3 Ways to Transform the Culture of Your Workplace

Creating a What’s Going Well culture puts team members in an optimistic frame of mind, and interpersonal bonds and team relationships are strengthened at a deeper and more sincere level. The strong relationships that result lead to increased job satisfaction, engagement and loyalty. Acts of cooperation, teamwork and empathy generated by a What’s Going Well culture can also directly influence an organization’s bottom line. A What’s Going Well culture is a competitive advantage for organizations that implement it broadly and systematically.  

While your competitors are focused on problems and negativity, you and your team are focused on the good in the people you work with, your customers and the work itself, allowing you to see opportunity and growth. There is increasing evidence that companies that have more gratitude and appreciation outperform their peers. While you can’t anticipate every workplace dilemma, establishing a positive culture makes it easier to address those issues carefully, proactively and efficiently whenever they do arise.

Here are 3 ways you can instill What’s Going Well habits within your team that will transform your culture into one of gratitude and positivity:

1 - Start Meetings and Conversations with What’s Going Well

Set an example and start asking “What’s Going Well?” at the beginning of all your meetings. Take the initiative to share both a personal and professional What’s Going Well at the start of each meeting you lead, then go around the table and ask everyone else to share theirs, too. It will catch on! This tends to be more impactful when we share things going well in our personal lives, not just at work. These moments create deeper personal connection, which helps people work better together. Plus, it allows your colleagues to feel heard.


2 - Start a What’s Going Well Book Club

A What’s Going Well book club is a terrific way to launch your efforts and get everyone on the same page. Through a book club, everyone will understand your hopes for the new initiative, why you are bringing it into the workplace and how they can contribute to a more positive culture.

Warning — shameless plug: Make the small investment of getting everyone on your team a copy of What’s Going Well? and the What’s Going Well? 90-Day Companion Journal.

Ask your employees to complete the exercises and the 90-Day Journal challenge as they read.

Meet twice a month for three months. At each meeting, review one chapter, including the exercises from that chapter. Ask the group to chat about what they learned and what stood out to them. Brainstorm actions the chapter may have inspired and give your employees space to suggest their own ways for implementing What’s Going Well into their regular work routine. And model What’s Going Well at these meetings by starting each one with that key question: “What’s Going Well?”

3 - Assign What’s Going Well Accountability Partners

One way to maintain a What’s Going Well mindset at work is to encourage your teammates to engage in the process with a co-worker. This will help the What’s Going Well mindset development in two key ways. First, people take on the nature and habits of those they closely associate with, so a What’s Going Well partner can positively reinforce the effort. Second, positive peer pressure helps both parties create new habits and stay on track.

When co-workers focus on and discuss What’s Going Well—rather than daily gripes and grievances—engagement, teamwork and productivity are boosted.

When co-workers focus on and discuss What’s Going Well—rather than daily gripes and grievances—engagement, teamwork and productivity are boosted.
— Greg Bell

Time spent concentrating on What’s Going Well leads to greater understanding of each other and each other’s work. This sharing can help break down departmental silos.

As a manager or team leader, adopt the What’s Going Well mindset in your day-to-day work. Think of yourself as a What’s Going Well model for your team. If you start every meeting, employee discussion and evaluation of client work with What’s Going Well, you will see a different attitude develop within your group.