Five companies with enviable workplace culture

What’s the secret sauce to an enviable workplace culture? About 90% of business leaders believe that culture is their first or second most critical asset, but many admit to not knowing how to build a high-performing one in a systematic and sustainable way. Our new research provides an answer: Performance is fundamentally driven by our motives.

When we work for reasons related to the work itself, we are more adaptive. In our experience, adaptability is the trait most cited by managers as characteristic of high performers. The farther our reasons are from the work, the less we exhibit the trait.

A company’s culture is what activates those motives, for example telling us whether to make a PowerPoint presentation for the love of it or for the promise of a reward. Rewards, values and leadership are all part of culture, but so, too, is the entire set of systems that people encounter upon joining an organization, including job design, identity, performance management and compensation.

Here are five adaptive companies that intuitively understand how to motivate their employees using the right reasons. We know some of these companies personally and others are new discoveries, but anecdotal evidence hints that certain aspects of all of their cultures enhance their employees’ play, purpose and potential, while minimizing emotional pressure, economic pressure and inertia.

The article was originally published on October 2nd, 2015 by

Pick up a copy of Lindsay and Neel’s new bookPrimed to Perform, to learn more about the science of total motivation. And join the movement to fundamentally transform workplace culture by subscribing to our newsletter