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5 Ideas You Can Take from Hubspot to Make Your Culture Exceptional

September 20, 2016

culture-ideas.jpgEveryone knows that some companies place a lot of emphasis on their cultures, but at the end of the day, does it really matter? Who actually cares about company culture? In fact, there are plenty of articles that say culture is a myth. This one for example. I don’t believe that culture is a myth, though. I’m betting you don’t either. So what is a company culture and how do you get a great one?

Having a bunch of cool perks leads to a good culture, right? Not really. Unfortunately, it’s kind of hard to define, so let’s break down the culture of a company who is constantly rated as one of the best places to work in America.

Hubspot is a content marketing management system. In fact, the marketing department at Select International uses Hubspot. It’s a great tool, but that’s not why I mentioned them.

Hubspot’s culture is known for being exceptional, so I took a look at their “Culture Code,” which is published for the public to view. I highlighted what I found to be the top reasons that truly make it a great place to work.

Take a look:

1) Culture is just as important as Hubspot's product

One of the first things in Hubspot’s Culture Code is the quote, “Culture is to recruiting as product is to marketing.” What does that mean? Think of it this way, customers are more easily attracted with a great product, while talented employees are more easily attracted with a great culture. If you want to hire great people (who doesn’t?), you need an exceptional culture.

Great people will help you build a great product. The great product will help you gain more customers. That’s what all companies are really after, right? There isn’t much action you can take based off of this point, but hopefully it demonstrates the importance of having a great culture.

2) They share openly and are very transparent

This is a really important point, and something your company can do. Hubspot shares everything with their employees. Employees know things like financials, board meeting notes, strategic plans, and so on. The only things Hubspot doesn’t share are things they are legally required not to share; things covered under a non-disclosure agreement, for example. How does this help build a good culture? It helps all employees feel included. Hubspot truly believes that, “Power is gained by sharing knowledge, not hoarding it.”

One important note on transparency from them is that transparency is not democracy. They don’t make decisions by consensus. Leaders make decisions and then clearly explain what steps they took to make those decisions and why. Everyone has a voice, but not always a vote. 

3) Hubspot dares to be different and question the status quo

Every company can take something from this section of the Culture Code. Hubspot’s goal is to constantly simplify things and get rid of useless tasks. If something is broken, they do fix it. This means they cancel unproductive meetings (how many of those have you sat through in your life?), they remove unnecessary rules (I bet you can think of 5 right now), and they try to automate anything they can.

But, they also aren’t scared to try new things. They accept that mistakes can happen, and they make sure they learn from them so that those same mistakes aren’t repeated. 

4) They favor data over job titles

This is one of my favorite parts of the Hubspot Culture Code. What this means is that they settle debates with data and analytics, rather than settling it by who is higher in the organization. If two people think that a goal should be achieved in two different ways, they look at the data to see which way would actually help them hit that goal. Once they look at the data, they know the correct decision.

Think about this in your workplace. Have you ever experienced a coworker “pulling rank” on you and making a bad decision, just because they have a higher job title? I can think of a few examples. I’d bet this kind of objective decision making is attractive to just about anyone. And, it’s something any organization can do.

5) Hubspot’s best perk is their people

That makes a ton of sense when you think about it. When you have coworkers who are incredibly smart and easy to work with, it makes your job easier. Okay, well, how do you hire amazing employees? According to Hubspot, cultural and motivational fit is a big part of it. They feel that their best people don’t just fit their culture, they further it.

The best part is, any company can hire for cultural and motivational fit. It all comes down to your hiring process, and ensuring that you’re looking at the right competencies and asking the right questions. (We actually held a webinar with Sears on this exact topic. Click here to learn more and view it.)


Hubspot certainly sounds like a great place to work (and I’m proud to say that Select International is too!), but this doesn’t happen by accident. They’re very strict about their culture and have a clear definition of what it is. Your company can do the same.

To read Hubspot's entire Culture Code, check out the SlideShare below:

hiring for cultural fit


Mark Rogers Mark Rogers was a digital marketing expert at PSI who specialized in human resources and leadership content.