How to Design a Successful Organizational Culture

group of happy employees
Topic(s): culture, Job Design, performance, work environment
Publication: Harvard Business Review
Article: Creating the Best Workplace on Earth
Authors: R. Goffee, G. Jones
Reviewed by: Susan Rosengarten

Designing an organizational culture that enables employees to do their best work is more of an art than a science. Managing internal and external demands to ensure that people strategy aligns with business strategy is not easy, and there is no “one size fits all” approach that guarantees success.

However, experts (Goffee & Jones, 2013) have provided some guidance for those looking to create and foster a work environment where employees do more than just achieve their given targets: they push the envelope, demonstrate thought leadership, exceed expectations, and thrive.


Organizations can follow the suggestions below to unleash the power of their workforce and make the most of their human capital resources:

  1. Let people be themselves: encourage individuality and diversity of thought.
  2. Unleash the flow of information: upward, downward and lateral communication is key.
  3. Magnify people’s strengths: help employees grow and strive towards continuous improvement.
  4. Stand for more than shareholder value: show colleagues how their work contributes to the greater good rather than just the company’s bottom line.
  5. Show how the daily work makes sense: align employees’ interests with their assigned tasks. Give them the freedom and autonomy to decide how and when to get things done.
  6. Have rules people can believe: don’t make people adhere to silly restrictions or follow ridiculous rules.

Hit these six points and organizations will be one step closer to creating what the authors call the “best workplace on earth.”


Goffee, R. & Jones, G. (2013). Creating the Best Workplace on Earth. Harvard Business Review, May.