7 Proven Methods to Create a Positive Company Culture
In the intricate microcosm of an organization, culture is not a meticulously crafted artifact but a vibrant, evolving entity shaped by collective behaviors, values, and shared visions. Every step, action, and word determines if a culture will propel or impede individual and organizational growth. Here are seven ways to influence the culture thoughtfully and effectively within your organization, ensuring it blossoms into productivity, innovation, and collective well-being.
Articulate a Clear, Cohesive, and Inspiring Vision. A study by PwC found that 63% of employees say understanding company purpose and values is a key to their job satisfaction, so articulating and embodying a clear, aspirational vision delineating the critical behaviors and values integral to the desired culture. The Walt Disney Company consistently communicates its vision of being “The Happiest Place On Earth,” influencing employee behaviors towards creating joyful experiences (even as ticket prices rise).
Demonstrate the Impact of New Behaviors. Illustrate through practical application how adopting desired behaviors can enhance project outcomes and drive business success. The successful launch of innovative projects like Google Maps and Google News demonstrated Google's adoption of a more collaborative and open culture. According to McKinsey, organizations with a robust cultural focus see a 60% improvement in decision-making processes.
Root HR Processes in Desired Behaviors. Integrate desired behaviors into HR processes, ensuring they are recognized, measured, and rewarded, reinforcing their adoption and perpetuation. As proof of this success, a Gallup study revealed that organizations that implement regular recognition and praise see a 10-20% increase in productivity and a 20-29% increase in profitability. Netflix's "Freedom and Responsibility" culture is embedded in its hiring, assessment, and promotion processes.
Develop Leaders Who Embodies the Culture. Develop leaders who understand and embody the desired culture and actively nurture it within their teams. Satya Nadella at Microsoft emphasized a growth mindset, transforming the company’s culture into one that values learning and innovation.
Cultivating Emotional Intelligence. Encourage employees' emotional intelligence development to foster a culture of empathy, understanding, and effective communication. The World Economic Forum lists emotional intelligence among the top 10 skills needed in 2025. At Amazon, emotional intelligence is considered a leadership principle, influencing a culture that values customer obsession and ownership.
Weed Out Fear. Create an environment where employees feel safe to express their ideas, concerns, and feedback without fear of retribution. For example, Pixar’s “Braintrust” meetings provide a safe space for creators to receive candid, constructive feedback without fear of failure or criticism.
Fostering Cross-Pollination of Ideas. Encourage collaborative efforts and sharing of ideas across departments to foster a culture of unity and collective innovation. According to the Institute for Corporate Productivity, companies that promoted collaborative working were five times as likely to be high-performing. At Spotify, "Guilds" are formed where individuals from various departments share knowledge and innovate.
Influencing organizational culture is an art and science, intertwining strategic actions with a deep understanding of the human elements that drive behaviors and shape collective values. We can thoughtfully influence and elevate our organizational culture by sowing seeds of vision, fertilizing with success, rooting processes in desired behaviors, nurturing leadership, cultivating emotional intelligence, weeding out fear, and pollinating collaboration. May this guide serve as a beacon, illuminating your path toward developing a culture that thrives and enriches every individual within your organizational garden.