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5 Fundamental Elements That Shape Organizational Culture

A great company culture creates happy and highly engaged employees. But what are the elements that shape your organizational culture? Read on to learn more.

#Work-Life Balance
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Just like a plant needs the right amount of sunlight, water, and nutrients to flourish, a company's organizational culture needs nurturing to reach its full potential.

Watering the organizational culture involves providing support, resources, and opportunities for growth to all employees. This could mean investing in professional development, fostering open communication channels, and recognizing employee achievements. Like overwatering can drown a plant, micromanagement or toxic behaviors can stifle creativity and innovation within a company's culture.

A robust organizational culture majorly impacts your workplace environment and team. Let's look at how a thriving culture can benefit your organization and five key elements of a strong culture.


Why is organizational culture so important?

Let's face it - your workplace culture has a ripple effect throughout the entire organization. Depending on how you implement and maintain your organization's culture, your company culture can make or break your team's success.

Did you know that employees who feel they work in a positive culture are 3.8x more likely to be engaged? Organizational culture is also a crucial retention strategy. According to a survey by Glassdoor 7 in 10 employees would look for a new job if their workplace culture were to weaken. Here are some more benefits of a strong organizational culture:

  • Enhanced employee engagement, morale, and motivation
  • Increased sense of belonging and unity within the workforce
  • Alignment towards common goals and values, driving efficiency and business success
  • Improved performance and productivity
  • Attracting top talent with high employee retention rates
  • Cultivation of innovation and creativity
  • Better adaptation to change and market dynamics
  • Reduced turnover rates and onboarding costs
  • Long-term sustainability and competitive advantage in the marketplace


Here are 5 of the most important elements of organizational culture: 1. Company Values 2. The employee's voice 3. Leadership 4. A sense of belonging 5. Recognition and rewards

Here are 5 of the most important elements of organizational culture:

1. Company values

A great corporate culture has great values. Why?

Clear company values help align employees' actions with the organization's mission, vision, and objectives. When everyone understands and embraces these values, it fosters cohesion and unity among team members.

Your values also act as a compass for decision-making at all levels of the organization. When faced with dilemmas or challenges, employees can refer to your organization's values to guide their actions and choices. For example, if your company values customer satisfaction above all else, employees may prioritize customer needs when making business decisions, leading to enhanced service quality and loyalty.

Your values attract and retain talent since candidates who resonate with your values are more likely to seek long-term employment. For instance, if a company values work-life balance, it may attract professionals seeking a supportive and flexible work environment.

When harmony exists between a company and employees' values employee engagement soars, and employees are more motivated to contribute their best efforts to the team.

How to get started ๐Ÿ‘‰ To learn more about how company values shape your organization, check out Confetti's Ultimate Guide to Company Culture.


2. The employee's voice

Positive company cultures create empowered employees who feel confident voicing their thoughts and opinions.

Your team needs to be willing to give and receive feedback if you want to maintain a positive company culture. To champion your employee's voices, give the following strategies a try:

  • Provide various avenues for employees to share their thoughts, ideas, and concerns, such as suggestion boxes, pulse check surveys, one-on-ones, and regular town hall meetings. Encourage an open dialogue between management and employees to foster transparency and trust.
  • Foster an environment where employees feel comfortable expressing their opinions without fear of judgment or repercussion. Encourage respectful and constructive communication among team members.
  • Demonstrate a commitment to listening by actively engaging with employees, being approachable, and showing empathy. Leaders should model the behavior they expect from others in the organization (we'll touch on this a bit more below).

Once you've received employee feedback, follow up with relevant stakeholders to outline any actions or initiatives being taken in response. Keeping employees informed about progress and following up on feedback demonstrate transparency and accountability from your leadership and HR departments, and encourages everyone to continue utilizing these feedback loops in the future.

How to get started ๐Ÿ‘‰ Are you ready to start an open dialogue about your workplace culture with your employees? Book a Culture Club: Workplace Community workshop for your team.
Virtual Culture Club by Confetti


3. Leadership

Leadership sets the tone, values, and expectations within an organization. Their actions, decisions, and communication styles influence how employees perceive the company culture and behave accordingly. For example, leaders who prioritize transparency and open communication create a culture of trust and collaboration. Google's former CEO, Eric Schmidt, promoted a culture of innovation and risk-taking, which led to groundbreaking projects like Google's self-driving car initiative.

Leaders who demonstrate empathy and support for employee well-being contribute to a culture of caring and inclusivity. Patagonia's founder, Yvon Chouinard, championed environmental sustainability and work-life balance, leading to a well-doing culture where employees feel empowered to pursue their passions while contributing to a greater cause.

There's a saying that "employees don't leave companies, they leave managers" for a reason. Businesses can thrive when employees believe in their managers and company leaders. However, disconnects can be detrimental, since management accounts for 70% of the variance in employee engagement and employee experience. Empower your leaders to display your company values and prioritize well-being, while supporting professional development initiatives to help them excel in their roles.

How to get started ๐Ÿ‘‰ Encourage leadership development as a team by taking Confetti's Mindful Leadership Workshop!
Virtual Mindful Leadership Workshop by Confetti


4. Sense of belonging

A sense of belonging is instrumental in shaping organizational culture because it fosters a deeper connection between employees and the company, leading to increased engagement, satisfaction, and productivity. When employees feel like they belong, they are more likely to align with the company's values, goals, and mission, resulting in a stronger sense of purpose and commitment to their work.

A sense of belonging promotes inclusivity and diversity within the organization, as employees from various backgrounds feel valued and respected for their unique perspectives and contributions. This diversity of thought and experience can lead to more innovative solutions and better decision-making processes.

Here are some strategies to improve the sense of belonging in your organization:

  • Encourage collaboration, teamwork, and mutual respect among employees. Provide opportunities for social interaction and team building activities to strengthen interpersonal relationships.
  • Create and implement Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) policies and initiatives at all levels of the organization. Ensure that all employees feel welcomed and respected, regardless of their background or identity.
  • Create opportunities for employees to share their unique experiences and perspectives, such as cultural DEI holidays or through Employee Resource Groups (ERGs).
How to get started ๐Ÿ‘‰ Creating a sense of belonging comes down to building connections amongst team members, and one of the best ways to do that is through engaging team building experiences. Download Confetti's Employee Engagement calendar to find the perfect occasions to book experiences for your team!
A purple calendar with a clock on a blue background


5. Recognition and rewards

Employee recognition is a low-cost and high-impact driver of employee engagement, which is why it can't be forgotten if you want to build a great culture. Organizations engage employees when they tell them what they're doing right, celebrate their successes with the team, and reward them for the hard work they do.

Regardless of the reason, recognition makes your team members feel seen, supported, and a part of the success of the whole. Who doesn't want to feel appreciated? A culture of appreciation benefits many key performance indicators like productivity, employee engagement, and retention rates.

Pro-tip: Don't save your moments of recognition for anniversaries either. Frequent recognition goes way further in making an impact.

How to get started ๐Ÿ‘‰ Check out our Gifting & Swag collection for fun rewards Confetti can send to your hard-working team members on your behalf!
Gifting & Swag by Confetti


Build a positive corporate culture with Confetti ๐ŸŽŠ

Creating and maintaining a positive culture can foster environments where employees feel valued, motivated, and empowered to contribute their best efforts toward shared goals and success. Just remember, investing in your company's culture isn't just about fostering a happier workforceโ€”it's about building a stronger, more resilient organization from the ground up.

Here at Confetti, we're in the business of building happier, more engaged teams. Ready to achieve your culture goals with team building experiences? Contact [email protected] to get started!ย 
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