Company Culture

How to Build a Positive Company Culture


Written by Riley Fairchild • July 31, 2023

How to Build a Positive Company Culture

Take a moment to think of your favorite song. Why do you like it so much? Maybe it makes you feel like dancing or maybe it’s part of a good memory. You might love the beat, the melody, or the music video. When it comes on, it’s something that gives you joy.

How great would it be if your work energized you as much as your favorite song? Well, we can’t promise that work will ever make you want to dance, but a positive company culture can at least provide you with a lift in your mood.

But first, what is company culture? Company culture describes the shared views, beliefs, and behaviors of a group of people working in the same place. You can see it through the types of conversations you have with your coworkers, the emotions that are commonly found across teams, and the things held important at all levels. When a company culture is positive, it can make a huge difference.

What does positive company culture look like?

Positive company culture can look a wide variety of ways, however it encompasses a collective feeling of support and trust. When teams feel supported by those around them and trusted by leadership, they’re more likely to embrace creativity and connect with others in authentic, meaningful ways. Positive company culture looks like not being afraid to speak up or to voice an idea that’s different. It looks like tables pushed together in the lunchroom so everyone can eat together, and colleagues checking in on one another in moments of stress. Positive company culture also looks like alignment of all individuals across the company to a core mission or a set of company values, and a belief that their work is making an important difference.

Each workplace is different, and a positive company culture will look differently depending on factors like size, office space, and the diversity of individuals within the company. Overall, you know you have a positive company culture when you feel valued and respected for who you are each day. Not only does this boost positive emotions, but it can also result in high retention rates and employee satisfaction.

Why positive company culture matters

There are many reasons why a positive company culture matters. Most importantly, it’s beneficial to the wellbeing of the individuals that make up the company. A positive company culture means engaged and fulfilled team members, and can have major impacts even outside the four walls of the office.

Here are some reasons why positive company culture matters:

  • People’s wellbeing is majorly impacted by their work. We spend so much time at work, often more time than we spend sleeping each day. Because work is such a large part of our lives, it’s important that we feel connected to work in a positive way. A positive company culture means that individuals feel empowered to take care of themselves. They know that their wellbeing is important and if they prioritize their health and mental health, they will find support from their colleagues. This can improve their wellbeing, which can, in turn, affect their personal lives too.
  • Productivity can increase. When individuals feel physically and mentally healthy — and especially when they feel accepted and valued — their productivity can increase, as they can focus more on their work. This can result in better outcomes for the company.
  • The company’s mission will feel more significant. A positive company culture promotes a sense of togetherness when it comes to The Work. If your company has a mission, individuals might feel more connected to this mission when they experience a positive company culture, which can have lasting benefits.

How to build positive culture for your company

It might feel daunting to build a positive company culture, but there are many baby steps to take. Building any sort of culture takes time and it takes consistency. Try any of these activities to boost positivity in your company:

  • Host social events, as connection with others is one of the most meaningful motivators in the workplace (i.e. employee meals)
  • Be flexible so everyone can find the best way to work for their own needs and life situations (i.e. hybrid working arrangements)
  • Show that wellbeing is a priority through offering better benefits
  • Offer snacks around the office, as nothing sparks joy more than a bag of cheesy crackers
  • Allow pets at work, as only the aforementioned snacks bring more joy than your colleague’s adorable puppy
  • Reset your company’s mission and focus all work around this mission
  • Examine hiring and retention practices to encourage more people who are kind and respectful to find a home at your company
  • Address issues before they become bigger to show your company that respect is important to leadership

And lastly, why not bring together your favorite song and company culture by creating an office playlist? Creating opportunities for people to work together in respectful, meaningful ways can be a big way to improve company culture — and the Barbie soundtrack surely wouldn’t hurt.