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Key Ingredients of a Great Work Culture

Key Ingredients of a Great Work Culture

Today’s workforce ushers in an era of highly astute and purposeful individuals. We are no longer looking at a working class that considers money and achievement as the sole factor of being part of a company. Now we see more Millennial workers getting into more purposeful pursuits and endeavors.

According to Great Place to Work, Cisco garnered the top spot in 2020 World’s Best Workplaces. With their 98% employee satisfaction rate, you will be surprised to know that they did not become no. 1 because of the perks associated with their company. In fact, their success was not at all associated with employee perks.

A study conducted in 2018 by Geue, P. and published in the Journal of Applied Behavioral Science discovered that there is a significant relationship between positive work culture practices, social climate, work engagement, and task performance.

Upon quantifying positive work culture practices, it was directly related to the importance of team members discovering meaning in their work through mutual interaction that promotes trust, respect, and confidence, with fellow teammates, believing the best in one another and inspiring one another in their performance.

Another study conducted by Cameron, K. in 2011, says that to promote positive work culture there are six dimensions necessary to achieve them:

Respect: There exists trust and confidence between teammates and they treat each other with integrity, dignity, and gratitude

Care: People show interest and genuine involvement with others as if they were friends.

Support: People honor and support one another in their endeavors, building strong relationships through kindness and helping those who are struggling.

Inspiration: People share enthusiasm, motivation, and inspiration to one another

Meaning: People are motivated, renewed, and elevated by their work as they see the greater purpose in work and discover its profound meaning.

Forgiveness: People do not place blame on one another for errors but forgive one another’s mistakes.

In essence, positive practices concern behaviors and techniques that are affirming and virtuous. The key to building positive practices is to elicit positive feelings of oneness. It is suggested that positive work practices bring in life, excitement, and the zest necessary to push others into the development of company relationships, engagement, and ultimately achieve better work performance.

At the conclusion of Geue’s study, the researcher stated that these positive management practices can be done to suggest a more positive and fruitful work culture:


Managers should take on a “glass half-full” mentality, choosing to focus more on what is good and best. This can be achieved by celebrating wins, highlighting team member accomplishments, telling success stories, and prompting the search for solutions rather than dwelling on problems. This will include encouraging team members towards thinking optimistically, using that energy to see challenges as opportunities instead of a pessimistic vanguard towards failure. This can enhance meaningfulness at work by granting team members more autonomy in problem solving, taking a can-do proactive attitude that enhances engagement and energy. The findings of this research suggested a connection between workers sensing accomplishment in their work and work becoming more elevating and renewing that when team members feel more useful, they are also more inspired.


Managers can facilitate a culture of gratitude and appreciation in work teams by leading team members in acknowledging one another for their contributions, expressing thankfulness for accomplishments, and engendering virtuous cycles of honor. In this way, managers lead the way in recognizing the inherent value of their employees. The current research suggested that task performance in teams is enhanced by coworkers communicating the good they see in one another; which managers should model and mentor for team members.


Managers can help team members identify and utilize their strengths by granting them increased autonomy in recrafting job tasks and reshaping their roles and relationships in these tasks to enhance the full potential of their employees, thus instilling greater confidence and meaningfulness in work. Help them understand what works and what doesn’t work to make their role more beneficial. The results in this study found employees’ confidence related to their task performance. Managers can expand team member confidence by leveraging and developing member strengths, allowing members to experience more accomplishment and discover greater significance in their work.


Managers can encourage and model forgiveness for mistakes by giving latitude for missteps, engendering a safe environment to make error, and viewing mistakes as opportunities for learning. Thus, managers do not do the blame game. It is so demoralizing and defeatist. It only serves to elicit defensiveness from team members. Avoidance of this encourages team members to engage themselves without fear of negative consequences to their self-image or job status. Forgiveness is integral to a positive social climate.


Managers can exhibit respect by asking for ideas and opinions and listening to what team members have to say, thus valuing their input and trusting their abilities. Trust is the glue that holds relationships together, and when managers grant and elicit trust in a higher exchange relationship, it promotes collaboration and allows for emotional and social contagion, which can energize, charge, and inspire employees. Higher quality connections are established through managers and coworkers expressing positive regard and taking a mutual interest in one another. The current research indicated that better performance stems from employees trusting and respecting one another in their work tasks.


Managers can help team members recognize the value of their work by raising their sights to perceive its impact on customers and colleagues. By sharing customer feedback with team members, managers can encourage team members that their efforts are valuable and make a difference. When work is perceived as significant and purposeful, engagement in work increases.

This February, Rocket Station places focus on the relationship between team management and the people who make our lives more meaningful. Sign up in our newsletter to get more interesting articles delivered straight to your mailbox.


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