workplace culture

What makes a successful business thrive and have a great culture? That’s a good question given that 70 percent of businesses don’t make to their 11th anniversary.

You don’t have to be a business guru to recognize when a business is firing on all cylinders nor to recognize that everyone is putting their skills to maximum use, working together, and actually having a good time. How to create that chemistry, though, is the question.

Having people with the right qualifications who are willing to bring their A-game every day is crucial.

Of course, there are also character traits to look for: a positive, can-do attitude, for instance. If a person doesn’t fit in the mix, not only will he or she be less likely to bring their best, they can also compromise everyone else’s game. Having egomaniacs who cannot collaborate can to grind productivity to a screeching halt.

5 culture building blocks

I believe there are five essential building blocks that create the hum every CEO wants in their workplace culture as well as in their respective industry.

Staff your team with A-players; they’re worth the wait.

An A-player is someone who brings all of the necessary qualifications to the table, perhaps more than you were expecting, as well as that something extra as a human being. Of course, that something special isn’t always readily apparent during a 45-minute interview; it can take time for the true colors of a talented individual to come through. This speaks to the importance of having an intuitive hiring manager, which may be a small business’s CEO.

Have fun.

Having fun not only helps your team do well, it’s a sign that you’re doing things right. Where fun and work meet is the understanding from employees that they’re making a difference. You want a team of individuals who are motivated by the ‘why’ of what they do.

Fun at work means having energy and enthusiasm while tending to the tasks at hand.

Make employees, and clients, your extended family.

A family environment significantly facilitates having a team mentality, especially for those quiet geniuses who like to keep to themselves because they’re shy. But why stop there? Extend the love to clients, suppliers, and other crucial components of the business. Without these folks, your business couldn’t survive.

Direction: understanding the “why;” encourage difference makers.

Our team members are driven by the ‘why’ of what we do. The right content in the right person’s hands at the right time can change the world forever. We believe in sharing stories, passion, and knowledge to guide and help others learn and grow.

Commit to lifelong learning.

Seek to uncover and promote the leader in every one on your team by encouraging all members to follow a path of personal and professional development. With increased knowledge, experiences, and skills, people lead to a more fulfilled life, which can profit everyone within a working environment.


Today’s contributor is Adam Witty, founder and CEO of Advantage Media Group, an international publisher of business, self-improvement, and professional development books and online learning. Witty has been featured on ABC and Fox, and was selected for INC Magazine’s 30 Under 30 list of “America’s coolest young entrepreneurs” in 2011.