

1. A Teamwide Virtual Huddle

As a fully remote team, transparency and engagement are vital to maintaining our company culture. We introduce each new employee in a virtual huddle that includes our team across the world. In their first week, we present our values, client personas, marketing and execution strategy and short- and long-term financial goals. Forming a strong alignment early is the key to our company culture. – Dan Brownsher, Channel Key

2. A Buddy System

We have a buddy system that pairs new employees with someone more seasoned from another team. They check in regularly to see how things are going and answer any questions, such as what we do and how we work together. We’ve found that onboarding buddies are key for successfully transitioning new employees into the company—and immersing them into our workplace culture from day one. – Cheryl Fields Tyler, Blue Beyond Consulting


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3. An Opportunity To Craft Their ‘Perfect Job’

After the first informative interview and sharing with them about our company, if we are interested, we ask them to email us if they want to work for our company. Rather than making them an offer, we ask them to craft their perfect job scenario and tell us what they envision as the best scenario for them, including schedule, pay and duties. We find more success when we know clearly their passion and needs. – Jennifer Coy, Beauty Care Choices

4. A One-On-One Meeting With The Owner

We schedule a one-on-one meeting with the owner of the company, during which the owner speaks to the history of the company and reviews the organizer. The organizer is a physical and digital document that lays out the company’s three-year vision, one-year strategy, key metrics, core values with descriptions and the company’s purpose, and has a spot for personal development activities. – Scott Snider, Exit Planning Institute

5. An Onboarding Team Wiki

We have a team wiki that houses our onboarding process and checklists. We have a strong culture of continuous improvement. To help instill this value, we ask each new hire to “fix” the onboarding process as they are going through it. So far, It has worked brilliantly! We always have an updated process that each person has had a hand in creating, and they see our values in action. – Sheila Stafford, TeamSense

6. An ‘Outsider’ Report

Taking advantage of the new hire not having yet fully immersed in the company aside from the firehose of information about the company, policy, procedures, process, etc., they are asked to do a report on us. More specifically, we have them look at us with their experience as an “outsider” and suggest process and product insights or improvements for discussion with the broader team. – Howard Rosen, LifeWIRE Corp

7. A Superhero Persona

Our brand is a superhero, so each new hire gets their own cartoon avatar for their own personal branding. They develop their own superhero persona bio that features their amazing feats and accomplishments along with their personal promise to our clientele. This gets them immersed in our brand traits immediately and puts a smile on their face as they see the path to their future heroic contributions. – Kevin Coker, Proxima Clinical Research, Inc.

8. An Office Scavenger Hunt

Set up a scavenger hunt around the office with a series of tasks and questions which send them all over the office. It’s a fun way to meet other new employees and all teams in every department, learn more about themselves and their team, figure out the office layout as well as establish working relationships and connections from day one. – Joanna Swash , Moneypenny

9. An Employee-To-Employee Interview

Ask them to interview other employees with a brief of being able to describe the company’s culture. By interviewing others, the new employee will be able to understand, learn and get to the real culture. What we do and what we say around here—that’s culture. And it can only be passed along by asking people in that culture to share it. – Darren A. Smith, Making Business Matter

10. An Important Task Early On

We welcome new hires with open arms and give them the opportunity to get their hands dirty early on. It’s important for us that they know that we are a fast-moving company, so giving someone an important task during their initial days shows how much can be accomplished in two days when everyone works together! – Bhaskar Ahuja , Originscale Corp

11. A Company ‘Bootcamp’

We established a “Bug Bite Thing Bootcamp.” The onboarding process covers the company’s history, a product map, how the product works and also reviews the company benefits. We focus on making it a fun experience by including games and quizzes. – Kelley Higney, Bug Bite Thing

12. An Internal Employee Newsletter

We send an internal newsletter every two weeks. Our newsletter is a short video created by the CEO (me) that represents the company’s core values. Every two weeks, staff members nominate each other for highlighting core values within their work for a chance to be verbally acknowledged. New hires watch the video and get a sense of how we work as a team and have been a fully remote company since opening. – Libby Rothschild, Libby Rothschild

13. A Discussion Of How Their Role Contributes

One key to day-one onboarding is to not only talk through the company’s mission, vision and values, but to then discuss how their specific role can contribute to the mission. This way they can see themselves as an integral part of the company from their first day and lean into how they can contribute to the company’s successful execution of its mission. – Shannon Brooks, Shannon Brooks Consulting

14. A Review Of The Company’s Wikipedia Page

Have them read Wikipedia. We ask them to read the company’s wiki so they have a basic idea of where the organization comes from and its basic values. Before joining, they should have an idea of what company they are joining and what its culture is like. It will help them know about company competitors and different players in the market. – Sanket Shah, InVideo Innovation Pte Ltd.

15. An Emphasis On Communication At All Levels

An emphasis on communication and relationships between team members at all levels—if your team members are not comfortable interacting with their manager and their manager’s manager, your team needs to be optimized. As a founder, I make it a point to spend time with recently hired candidates so we can inspire them with the company culture and vision and get feedback on our process. – Udi Dorner, SetSchedule



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