Top 5 books on building a positive workplace culture

Pranay Walia

Building a sense of belonging and community within an organization is needed more than ever now that employees have shifted to sitting in their living rooms rather than bonding over a cup of coffee.

Positive workplace culture can do wonders! It helps in team building, raising the spirit & morale, increasing productivity, and enhancing employee retention. Most importantly, it’s less stressful to work in such an environment.

So, here are the top 5 books that we recommend to cultivate a nourishing culture - 

1. The Culture Code (The Secrets of Highly Successful Groups)

Author Daniel Coyle emphasizes the importance of feeling safe and belonging within a team, as seen in great high-performance teams like Navy SEALs, Disney, Pixar, and Google. Be it communication skills or working as a  team during a crisis, this book will help you better understand how a good culture can make or break a team when it comes to working from home.

2. The Best Place to Work: The Art and Science of Creating an Extraordinary Workplace

This book by Ron Friedman is a shortcut to knowing the reasons behind the dissatisfaction of your employees and how to alleviate them. Ron discusses points like intrinsic motivation, how to highlight achievements, how to hire culturally fit employees and complete strangers into a well-functioning team.

3. The Fifth Discipline: The Art and Practice of the Learning Organization

A best-selling book by Peter Senge in which he talks about how a learning culture in a company can be of great benefit and how to cultivate it. He focuses on people-focused learning where they only learn what they want and what they think can be of an added advantage. This book discusses 5 disciplines briefly, with “Systemic Thinking” being talked about in detail.

4. The Advantage: Why Organizational Health Trumps Everything Else In Business

Patrick Lencioni (Author) discusses the importance of “organizational health” and how leaders often ignore it. He also discusses that daily/weekly/monthly team meetings are not a waste of time and are necessary for high-performing organizations and can be optimized further. Assuming you want your organization to have a competitive advantage over others. In that case, this book tells you how defining and communicating organizational goals, values and priorities clearly can help you attain that.

5. People Strategy: How to Invest in People and Make Culture Your Competitive Advantage

This Wall Street Journal bestseller by Jack Altman will give you people management skills and how they can be leveraged for overall organizational development. Jack talks about developing a feedback system, monitoring employee engagement, and using data from people strategies to drive business results. It's a must-read if you are looking to unlock the full potential of their employees by creating an inviting and effective culture.


6. BONUS How organizations build a culture of learning and feedback

If a company can establish a strong culture of feedback and learning, it creates an environment where innovation thrives among teams.

This learning path on Innential (click to find out) has podcasts, videos, e-learning courses, and more to help you incorporate a learning and feedback culture into your organization.

It's a complete step-by-step guide and has insights and real practical examples from companies like Google and experts like Kim Scott.


Want to explore more books like this for topics like leadership development or people analytics? We got that covered too at our People Development Library.