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Cultivating Success: The Importance of a Positive Work Culture

Kirjoittanut: Lucas Pääkkönen Alvim - tiimistä SYNTRE.

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Cultivating Success: The Importance of a Positive Work Culture



Work culture is the groups of values, beliefs, policies and attitudes that characterize a work environment. The culture can exist in small groups as in teams and departments and in the whole company. It affects how different members of the company interact, collaborate and contribute for the atmosphere of the company.

Underlying cost of a bad company culture

Stress and pressure may push employees to perform better, but many companies fail to see the underlying cost of the additional stress and pressure.

Health care expenditures in companies where the is a high-pressure standard are fifty percent higher than in other companies and its estimated that yearly there are lost 550 million workdays in the United States due to stress on the job. Also between sixty to eighty percent of workplace accidents are caused by stress and more than eighty percent of doctor visits are caused by stress. So addressing workplace stress is not only essential for the well-being of individuals but also for the overall health and success of the company.

A culture of fear can ensure that workers are engaged and even excited to work, but research shows that inevitable stress it will create and cause the workers to disengage over the long run. Engagement at the workplace is usually related to feeling secure, supported and valued and is normally negatively related to high stress culture. Organizations with low engagement scores showed eighteen percent lower productivity, sixteen percent lower profitability and thirty-seven percent lower job growth. So while at short term a culture of high stress may spark engagement, at the long term it will disengage the workers. So it is important to have a positive work culture, where employes feel valued, not just for the ethical considerations but also to mitigate the financial impact of disengagement and ensure long-term success.

A bad work culture will lead to a lack of loyalty from part of workers. Research shows that stress in the workplace leads to an increase of almost fifty percent in voluntary turnover, workers going into the job market, declining promotions, and resigning. And it is estimated that the cost of replacing one single employee costs approximately twenty percent of its salary. Even companies that introduce perk´s for the employees, will find that the critical factor for overall well being is the worker’s engagement to the work. (Seppälä & Cameron, 2017)

So as seen in the previous paragraphs, a bad workplace culture will not only lead to bad health and feeling in the office, but also to the loss of money by the company, so monetarily it is more wise to try to cultivate a good work culture.

Tips on how to build a successful foundation for good work culture

Define the values. Corporate culture should be deeply rooted in to the company’s values and purpose. People want to fell like they are a part of something meaningful and that they are contributing to a common purpose. Your value statement should represent your vision of what you want the company to represent.

Listen to your organization. There should be put in place an infrastructure that allows leadership to gather indirect quantitative data about the well being of workers and consequently of the culture of the company. Don´t only rely on indirect listening posts, but also there has to be effective direct communication as part of the process as well. This way you will be able to confirm that your culture is motivating your employees or warn you that something isn´t right and needs to be changed.

Be authentic. The purpose and values only will have an effect if you really believe and commit to them. When you commit to act upon those values, then you will earn the trust of others to then also start practicing that culture. To be able to change the culture to better, the leadership will have to know how to communicate these values properly and act on them regularly to show the example.

Learn from mistakes. The way that the leadership reacts to mistakes, will set the tone for the rest of the company and the culture. When a mistake happens, analyze it in context of the company’s values and look into how did it happen, to enable learnings from it. Only when you analyze the mistakes with the goal of learning from then ,you can have a culture of creativity, innovation and risk taking.

Create psychological safety. A good indicator that there is no psychological safety in your organization is silence. Building psychological safety requires building trust and ensuring that your actions are in context with your corporate values and always try to set the example, by admitting when you are wrong and putting yourself in to a place where you can learn from your mistakes, building safety

Look out for trends. Setting a positive culture in a company is not a one and done situation, but an dynamic process. You should always pay attention to trends and warning signs, so that if something doesn’t look good, you have enough time to act on it and try to fix it. (Emerson, 2023)


In conclusion, a good work culture is important for the health and well-being of the employees but also for the sustained success of a company. Investing in creating and sustaining a good work culture is not only ethically correct but it is also a good long-term strategic decision to promote the success of the company.


Emerson, M.S. (2023) 6 tips for building a better workplace culture – professional development: Harvard DCE, Professional Development | Harvard DCE. Available at: https://professional.dce.harvard.edu/blog/6-tips-for-building-a-better-workplace-culture/ (Accessed: 03 December 2023).

Seppälä, E. and Cameron, K. (2017) Proof that positive work cultures are more productive, Harvard Business Review. Available at: https://hbr.org/2015/12/proof-that-positive-work-cultures-are-more-productive (Accessed: 03 December 2023).

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