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Cultural Health Drives Company Wealth

Magnet for success

An organisation’s culture is the secret ingredient that keeps employees motivated. It encompasses the shared values, beliefs, attitudes, and behaviours that shape the way employees interact with each other. Essentially, it’s the personality of the organisation, the glue that holds everything together.

A strong company culture is a magnet for top talent. When there’s a job opening in a company with a great culture, people line up at the door, resumes in hand, hoping to be part of the magic.

The reality is that happy employees create happy customers, which are the lifeblood of successful organisations. In today’s competitive and ever-changing business environments, organisations prioritising and nurturing a healthy company culture are more likely to thrive and achieve long-term success.

An unhappy employee and team can lead to breakdowns and the effects on the overall company can be detrimental.

Before exploring the keys to success, let us first examine what defines workplace culture, what a great one looks like, and the warning signs that indicate a problematic one.

What is Workplace Culture?

At its core, company culture is how things get done around the workplace. This includes the organisation’s formal, written standards and procedures, mission statement and values, and the unwritten rules and behaviours of those who work there. Leadership style, corporate celebrations, communication style and hierarchy are some intangible aspects that define a company’s culture.

Indicators of a Healthy Work Culture

A thriving culture is a guiding light for top talent, fostering lasting engagement and commitment. Inclusive organisations empower employees to bring their true selves to work, fuelling creativity, collaboration and problem-solving.

A happy marriage between employees and company culture is a powerful chemistry. It builds a team of brand ambassadors more likely to embrace change, overcome obstacles and ambiguity, and pivot in response to team and market dynamics. A resilient organisation that can adapt quickly to evolving circumstances is better positioned to seize opportunities and remain competitive in the long run.

Recognising an Unhealthy Company Culture

We all know instinctively where and how a company culture breaks down – trust, lack of transparency, and micromanagement to name a few. When areas like this come about, we know it leads to internal conflict, rumours and a decline in team morale.

So how does an organisation identify a healthy company culture? What steps do they take to measure company culture in a global setting?

The short answer is about asking questions and listening to your team.

The long answer is that assessing company culture requires a comprehensive approach considering diverse perspectives and contexts. These are done through surveys, focus groups, observations, and data analysis. These will show any red flags, such as a lack of transparency, micromanagement, and prioritising individual success over teamwork, signalling an unhealthy culture. More importantly, these actions need to be frequent and reviewed throughout the year. It can’t be a single moment in time.

Recognised best practices for assessing organisational culture:

  • Employee surveys: Regular employee surveys to gather feedback on various aspects of the company culture, including questions about values, communication, work environment, and inclusivity, will help ensure that employees and businesses are always aligned.
  • Consistent Evaluation: Frequent reviews of leadership behaviour and management practices will help understand their impact on the organisation and assess leadership effectiveness across different geographical locations.
  • DE&I: Track and analyse diversity and inclusion metrics to assess the inclusivity of the company culture and examine diversity in hiring, promotions, and leadership roles globally.
  • Talent Development: Implement cross-cultural training programs to foster cultural understanding and sensitivity among employees, including resources and training sessions that promote effective communication across diverse teams.
  • Think Global, Act Local: Encourage leaders to spend time in different global offices to observe and understand local cultures.
  • EVP Management: Monitor social media channels and online platforms for employee sentiments and discussions about company culture and leverage this feedback to identify trends and areas for improvement.
  • 360 Degree Feedback: Conduct exit interviews to gather insights from departing employees about their perception of the company culture and analyse retention rates and reasons for turnover across different regions to identify potential cultural challenges.

Five Steps to a Healthy Company Culture

While the following steps may be everyday givens for HR professionals, they remain key areas for the overall organisation and leadership to keep top of mind.

1. Foster Open and Effective Communication

Encouraging transparent and frequent communication goes a long way toward creating the positive working environment that organisations strive to have. When communication channels are clear, it cultivates trust and fosters a culture of transparency within the organisation. Employees then feel valued and respected as they feel informed about company goals, changes, and decisions that impact them. Open communication also encourages collaboration and innovation, as employees feel empowered to share their ideas and feedback without fear of reprisal. Importantly, clear communication helps prevent misunderstandings and conflicts, leading to smoother operations and higher employee satisfaction. All of this not only strengthens relationships between employees and management but also contributes to a healthier and more productive workplace environment.

2. Promote a Healthy Work-Life Balance

By endorsing self-care and wellness initiatives, organisations show a commitment to the holistic health of their workforce. This can be done by encouraging participation in fitness challenges, as it will foster physical wellness and promote team building and camaraderie. Today, more than ever, employers need to create a supportive environment where employees feel comfortable addressing their mental health needs by promoting mental health resources such as counselling services and stress management workshops. By actively supporting these initiatives, organisations enhance employee satisfaction and retention and foster a culture of care and well-being that contributes to overall organisational success.

In 1945, Electrolux became the first company in Sweden to introduce relaxation techniques for its employees. Mansi Agarwal, VP of Human Resources and Communications, explains that if the purpose of Electrolux Group is to “Shape Living for the Better” for consumers, they can only reach that goal by practising what they preach with their employees.

“We want to support employees to take charge of their well-being through our Shape your Well-Being program and by encouraging local initiatives. We have implemented several initiatives, including exercise challenges and strategies to reduce back-to-back meetings.” 

3. Recognise and Celebrate Achievements

Recognising and celebrating achievements is another critical element for fostering a positive work environment and boosting employee morale. By highlighting individual and team accomplishments, organisations reinforce a culture of recognition and, perhaps more importantly, appreciation. Sharing success stories acknowledges hard work and inspires others to strive for excellence.

Encouraging peer-to-peer recognition further strengthens bonds within teams and promotes a sense of camaraderie. Simple gestures like shout-outs during team calls or personalised emails acknowledging achievements can significantly impact employee engagement and motivation.

In November 2023, Hilton was named the No. 1 World’s Best Workplace by Fortune magazine and Great Place to Work. Part of this is came from the effectiveness of their company culture. Hilton’s Vice President of Human Resources, Middle East & Africa Marie Louise Ek shared that they have produced a global calendar celebrating something every day, a menu all hotels can choose from. There is even a whole month dedicated to celebrating the HR departments across the entire business.

4. Invest in Learning and Development

Investing in learning and development goes beyond traditional training programs and e-learning resources.

Mentorship programs and knowledge-sharing platforms can also play a vital role in facilitating cross-team learning and collaboration, enriching the collective expertise within the organisation. By encouraging employees to set personal development goals and offering support, organisations empower individuals to take ownership of their growth journey. Clear career progression plans and regular reviews of internal opportunities further demonstrate a commitment to individual employee growth and advancement. Embracing a culture of continuous learning not only enhances employee skills but also fosters a culture of constant improvement and innovation. Therefore, investing in learning and development initiatives is an investment in employee growth and a strategic move towards long-term organisational success.

5. Lead by Example

This may be our last point, but by encompassing all our previous points, this is what could make or break the company culture. Effective leadership sets the tone for the entire organisation, shaping its culture and influencing employee behaviour. Leadership development is crucial in this endeavour, as managers are instrumental in building a positive workplace culture. The leader will inspire their teams; there is nothing new in that. Investing in leadership development, such as coaching training, enhances managerial skills, cultivates trust, and strengthens relationships within teams. The results speak for themselves; Gallup’s data illustrates a significant increase in manager and team engagement following structured coaching training. By prioritising leadership development and promoting a culture of trust and collaboration, organisations can create an environment where employees thrive, feel valued, and are inspired to contribute their best.

Final Thoughts

Building and nurturing a healthy workplace culture is a top priority for HR leaders and CEOs, recognising that talent is their most valuable asset. As Peter Drucker famously said, “Culture eats strategy for breakfast,” highlighting the pivotal role of organisational culture in driving business success. This quote underscores the importance of fostering a forward-looking and engaged culture, emphasising that an unsupportive or toxic work environment can overshadow even the most influential corporate strategies. By prioritising the development of a positive culture, organisations attract and retain top talent and lay the foundation for long-term success and sustainability. Therefore, cultivating a vibrant and inclusive workplace culture is a strategic imperative and a fundamental driver of organisational excellence and growth.


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Key Contributors:

Finian Toh

Managing Director

Consulting Team
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Consulting Team

Finian Toh

Managing Director

Finian Toh is a Managing Director with ChapmanCG based in Singapore. His focus is on senior-level appointments across the full spectrum of HR functions in local and global multinational organisations.

He is a knowledgeable subject matter expert in HR who has a successful track record of leading senior HR searches and provides deep insights into HR market trends, talent landscape and astute career planning advice for HR professionals. Prior to joining ChapmanCG, Finian led the Human Resources Practice of a leading regional search firm in Singapore where he was instrumental in building the business as well as successfully delivering senior HR mandates across various industry sectors in Asia Pacific.

Finian graduated with a First Class Honours degree in Commerce from The Australian National University and holds a Postgraduate Diploma in Corporate Governance from The Governance Institute of Australia. He is qualified as both a Certified Practicing Accountant (CPA) and a Chartered Secretary. He speaks English, Mandarin and Cantonese fluently.

EA Registration Number: R1104310 Licence Number: 08S3543
Andrea Merrigan
Andrea Merrigan


Consulting Team
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Andrea Merrigan
Consulting Team

Andrea Merrigan


Andrea Merrigan is a Director with ChapmanCG based in Germany.

Andrea works as part of our EMEA team to deliver regional and global searches for ChapmanCG’s major clients across a range of industries and HR specialisations. Prior to her current role, Andrea worked for ChapmanCG in Singapore.

Before joining ChapmanCG, Andrea was an HR recruitment specialist with Profile Search & Selection in Singapore and a Talent & OD Professional, working both in consulting and in-house.

Andrea is originally from the Republic of Ireland and has spent over seven years living and studying in New York, Hawai’i, China, Japan, and Singapore. Outside of work Andrea loves to travel, dance and spend time with family.