January 24, 2023 by Andrea Rajic

10 Steps to Building a Positive Company Culture Your Team Will Love

10 Steps to Building a Positive Company Culture Your Team Will Love

Table of contents


    What is company culture?


    Why is positive company culture important?


    What makes a great company culture?


    How to build a strong company culture in 10 essential steps


    Build a company culture that makes your team happy

Workplace Culture

Think your company culture doesn’t impact your revenue? Let’s take a look at this chain of events.

Employees who don’t feel heard and appreciated, have zero opportunities to grow and are micromanaged or overwhelmed by their workload leave your organization. When an employee leaves, you need to replace them. Having your recruiters find suitable candidates, interview them, test them, and finally, train and onboard the new hire—it all costs a lot of money (sometimes even millions of dollars) and takes time. Meanwhile, the team’s productivity drops because it takes time for the new team member to settle in.

See where we’re going with this? A positive work environment and a healthy company culture can prevent high employee turnover rates and increase employee satisfaction, ultimately impacting your profitability. We’ll walk you through the steps to building a sustainable company culture your employees will love.

What is company culture?

A company culture is a set of values, attitudes, and behaviors shared by a company and all its employees, also including company processes and systems that determine how the work is done within the organization.

When a company culture is built with awareness and attention, the following elements are aligned:

  • How people who work for the company feel about their day-to-day experience
  • How customers or clients perceive the company and feel when buying from it
  • What message is the company sending about itself in public communication

Why is positive company culture important?

A growing percentage of the workforce now belongs to Millennials and Gen Z. Both these generations are well known for valuing purpose, growth, and work-life balance more than money and choosing to work for companies with a clear mission and value set. This prompted employers to adopt a different mindset and talent management strategies to ensure they keep their best performers because no one wants to work in toxic workplace culture, and today’s workforce is ready to run at the first red flag.

With the growth of distributed teams and remote work in the past years, company culture gained even more traction and became one of the critical employee requirements. The modern business environment has teams communicating online and living in different countries, causing shared values to be more important than ever.

Organizations with a great company culture benefit from:

  • Attracting the top talent through employer branding
  • Increased employee retention rates
  • Excellent employee performance
  • Heightened employee engagement and job satisfaction
  • More favorable public perception
  • Higher profitability (because happy employees put more effort into working with clients, increasing customer satisfaction as a natural consequence)

What makes a great company culture?

Before you can build a great company culture in your organization, you need to define it. Employees worldwide thrive in environments that nurture positive values and emphasize collaboration. Here are ten elements of a healthy corporate culture you should consider.

  1. Trust. In all teams, especially remote and hybrid ones, trust has a vital role in daily workflows and teams reaching their goals. Trusting your team members that they’ll do their job timely and on the required level without being monitored every second of their working hours boosts team morale and eliminates the negative effects of micromanagement.
  2. Growth. Employees find the lack of growth opportunities a reason good enough to leave a job. Career development is important to today’s workforce more than many other employee benefits, which is why companies often offer skill-building training, learning & development allowance, mentorship opportunities, and more.
  3. Community. Remote and hybrid companies have a more challenging task in building a sense of community and fostering relationships between employees. Healthy organizations are aware of this challenge and regularly implement activities that encourage teamwork and prompt employees to bond.
  4. Fairness. In healthy work cultures, all employees are treated in the same way. There is no discrimination, and HR teams work on implementing DEI (diversity, equity & inclusion) initiatives to make sure everyone is able to bring their full selves to work and feel comfortable doing it.
  5. Transparency. Sharing information with the entire team instead of keeping it gated for department heads and C-suite builds trust and benefits the whole organization. It also enhances employee engagement and helps workers connect with the company's mission and values, allowing for innovation and more creative solutions to potential problems.
  6. Accessibility. An accessible leadership team helps foster open communication and puts employees at ease by letting them know that the company leaders are available to help when needed. This kind of approach fosters a welcoming environment for all employees and doesn’t create a gap between leaders and workers.
  7. Recognition. Employees want to feel appreciated and valued for contributing to company goals. Fostering a culture of recognition and praise will help create a positive environment, motivating the workers to provide consistent performance and creating a better employee experience. Celebrating small wins can make a huge difference.
  8. Wellness. Mental and physical well-being has gained utter importance over the past few years after the world faced a pandemic, lockdowns, and other crises. Now, employees want to work in organizations where health and work-life balance are prioritized and managers lead by example, encouraging taking breaks, working flexible hours, having a healthy workload, and more.
  9. Sustainability. New generations are eco-aware and engage in eco-friendly activities (like zero waste initiatives, recycling, and more) more than any other generation. Promoting sustainability and caring for the environment will help you build a culture your workforce will highly appreciate.
  10. Dialogue and feedback. Strict hierarchy often prevents open communication and makes employees hesitate when providing their managers with feedback. Promoting dialogue and feedback that doesn’t have consequences as long as it’s given politely, considerately, and with genuine care helps build better relationships and address problems faster.

How to build a strong company culture in 10 essential steps

It takes more than implementing “happy hour” to build a strong company culture. We’re giving you a 10-step process to do it strategically and with care.

1. Evaluate your current culture to identify weak points

To start the process, do an audit of where your company currently stands.

Monitor and report on metrics like employee engagement rate, employee happiness, absenteeism, and employee turnover rate. These numbers will give you a good starting point and help you identify weak points of your current company culture. Does your team feel disconnected from the company mission? Do they feel disconnected from each other? Or maybe they lack the perks they’d need to thrive in the workplace.

Learning these answers will send you in the right direction during the next step.

2. Map out who you want to be

Once you have the current state of affairs on paper, you can move on to mapping out what kind of organization you actually want to be. It’s never too late to transform your company culture into the one you’ve always wanted to foster.

When redefining your values and mission statement, you should avoid being exclusive and taking input from leadership only. If you build a company culture top-down, you won’t have the desired impact on employee engagement, and your team won’t feel as connected to the core values as you’d like them to be. They’re more likely to have a sense of belonging if you include them in the process of mapping out the team-oriented culture you want to build.

If your employees participate in the creation process, they will also gladly be a part of the implementation of the new company culture.

3. Communicate the plan with everyone

Even if some team members didn’t participate in the culture redefinition, every employee needs to be familiar with the behaviors and attitudes they’re expected to implement and how to do it. You can achieve this by writing an employee handbook where you’ll outline the pillars of your company culture or by organizing training programs to empower employees to enact the values in their everyday work.

A sudden shift in organizational culture can feel overwhelming for your team, so don’t expect everyone to start implementing every single behavior right away. Book 1:1 meetings with all your staff to help them understand why the shift happened and how it will benefit them before anything.

4. Reinforce your core values

Core values don’t contribute to a company culture if you establish them in name only. As a leader, your job is to help employees adopt these values and showcase them in their day-to-day behavior. If your company culture is just a catchphrase or a marketing tool, it will be quickly noticed by customers and employees alike.

Say one of your values is work-life balance. You want to convey a message that employees need to rest and focus on their hobbies during their time off work, so they’re able to provide their best performance. This means you can’t do the opposite of what you want your team to do.

If you never take a vacation or regularly reply to Slack messages while you’re supposed to be “out of office”, your employees will believe they’re expected to do the same and will feel guilty if they ever choose to truly disconnect from work.

5. Ensure culture consistency throughout your processes

Attracting the most qualified professionals from all over the world is a complex task, with the global talent pool being available to everyone. To avoid losing great candidates along the way, attract suitable applicants, and retain your talent, you must ensure consistency in your company culture throughout all processes.

This means you should embody your company values every step of the way: from recruiting and onboarding to performance management and team-building activities. Consistency shows employees that you take building a positive company culture seriously and put conscious effort into creating a healthy working environment.

6. Hire for cultural adds rather than fits

For a long time, companies have been testing candidates to determine if they’re a cultural fit for their team. This part of the selection process is sometimes more important than hiring for experience or high expertise, as companies are actively seeking, hiring, and promoting people who embody the organization's culture and values.

However, in today’s world of global hiring, consider replacing the term “cultural fit” with “cultural add”.

New employees should add value, fresh perspective, and valuable insights to your organizational culture rather than fit into it. This can be particularly evident if you hire from multiple countries: people from different backgrounds and with different habits and knowledge can enhance your business culture in ways you wouldn’t have access to if you were hiring for a cultural fit.

7. Hire culture experts

As a business owner, you have too much on your plate to fully focus on building and implementing your culture strategy. Your HR team might be swamped with payroll tasks. This is where a culture specialist can step in and ensure that the human side of human resources is also covered.

Culture specialists have the experience and knowledge required to help you define your values, build your culture strategy, and implement it throughout your organization. They’re familiar with DEI initiatives, know how to nurture employee engagement, and can tackle any issues that may arise.

8. Leverage available technology

It’s the era of automation and building your own tech stack to streamline processes and enable your HR specialists to focus on meaningful people work instead of repetitive admin tasks. But how do tech tools also encourage and support a healthy workplace culture?

Here’s an example. Implementing an HR tool with self-service options enables the employees to access and update their own information in the system. Not only does this help remove the strain from HR teams and speed up simple processes like updating employee information, but it also supports the idea of employee autonomy, which might be a core value for some companies.

9. Get feedback from employees

When you start implementing your culture strategy, it’s critical to measure its effects and track it just like any other activity within the company. Choose different metrics to help you do it, but also focus on qualitative measurements: feedback from your team.

You can collect feedback by sending an (anonymous) employee survey once a quarter to take the pulse on how your employees feel. Another way to learn this is to have open conversations between managers and employees during their 1:1 meetings.

10. Allow for flexibility

Businesses and people evolve, and so can your culture. Just like you review your business KPIs on a regular basis, you should go back to your company mission statement and values once in a while and check if they’re still true for you and your team.

Your culture strategy can and should change over time, especially if your once-local team grows into a global workforce. It should also appeal to a distributed team and the different needs your employees may have. Allowing flexibility in your workplace culture will ensure no employee feels neglected when it comes to what they need from their employer to thrive.

Build a company culture that makes your team happy

Company culture is intrinsically linked to employee happiness, engagement, and productivity. A positive culture promotes a sense of pride in one’s work and belonging, which leads to employees being happier and more productive.

Want to build a culture you and your team are proud of? Read more on our blog:

Increase employee engagement and maintain your culture

Employees want flexibility and work-life balance but miss connecting with their teams in person. Help them achieve both by providing easy access to workspaces nearby, while you stay in control of budget spending, usage, and workplace data.

Written By

Andrea Rajic


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