A Positive Organization

Often I am asked to define a positive organization in terms of “real world” practices. It is a fair question. Last year one company decided to hold “Positivity Month.” The CEO kicked things off with a letter accounting the practices that were already in place.  His list provides one answer to the question:

  • Values that are clearly communicated, deeply meaningful and genuine
  • A clear & compelling higher purpose: protecting people & environment
  • Work-life balance, flexibility on working hours/locations, respect for family time
  • Open book finance, transparency, teaching our people the great game of business
  • Profit sharing that is transparent, forward looking & seeks to deliver extra paycheck(s)
  • We give part of profit sharing to fund industry scholarships & donor matching
  • Employee representatives on our 401k committee drive decisions & financial learning
  • Community Service Officer fosters & facilitates giving, volunteers & social/enviro responsibility
  • Culture Council: a multi-function, employee advisory group that shapes policy
  • Net Promoter Score is the voice of the customer, customer connections, devotion to service
  • Company pays 80% of premiums for family health insurance
  • Subsidized healthy snacks, employee contributions match donations
  • Subsidized fitness, biometrics, on-site employee led classes, stand up desks
  • 5 Year visioning process, Company Alignment (1 page roadmap)
  • Meaningful education reimbursement, service awards & referral bonuses
  • Unique performance feedback, alignment, goal setting & self-appraisal/reflection
  • 121 position alignment provides clarity of expectations, facilitates job crafting
  • Leadership calendars, responsibilities & self-appraisals are available to all colleagues
  • Published colleague ‘user manuals’ to foster understanding & work relationships
  • Transparent compensation process, management standard increase is lower % than lowest paid
  • Talent reviews = more fair performance assessment & talent development
  • Open training for all colleagues on leadership skills, visioning, change, finance
  • Leadership forum to teach our management how to lead & foster better relationships


  • Would you work for this company?
  • Which practices impress you the most?
  • What could be done differently in your organization?
  • How could we use this passage to create a more positive organization?

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