5 Key Elements of Great Company Culture

 5 Key Elements of Great Company Culture

Company Culture

A great company culture. company-culture

It can be hard to define, but you know it when you see it: employees feel seen and heard, management is transparent, teams are proud and excited to work together.

You may be surprised to learn that key to creating a great company culture has very little to do with the perks and benefits you offer, and everything to do with the relationships that leaders cultivate with their teams and with each other.

There are numerous things you can do to improve your organization’s culture. Our data shows that great workplaces focus on these 5 Elements of company culture:


credibility-icon Credibility

Employees at great workplaces find their people managers and leaders to be more credible: According to our research, 88% of employees at the Best WorkplacesTM in Canada said management’s actions match its words, versus just 50% of employees at the average Canadian workplace.

Trustworthy, credible, and personable managers have a significant positive impact on:

  • Employee retention
  • Overall workplace satisfaction
  • Employees’ willingness to recommend their company
  • Motivation to give extra effort at work

When employees say managers are honest and ethical, they’re five times more likely to want to work there for a long time, and 11 times more likely to think the workplace is great.


We all know this: You need to show people respect to earn respect in return. Respect can take many forms, but the best workplaces regularly show respect by recognizing employees’ efforts, seeking employees’ input, and caring for employees as people with lives outside of work.

For example, many of the Best Workplaces in Canada trust their employees to work flexible hours and from remote places. This workplace flexibility makes employees more dedicated and engaged because they feel respected and trusted to meet their business goals in a way that works for their life.

Many companies today even offer unlimited paid vacation and let employees work from anywhere; strong employee relationships prevent people from abusing the policy.

fairness Fairness

Humans place a high value on fairness. Companies where employees feel like everyone is getting a fair opportunity consistently report more positive employee experiences.

Fairness is an area that great workplaces excel at, as our workplace study revealed. When rating equal compensation and recognition, employees score these companies 30 percentage points higher than the national average.

Surprisingly, fair pay isn’t the factor that most impacts employees’ overall workplace satisfaction and intent to stay. Other, less tangible aspects of the workplace, such as pride and strong leadership, play a much larger role.

Employees say that being paid fairly for their work makes them twice as likely to think their workplace is great. But when employees are proud of their work, they are 20 times more likely to say it’s a great workplace.

pride Pride

Employees who have pride in their workplace believe in the company and what it stands for, from what it produces, to how it operates, to how it engages with the local community.

There are three levels of workplace pride:

  • Pride in your job and the work
  • Pride in the team
  • Pride in the company and its reputation

Pride is much more than a pat on the back. When employees feel proud of their workplace, they are more engaged. According to our data, they are 2 times more likely to want to stay with the organization for a long time and 6 times more likely to endorse their workplace to others.

camaraderie Camaraderie

Belonging in the workplace is an employee’s sense that they are accepted and valued by the organization. This goes beyond feeling appreciated for what they do, and into feeling appreciated for who they are.

Every company says it values employees. The Best Workplaces in Canada don’t just say it; they show it. They celebrate employee accomplishments, they ensure new employees feel welcomed from day one, and they embrace the diversity and individualism of their employees.

For example, at the Best Workplaces, we’ve see things like parental leave practices becoming more inclusive, and employee resource groups being empowered to guide business decisions.

The result? Employees who feel a sense of belonging are 3 times more likely to look forward to coming to work and 5 times more likely to want to stay at the company for a long time.

How to use employee surveys to improve company culture

By thoughtfully investing time and effort into these five areas, you can show your people that you care about them, improve employee experience, and put your company on a path to creating a great culture.

To ensure you’re on the right track, conduct regular pulse surveys to get employee feedback on how they are feeling about their work, their workplace overall, and their place within it.

Show off your superb workplace by earning the Great Place To Work Certification™. With it, you can tap into valuable insights and see how the eight crucial elements of company culture we discussed are truly shaping up in your organization.



Alison Grenier
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