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What thought leaders say about positive culture in the workplace

Today, we’re featuring another installment in our ongoing ‘Quotes From’ series, where we share insightful and inspirational quotes from leaders and industry experts from all over the world regarding a specific topic. Today’s topic revolves around the importance of building a healthy and positive culture in the workplace for employees.

Imagine a workplace where…

  • Your employees are actually glad to come into work
  • Their collaborations with colleagues come easily
  • Your team brainstorms and develops phenomenal ideas
  • All hands are on deck, and everyone’s committed, focused, and enthusiastic about the work ahead

As a result, the end-products you produce are game-changing for your company. At the end of the day, you feel more accomplished than you’ve ever felt working anywhere else.

The studies speak for themselves: teams just like the ones described above not only make for a more pleasurable work experience, but they also succeed by leaps and bounds as compared to teams that struggle with implementing positive culture.

Positivity in the workplace makes a real difference.

It not only determines a person’s well-being but their success as well. In fact, it does more than that. Positivity can also:

  • enhance team members’ ability to think creatively
  • help them cope with challenges
  • nurture their progress in their career
  • and aid them in getting along with others in the workplace

Let’s see what some of the most respected thought leaders and experts have to say about positivity in the workplace:



“Our number one priority is company culture. Our whole belief is that if you get the culture right, most of the other stuff like delivering great customer service or building a long-term enduring brand will just happen naturally on its own.”

-Tony Hsieh, CEO, Zappos


“There is a high cost associated with building a culture: team retreats, gym memberships, personal and professional development classes. All this is to facilitate the personal evolution of each person who contributes to the company.  And, what are our results? In three years, not one employee has voluntarily left, which is a phenomenon that we believe can be replicated at any organisation. We have the receipts to show how much it cost, and we also have uncovered the more obscure internal metrics that impact employee satisfaction and prevent voluntary turnover.”

-David Hassell, Founder and CEO of 15Five


“In our early years, we didn’t talk about culture much. We hadn’t documented it all. We just built a business that we wanted to work in. And, that was great. But the real return on culture happened when we started getting more deliberate about it. By writing it down. By debating it. By taking it apart, polishing the pieces and putting it back together. Iterating. Again. And again.”

-Dharmesh Shah, Co-founder, Hubspot


“When you’re building an institution, you’re consciously growing something that will be beyond you.  It will exist without you, it’ll grow beyond you, it’ll sustain itself beyond you….it’s about creating culture and values that persist.  It’s that psychic glue that holds it all together.  By establishing a candid culture, companies, nonprofits, governments, alike can empower future frontrunners to never stop challenging the status quo – and each other, in order to create sustainable, positive impact.  While you may not always like what you see and hear, it’s better to have the option to change your path now than to versus learning little too little, too late tomorrow.  I consciously go out of my way to not only crate an open culture but also have open lines of communication to a very wide set of people, because the bad news may not come direct.”

-Nandan Nielkani, Co-Founder & former CEO, Infosys


“The only purpose for me, in building a company, is so that that company can make products.  One is a means to the other.  Over a period of time, you realise that building a very strong company and a very strong foundation of talent and culture in a company is essential to making great products.””

Steve Jobs, Co-Founder & former CEO of Apple


“One of our values is that you should be looking out for each other. Everyone should try to make the lives of everyone else who works here a little bit simpler.”

– Stewart Butterfield, Founder, Slack


“In this ever-changing society, the most powerful and enduring brands are built from the heart. They are real and sustainable. Their foundations are stronger because they are built with the strength of the human spirit, not an ad campaign. The companies that are lasting are those that are authentic.”

– Howard Schultz, CEO, Starbucks


“There’s no magic formula for great company culture. The key is just to treat your staff how you would like to be treated.”

– Richard Branson, Founder, Virgin Group



Building a positive workplace culture is one of the greatest things you could do for your team. Such a culture makes for a workplace where people are happy to come into work, feel better able to think creatively, and are more likely to get along with their colleagues. To learn more about what it takes to build a positive culture, check out our 5-part series here.

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