How Chobani Builds A Purposeful Culture Around Social Impact

Chobani, America’s leading Greek yogurt brand

Here are key lessons from Chobani on how to strengthen corporate culture:

  • Shape culture around purpose: Purpose is a critical factor to building high performance teams. Once you articulate your purpose, you must ensure that your entire staff is also onboard. By empowering your team with the right language and protocols to contribute to your brand’s purpose, you can transform your employees into highly effective brand advocates. It’s essential that all employees have a clear understanding of the company’s reason for being and how they contribute to advancing it. But doing so unlocks value across the entire business as purpose-driven employees are also more engaged, happier and more productive. Chobani is a great example of building culture around purpose ensuring “better food for more people,” in its product designs, healthier communities in which it operates, and more productive employees and external partnerships.
  • Pursue purpose-focused collaborations: Inviting others to join your purpose-driven movement expands your impact and reach. Ulukaya expands the impact of Chobani’s health and wellness work, as well as refugee assistance, from internal culture to its external outreach. By making investments in social entrepreneurs via the Chobani Foundation and Incubator, Chobani is able to fund innovation on a small scale. By encouraging employees to get involved in social good, Chobani gives its internal team an opportunity to contribute to making an impact. Additionally, by inviting other organizations — such as Airbnb, Google, and Microsoft — to work towards refugee relief via the Tent Foundation, Ulukaya is able to make unlikely partnerships, which can also benefit Chobani. Ultimately, by aligning around a shared value that is bigger than your brand or industry, you can strengthen your team, expand your network, but also gain earned media and word of mouth advertising.
  • Encourage employee ownership: Today’s talent want more than a paycheck from their employers. Millennials particularly want to work for businesses that do good and offer growth opportunities. There are numerous ways to give your team members ownership. Some strategies include profit sharing, performance bonuses and a dynamic equity split.

Ownership vs. Equity

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Founder/CEO brand consultancy, We First, bestselling author of We First and Lead With We, host of podcast, Lead With We.

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Simon Mainwaring

Simon Mainwaring

Founder/CEO brand consultancy, We First, bestselling author of We First and Lead With We, host of podcast, Lead With We.

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