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Unleashing the Power of Culture in the Workplace

The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ASPA as an organization.

By Christopher McKinney
July 17, 2023

Have you ever walked into a workplace and instantly felt a positive vibe? The people smile and treat you as if you were the only customer in the facility. It seems as if positivity is in the air. It’s palpable. Or maybe you’ve encountered companies where employees seem disengaged and disgruntled. As soon as you walk in, you feel uncomfortable. Again, it’s palpable.

What you’re experiencing is the essence of workplace culture. In simple terms, workplace culture development refers to shaping shared values, attitudes and behaviors within an organization. It’s like the invisible glue that holds a company together and influences how people work and interact. I often say, “Culture is the “shadow government” of an organization.” In this article, we’ll explore 5 ways workplace culture development can facilitate the success of an organization.

  1. Creates a Positive Work Environment

Imagine working in an environment where your ideas are desired and valued, collaboration is encouraged and everyone is treated with respect. This is a healthy culture. You have the freedom to show up as your authentic self and can perform at your best. That’s the power of a positive workplace culture. It sets the tone for a supportive and inclusive workplace where employees feel motivated, appreciated and empowered. A positive work environment boosts morale and enhances productivity, innovation, collaboration and employee retention, ultimately positively impacting the bottom line. Your people are your greatest asset. Think of them like seeds. If you put seeds into bad soil, their production is at risk. They may not produce any harvest; if they do produce, it will be repressed. Your culture is your soil.

Sidebar: If your authentic self is negative, nasty and anti-team, that is not what I am talking about. There is no place for this in most productive work centers.

“Culture is the shadow government of an organization.”

  1. Fosters Strong Relationships

Healthy workplace culture development promotes healthy relationships among team members and between employees and management. When the culture is right, it facilitates open communication and transparency, built on the foundation of trust. And upon this foundation, people are more likely to collaborate effectively, resolve conflicts constructively, engage in problem-solving and innovation efforts and support one another. Strong relationships built on a solid workplace culture foundation (trust) create a sense of unity, leading to increased employee satisfaction and overall organizational success, which again positively affects the bottom line.

  1. Drives Employee Engagement

In the article “How To Improve Employee Engagement,” “Engaged employees are the backbone of any successful organization.” Workplace culture plays a direct role in driving employee engagement. Employees who trust and feel connected to the organization’s mission and values are more motivated to go above and beyond what is required and offer effort well above the minimum requirement. In many cases, it is their best effort. In a sense, they shift from renters and become owners. A positive workplace culture fosters a sense of purpose and belonging, igniting a passion for achieving individual goals, which directly ties into collective organizational goals.

  1. Attract and Retain Talent

In today’s competitive job market, attracting and retaining top talent is crucial to all employers. A strong workplace culture can serve as a magnet, drawing in skilled professionals who align with the organization’s values and vision. In the Forbes article, “How To Build A Strong Company Culture” Brandon Pena states, “A strong company culture creates a positive work environment, reduces turnover and enhances your reputation.” Most research shows people want to work for companies prioritizing employee well-being, growth opportunities and positive work culture. By intentionally investing in workplace culture development, organizations can attract the “right” talent, reduce turnover and build street credibility as a preferred employer.

“If you put seeds into bad soil, their production is at risk.”

  1. Enhancing Organizational Performance

Workplace culture development directly impacts organizational performance. When employees are engaged, satisfied and motivated, productivity and efficiency naturally improve. A cohesive culture promotes effective teamwork, streamlined processes and a shared commitment to excellence. Moreover, a positive culture promotes adaptability, resilience and innovation, allowing organizations to navigate challenges and seize opportunities in a rapidly changing landscape.

Culture development is not just a passing fad; it is the essence of how a company/organization operates and thrives. Again, “Culture is the shadow government of an organization.” Culture tells who you are, not whom you aspire to be. It shapes the work environment, relationships and employee engagement while attracting and retaining top talent.

A strong workplace culture enhances organizational performance, leading to sustainable success and growth. So, whether you’re a business leader, local government leader, an employee or a job seeker, understanding the importance of workplace culture development is vital to fostering an intentional, harmonious and prosperous work environment.

Author: Christopher McKinney is CEO of 10X Leadership Consulting, a premier consulting company that takes clients to the next level by delivering exceptional and exponential value, 10X value. 10XLC specializes in strategy, high performance cultures, change management & talent optimization. Chris also served as CEO of a Regional Planning District (COG) supporting 4 counties & 12 cities/towns in South Carolina. During his tenure they elevated grant revenues 168% above the previous 10 years in 4 years. His leadership also produced a 95% employee engagement during the pandemic. Email: [email protected]; Twitter: @10XLC; LinkedIn: christopher-h-mckinney-sr; website: www.10XLC.consulting

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One Response to Unleashing the Power of Culture in the Workplace

  1. LaMesha Craft Reply

    July 17, 2023 at 5:42 pm

    I enjoyed reading this article! This quote resonates with me:”If you put seeds into bad soil, their production is at risk.”

    We must cultivate healthy and productive environments. The quote reminds me of organizations with managers that can’t figure out while “great employees” leave — they seemingly overlook the adverse conditions under which they were expected to thrive.

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