How to Create a Positive Company Culture

Where Culture and Purpose Meet

The days of the “take-no-prisoners” organization are over. In today’s workforce results fueled by fear is no longer effective. Where culture and purpose meet, you’ll find the most vibrant, successful companies in the modern area. But first it’s important to know why the old way is the bad way.

Hidden Costs of a Negative Culture

Organizations with negative culture (i.e. cut-throat, high-pressure) may attain some financial success, but in the long run this type of negative company culture is harmful to productivity and the bottom line.

It is estimated that $500 billion is lost in the U.S. economy due to workplace stress according to the Harvard Business Review.

In addition to the bottom line, negative company culture attributes to these 3 other costs:

  • Health related costs; health care expenditures are nearly 50% higher
  • Cost of disengagement; disengaged workers have 37% high absenteeism, 49% more accidents, and 60% more errors and defects
  • Cost of high employee turnover; companies with a negative company culture had 50% more voluntary turnover, which in the long run costs the organization 20% of the lost employee’s salary

Positive Characteristics

There is light at the end of the tunnel. When push comes to shove, it is important to note that employees value workplace wellbeing to material benefits, every time, without fail. If your company can integrate positive characteristics into the work environment, there may be hope to stop the downward cycle.

In general, a company with a positive work environment includes the following:

  • Caring for colleagues as friends; treating one another with respect, gratitude, trust & integrity
  • Providing support for one another
  • Avoiding blame and the forgiveness of mistakes
  • Emphasizing the meaningfulness of the work

Company Culture Takes Cues from the Top

 In order to initiate and ingrain a positive company culture into your organization, it all starts at the top. You’ve heard the term “fish rots at the head”, in this case “positive culture starts at the head”.

In a Forbes article about how to create a winning company culture, leadership is about what you do, not what you say. Words are cheap, they must be acted on in order to have value.

Begin the transition to a positive culture by stating a clear purpose. Establish a clear mission statement as a starting point. Clearly define to not only the public, but more importantly to the members of your organization the following:

  • How the company serves its customers
  • How the company meets its employees’ needs
  • What the company does for its owners