Culture: a system of shared assumptions, values, and beliefs that show people what is appropriate and inappropriate behavior

Shift: changing the culture through time and commitment from all levels of the organization

In my last blog, I gave 10 easy ways to improve workplace culture. This week, I want share how you can build a positive work culture and two words that can change everything: Be Nice.

Being nice isn’t as easy as you may think.  We are not as aware of our behavior as we think we are.  We all have baggage, stress, and challenges that influence our behavior.

Being nice and building a positive culture starts with being intentional. Here are some solid ways that you can be intentional to influence and improve your work culture.

  1. Be present.

Listen with intent to understand. Don’t multi-task. When you are in a conversation, be in that conversation. When you are in a meeting, be fully present and engaged. Most of creating a great culture is simply showing up, staying in the moment and focusing on each task.

  1. Connect.

Create opportunities for co-workers to share ideas and expertise on the topics they know best such as finances, travel, sports, music, books, etc. Organize a lunch-time brown-bag series for staff to connect and share who they are with each other.

  1. Provide professional development as a team.

Take every opportunity you can to invest in your employees. Every training session or organized gathering is an opportunity to talk and build community.

  1. Run meetings efficiently.

Most people think most meetings are a huge waste of time.  Make yours count by having a plan:

  • Be prepared.
  • Use the time well.
  • Include lots of opportunities for engagement.
  • Show appreciation.
  • Make sure everyone knows the assignments and take-aways.
  1. Be positive.

Being consistently positive is by far the most important  contribution you can make to building and sustaining a great culture. Make a conscious effort to bring a little more of yourself to work every day.  Notice what you say and how you are presenting yourself.

Are you a positive influence on your workplace culture?  What’s one thing you could work on this week to add some intentional influence?


Betty Lochner is the owner of Cornerstone Coaching & Training. She is an expert in workplace communications and relationships specializing in personal and organizational transformation by providing individual and group coaching and training in leadership, communication skills, culture change, building teams and employee engagement.

She is the author of two books on communication: Dancing with Strangers, and 52 Communication tips – both are available on To find out more about Cornerstone’s services visit