How to build a positive workplace culture as a business coach

Great vibes attract great teams: Here's how to use coaching to help organisations build a positive workplace culture.

The number one thing a business coach looks at to help any company truly succeed is how to build a positive workplace culture.

One of the major challenges for nine out of ten businesses is they've been started from the ground up and while plenty of boxes are ticked—they have the product, a solid reputation, systems in place—they don't know how to create a culture they really love.

And that means big problems.

Culture is the X factor of the organisation. It's the vibe and the attitude of everyone who is part of it.

You probably know what I'm talking about. You go into a business, whether it's a real estate office, shoe shop or giant hardware chain store, and people working there don't really look like they're having a good time.

They're not really bringing their best. They're going through the motions and work is 'just a job' and a means to an end.

How do you feel? Does that encourage you to spend more money or take your business somewhere else?

To flip it, you go into a second business and people look you in the eye and remember your name.

They share with you that they care about you and you feel like you're more than just a customer. It feels authentic. You meet people who are passionate about their work and feel as if their attitude is so great, their product probably is too.

That's why knowing how to build a positive workplace culture is so important. Here's how:

One of the major keys to a successful business culture is being able to have a set of guiding principles or values. Values are like a compass. They enable us to make really important decisions within the company like who they hire.

Many people have major challenges with recruitment because the don't have a set of principles to hire or fire people on. Because of that, everyone comes along with their own set of guiding principles.

And when that happens, things get messy. Cliques form. Loyalties are divided and teams butt up against each other. There's water cooler gossip and people stop being as productive because there's drama in the organisation.

Drama means dysfunction. It takes away from a business' true success.

So one of the ways to build a positive workplace culture where you're going to attract high performance people who will power into your organisation and do their best is to have values. Then get the team to live them.

It's not enough to formulate the values, stick them on the wall and get back to work, thinking, 'Tick, job done.'

As a business coach, questions to ask are:

  • Does the team know the values?
  • Do people live them?
  • Do they embody them?
  • Do they use the values as decision-making criteria?

That's what's going to create a thriving culture where people care and bring their passion, and can also bring their own creativity. An organisation that encourages creativity encourages problem solving, and that increases growth which is so important to any business.

If you'd like to find out more about business coaching, join us at The Coaching Institute's for a virtual two-day training 'How To Succeed As A Coach In 2020'.

It's kicking off on July 11, with me and 20 other great coaches from around the world.


One of Australia's leading coaches, trainers and speakers, and head facilitator at The Coaching Institute. In between mentoring thousands of coaches and leaders all around Australasia and helping others build incredible culture, Matt is passionate about fitness and music. His healthy office lunches whipped up in five minutes are the stuff of legend

Matt Lavars life coaching
Matt LavarsThe Coaching Institute