Culture, culture, culture – are you tapping into its potential and attracting talent in 2021?

The word about culture in businesses is floating around and gaining further significance more than ever before. So, is organizational culture really so important and why is it that? Among most things, through its culture, an enterprise can:

  • Attract diverse talent
  • Keep employees for longer
  • Create a competitive advantage

We have written already about the topic – “Your corporate culture will define the future of your company” and “Culture – what is it there to know in 2021?”. Yet, there is much more to the culture of businesses!

To begin with, Bill Gates says that “culture is hard to describe”. Even so, it is such a crucial component for a thriving business, so let us give it a try and break it down in the next lines.

Summary (TL;DR)
Employee’s needs are shifting from what they used to be in the last decades. People want the 3 Cs in order for their motivation needs to be met: career, community, and cause. How one manages to do so and tap into the potential of organizational culture is exemplified with a business case with Netflix.

A cultural fit and listening to employees 

When referring to organizational culture, it is hard to not talk about employee’s needs and motivators. Those two components (company’s values and employees) make up each unique company’s culture. In a previous blog, we pointed out that companies are becoming more employee-centric rather that purely focusing on profits and shareholders. And with the uplifted employee and candidate say, especially for the wanted talent, they are caring more and more about company’s culture.  

What is it that employees really want? To answer that question, Facebook conducted a mass study. Years ago, the so famous Maslow’s hierarchy of needs pointed out that firstly, the physical needs of people need to be covered, and then they can look for safety, love & belonging, esteem and finally, self-actualization. While it can be hard to argue with that logic, as naturally an individual can hardly be bothered for his/her prestige when starving, decades have passed, and businesses operate differently. As psychologists conclude, Maslow’s hierarchy of needs has to be adapted to meet the current times.  

In the pursuit of understanding employee’s needs as they are now, Facebook’s study concludes with 3 key motivators: career, community, and cause. And which one of the 3 Cs is at the top of the new hierarchy of needs? Neither. Facebook’s continuous research with thousands of respondents across different continents concludes – for all ages and generations, they all want those 3 equally, not compromising on either. So here there are. 

The 3 pillars of employee’s motivation: 


At the heart of intrinsic motivation is to have work. If one feels as if they have autonomy, that they can use ones’ strengths and develop them further, that makes them motivated. A place that promotes learning and development is a place that nurtures intrinsic motivation and keeps its employees motivated.


This pillar is all about people and the connections one makes. If one feels respected, heard, and recognized by their social circle, they are happy and motivated. Belongingness is a powerful driver for one’s motivation and forcreativity boost. 



This component is about a person’s purpose. If they like what they do is meaningful and has an impact, if the company’s mission is clear to them and they resonate with it, they cause need is fulfilled. It is what makes one proud. 

So, how does one create a company culture that attracts talent and meets their needs? Let us look at what top performance have done for their organizational culture. 

Business case: Netflix

With 208 million paid users by April 2021, there is hardly anyone who has not heard of Netflix. The over-the-top-content platform (OOTP) started as a mail-in DVD rental service and quickly sensed the industry as technological changes occurred, making it to the leadership position in streaming providers by 2007. What the company beholds is a great example of organizational culture – Netflix has among the highest standards set in place for its employees and it manages to maintain it through opting out extensive rules and procedures. Instead, Netflix focuses on increasing employee’s responsibility and freedom. It is within the company’s employees where Netflix holds its competitive advantage and the key to its changing and adapting business models.

For its high culture performance, the company follows a set of concepts called “Netflix Culture Deck” which was reviewed by millions over the globe. Among those, the most important ones that they allocate their success are investing in high performing employees and building a culture that rewards those employees (which also weeds out the continuously underperforming ones).

Top 10 qualities that Netflix values and nurtures are: 

  • Communication – The company encourages listening before replying fast. It values a well-thought and concise language in both spoken and written form. When communicating, it is appreciated in Netflix’s workplace that employees do so in a respectful, equal, and non-stressful way regardless of the potential difference in status or in opinions.
  • Courage – Netflix encourages bravery. That could be in the form of not hesitating of expressing one’s opinions, even if they are controversial or in the form of having the guts to making tough decisions and risking smartly.
  • Curiosity – Those who learn fast, who are curious to absorb new knowledge, and who have insights already in place about the industry are valued in Netflix. Employees who contribute outside of their specialty get extra credit in appreciation. 
  • Honesty – What is tolerated in Netflix is an honest environment where employees can say to each other only what they would say in front of one another. They are encouraged to admit their mistakes as a way to create honestly and openness. Possible tolerated disagreements should be of non-political nature.

      • Impact – The employees at Netflix are valued for their outstanding and meaningful work and not for the process.

      • Innovation – Netflix’s innovative concept derives from its founders, employees, and its culture that inspires rethinking established models, finding simpler and smarter solutions.
      • Judgment – rather than superficially fixing a problem, what Netflix’s employees are encouraged is to think critically and find the route of the issue. By doing so, employees think strategically, and problems are eliminated in the long term is.
      • Passion – those who spark what they work with, those who inspire others, and celebrate their wins, are the ones who nurture Netflix’s success.
      • Selflessness – a united team can lift a mountain, tales say. At Netflix, one’s work should be ego-less, and with the mindset of what is best for the company. 

      See how you can hire better for cultural fit with Whaii Match

      Attracting talent is only halfway of the recruitment journey. For the selection phase, there are tools out there that help you set aside your subjective gut feelings and review applications “blindly” – with no candidate demographics to impact your hiring decision. Only the skills, personality, values and culture that matches to your company’s unique preferences.