Foosball tables are no substitute for culture

Watch any company’s recruitment video these days and you’re likely to see a foosball table, an espresso bar and a workout room. You may be wondering if you need those to attract great employees, too.

While games and fancy coffee are nice “extras,” they’re not the foundation of your culture. There are better ways to cultivate a winning internal brand.

  1. Know and articulate your purpose: why are you really here, and why does it matter?
  2. Convey that purpose throughout every step of your hiring, onboarding and retention efforts.
  3. Tell your purpose to suppliers and invite them to be true partners in that effort.
  4. Share the purpose with customers as an authentic part of your brand…not just an add-on.
  5. Ask employees how to help bring your purpose alive in all you (and they) do.

Item 5 is where the foosball table might come in. But it might not be a fit. There could be some entirely different things you need to do to build your culture.

what makes sense with your purpose?
An innovative health brand whose purpose is to help people age comfortably at home incorporates these things into their culture:

  • healthy break room snacks
  • ergonomic office furniture
  • employee ride-alongs to better understand patients
  • break room bulletin boards with testimonials and thanks sent by patient families
  • volunteer hours for health-related nonprofits

This is a company who’s healthy through-and-through.

align your brand playbook
Take some time today to examine your purpose and culture. There’s nothing wrong with a foosball table. But be sure you have a real reason for it—and all the other offerings you have for employees.

When your purpose and internal brand are aligned, your organization can stand the test of time. Then all you have to do is coach. Your players know the rules and they’re ready to win.



Gritty in pink.

Martha’s a combination of tough-as-nails determination and high-style. You can imagine her climbing a mountain in six-inch stilettos. Why’s she climbing? The view’s better from the top—and Martha’s always looking for ways to see differently, and share her vision with everyone around her.

Martha Bartlett Piland
MB Piland Advertising + Marketing