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Organisational culture

What is corporate culture?

Organisational culture

The increase and adoption of employee wellbeing programmes in 2019 and beyond is certain. For those who have been in the industry for years, the pace of advancement and innovation has been exciting and inspiring. Businesses are quickly seeing the well-documented linkage between healthier employees and critical business outcomes, such as productivity, engagement and retention. As the line is drawn between employee health and business performance, we’ve begun to see the undeniable connection to organisational culture, also referred to as corporate culture or company culture.

In one of our recent State of the Industry reports, 95% of survey respondents said culture drives business results and 80% plan to improve their corporate culture.

What is corporate culture?

Corporate culture is a relatively new term in the industry, and has yet to be fully defined. Organisational culture embodies the workplace atmosphere, attitudes and values. Successful companies instil values into the organisation to engage employees and recruit and attract new talent. In the process, a culture of wellbeing and productivity is born.

Company culture and employee engagement

Employees are engaged when they are truly a part of their company’s future and culture. Their jobs give them a sense of purpose, and they enjoy great relationships with their colleagues. Organisations that make improving employee wellbeing the foundation of their employee engagement strategy are most likely to be successful in changing the culture in the workplace. The resulting employee engagement will ultimately drive critical business results for these organisations.

When it comes to strengthening business performance, organisations look to culture to improve the bottom line. Ninety-five percent of respondents in the State of Industry survey believe organisational culture is important in driving business outcomes, and the majority of organisations have cultural outcomes specifically in mind when designing employee engagement programmes. The focus on organisational culture leads to an emphasis on showcasing the organisational mission and values to acquire and retain talent.

How are businesses changing culture in the workplace?

Google workplace culture
Businesses like Google revolutionised the workplace by creating a corporate culture that was not only fun, but encouraged creativity, flexibility and camaraderie among colleagues. Often known to have endless perks on-site, Google campuses include play areas, coffee bars, outdoor terraces, free meals, and dog-friendly work environments across the world. Google established their corporate culture definition to focus on having happy employees and creating a productive workplace. The long-term success of Google is indisputably and consistently tied directly back to their company culture.

Netflix corporate culture
Another business that largely credits its success to its employees and company culture is Netflix. Employees are given unlimited vacation from the start because Netflix created a workplace culture founded on trusting employees and treating them like adults. To promote work-life balance, Netflix promotes working regular hours and producing great work over long hours and subpar results. By defining “What is corporate culture?” within their organisation, Netflix was able to deeply root these values throughout their business.

Changing corporate culture

Conduct a self-assessment of your current company culture. Ask yourself: How do we achieve cultural diversity in the workplace? What is our corporate culture definition internally? How do we begin to influence the workplace culture? What potential barriers do we have?
What is preventing organisations from ultimately increasing employee engagement? For many, the current workplace culture is resistant to change, while others struggle to boost adoption or participation in initiatives designed to increase employee engagement. Some don’t yet have senior leadership buy-in, while others don’t have the budget they need. Current organisational cultures that resist change are the top roadblock among respondents, with nearly half of respondents citing it as a top challenge.

Cultivating a strong workplace culture

The benefits of cultivating a strong workplace culture include:

Attracting top talent
Make your business stand out by building a compelling corporate culture. When you begin to show you care about the wellbeing and happiness of your employees, you will magnetically attract top talent to your organisation.

Bringing out the best in your employees
Stressed employees suffer from decreased productivity, reduced happiness, and increased health issues. By creating a workplace culture that encourages wellbeing, you’ll bring out the best in your employees:

  • Offer healthy eating options. Examples include cafeteria options and areas with an array of smart snacking options. By including items like fresh fruit and an assortment of nuts, yogurt, and veggie sticks for employees, you’re promoting healthy choices over processed snacks or takeout.
  • Consider cultural diversity in the workplace. Ensure that you are immersing and integrating everyone into your company culture to create an inclusive work environment.
  • Have perks onsite. Examples include: massages, onsite fitness classes, meditation and yoga rooms. By creating game rooms or nap rooms, you’re encouraging and allowing employees time to clear their heads for a few minutes and return to their jobs with a fresh viewpoint.

Increase employee retention
Employees who are happy in their jobs and feel like they belong are more inclined to stay with their organisation. When company culture allows employees to learn and thrive, they know the organisation supports, values and understands them.

Increase employee engagement and productivity
Employee engagement has been linked to a multitude of business benefits, including higher productivity, profitability, lower turnover, and higher employee satisfaction rates. By creating a culture of wellbeing, you can drive engagement and efficiency within the organisation.

Increase employee levels of satisfaction and teamwork
When employees come to work feeling valued, happy and healthy because they are immersed in a great company culture, they feel more satisfied in their roles and more connected to their teammates.


Organisations used to focus primarily on the bottom line but times have turned, putting employee wellbeing and happiness first. As we’ve always believed, if you take care of your employees, they will take care of your business. By creating daily positive experiences for employees, you can drive long-term change in your organisation. An organisation that invests in its employees through initiatives designed to improve wellbeing, can positively influence culture, increase engagement and drive positive business results. By recognising employee wellbeing as the foundation to improve company culture and engagement, organisations can be positioned to thrive.