Positive Company Culture: Benefits and 11 Ways To Build One

Updated March 16, 2023

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Every organization has a company culture that's created through workplace experiences, attitudes and environments. And while company cultures may develop naturally, there are also ways you can encourage a positive culture that will improve employee productivity, morale and engagement in your workplace. 

In this article, we explain what a positive company culture is, its benefits and ways you can create one in the workplace.

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What is a positive culture in the workplace?

Positive company culture is an attitude and environment within an organization that cultivates collaboration, productivity and satisfaction among its employees. In this type of environment, managers trust their employees to produce quality work and make good decisions without constant oversight. Employees respect one another and work well as a team to complete projects. Positive cultures focus on employees' strengths and professional growth to make the organization more productive.

Which factors affect company culture?

Many factors can affect company culture may include, but the most common influences include the following:

  • Management attitudes

  • Employee treatment

  • Company beliefs

  • Benefits and perks

Related: Positive Working Environment: Definition and Characteristics

Benefits of creating a positive culture

The benefits of creating a positive work culture within your organization include increasing:

  • Job satisfaction: Employees often are happier when working for companies that invest in improving their well-being because they feel more valued. 

  • Employee retention: Employees may be more likely to want to stay with a company they feel treats them well and gives them the proper resources to succeed. If they enjoy their work and the people they work with, employees also may be less likely to explore other career options. 

  • Recruiting: A positive culture can help improve the reputation of a company, which may make more talented professionals seek it out when looking for a new job. This also can allow companies to be more selective with who they hire, which can help improve other factors, such as retention and productivity.

  • Motivation and productivity: Professionals who enjoy their work environment and have strong relationships with their coworkers and managers may be more likely to work harder and have a better attitude. Being invested in a company may make them feel more passionate about how much success it has. 

  • Collaboration: A positive company culture often prioritizes teamwork, communication and interaction among coworkers. These factors all can improve how well a team collaborates on projects because team members may feel more comfortable and willing to ask for help.

  • Employee well-being: Being in a positive environment that allows employees to grow and rewards them for performing well can help reduce the stress and anxiety they may feel in the workplace. 

Related: 20 Ways To Improve Your Work Environment

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11 ways to create a positive work culture

Company leaders can influence work culture through the organization's values and initiatives and how they treat their customers and staff. Follow these steps to create a positive culture:

1. Establish core values

Determine your organization's mission and values, and try to incorporate these into everything the company does. Clear core values can add meaning and purpose to employees' work and can improve performance and motivation. When establishing values, define what’s important to the company and its people and determine how that fits into the company culture.

Related: Core Values in the Workplace: 84 Powerful Examples

2. Promote communication and transparency

Try to ensure your employees and managers have open communication and are transparent about their decisions. Supervisors in positive cultures often are approachable and accessible to their staff, and they give frequent feedback on employee performance. Employees who can communicate openly and share ideas with their managers often feel more valued, so try to give them communication tools, such as feedback boxes and team messaging platforms.

Transparency, or being open and honest about company performance and decisions, also is a key part of communication. You can earn employee trust and loyalty by being transparent about the company's affairs. Consider using internal newsletters or monthly company meetings to make announcements, give updates and allow people to ask questions and share opinions.

Read more: How To Be Transparent in the Workplace

3. Set clear goals

Ensure all employees understand company, department and individual goals. Goal-setting can give employees purpose and motivation. Try to make sure objectives are measurable so employees know when they reach them, and consider rewarding those accomplishments. Having the flexibility to adjust goals and metrics as needed also can help your team feel more motivated to achieve them.

Read more: How To Set Realistic Goals

4. Recognize good work

Rewarding your employees for outstanding performance can make them feel appreciated and continue producing quality work. Employees who get recognized for their hard work may be more motivated, engaged and loyal to the company. Employee recognition can include:

  • Verbal praise

  • Reward systems for meeting goals

  • Bonuses

  • Employee of the month

  • Awards, like gift cards

  • Extra time off

Related: 30 Types of Employee Rewarding Programs and How To Design Them

5. Encourage social activities and collaboration

You can ensure a workplace meets employees' social needs by encouraging collaboration, connection and group activities. Try to help your employees get to know one another and form friendships by hosting exercise or running clubs, team lunches, happy hours or other events unrelated to work. A company culture that promotes positive work relationships also may benefit from higher morale and performance and better teamwork.

Read more: How To Increase Collaboration in the Workplace

6. Be flexible

Consider offering flexible schedules and opportunities to work remotely. Companies with flexible work environments may provide their employees with a good work-life balance and improved morale. Employees can work when they are most productive and still manage personal and family responsibilities. Flexibility can also attract talented candidates to your organization.

Read more: 6 Ways To Implement Job Flexibility in the Workplace

7. Be inclusive

Promote inclusivity and diversity by hiring and supporting people of all backgrounds and cultures. Consider creating diversity initiatives that educate employees and establish inclusion as one of the organization's core values. Try to ensure employees know the company respects and protects their rights and beliefs, and provide resources or outlets for them to communicate concerns or have personal conversations. If an organization has a human resources (HR) department, you can ask HR to provide these support systems.

Read more: How To Be an Inclusive Leader: 6 Steps To Follow

8. Have fun

Allow your employees to relax and have a sense of humor around the workplace. This aspect of a positive culture can lower stress levels and make employees look forward to coming to work each day. Encouraging employees to have fun at work can also energize them and lead to more creativity and innovation. Ways to promote fun include group or team-building activities, office decor, a relaxed dress code and celebrations for achievements.

Read more: What Is a Fun Workplace? (Top Benefits and How To Create One)

9. Provide opportunities for growth

Give your employees the tools and opportunities to learn new skills and develop professionally. Companies with growth opportunities may have better employee satisfaction and productivity. Consider establishing clear ways for employees to get promotions, which you can base on performance or meeting certain goals. Promoting from within can let employees know upward mobility in the organization is possible. An organization's professional development plan might include:

  • Online or in-person training programs

  • Mentorships

  • Tuition reimbursement for continuing education or advanced degrees

  • Lunch and learns

  • Meetings to determine employee goals and help them achieve those

Read more: Opportunities for Growth: What They Are and Why They're Important

10. Be compassionate

Managers and company leaders in positive cultures often are kind and empathetic toward their employees. They understand their staff's needs and help them through challenges. Employees who work under compassionate leaders may feel respected and think the company cares about them.

Read more: Compassionate Leadership: What It Is and 9 Ways To Practice It

11. Be helpful

Encourage managers and employees to help their coworkers complete projects, make decisions and overcome challenges. Employees who feel their supervisors are helpful and friendly can be more loyal and likely to help others as a result. A positive culture is supportive and makes employees feel like they have the resources and assistance to accomplish their tasks. Ways to be more helpful include:

  • Listening actively

  • Offering and asking for feedback

  • Creating instructions, resources or guides for teams to reference

  • Being approachable

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