Workplace culture books discuss how to foster productive and enjoyable workplaces. But, searching for valuable insights takes time and effort. These 10 books on workplace culture are a great place to start.
They have real-world examples and advice for building highly effective, successful teams. These books explore the organizational principles, managerial strategies, and environmental factors that lead to happier, more productive workers.
Workplace Culture Books Summary
Here’s a quick list of the books you’ll find in this post:
- Work Rules! (Insights from Inside Google That Will Transform How You Live and Lead) — by Laszlo Bock
- Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don’t — by Simon Sinek
- Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose — by Tony Hsieh
- The Culture Blueprint: A Guide to Building the High-Performance Workplace — by Robert Richman
- The Culture Code: The Secrets of Highly Successful Groups — by Daniel Coyle
- The Culture Question: How to Create a Workplace Where People Like to Work — by Randy Grieser, Eric Stutzman, et al.
- The Best Place to Work: The Art and Science of Creating an Extraordinary Workplace — by Ron Friedman
- Radical Candor — by Kim Malone Scott
- Elevate — by Robert Glazer
- An Everyone Culture: Becoming a Deliberately Developmental Organization — by Lisa Laskow Lahey and Robert Kegan
Now, let’s dive into the details of these inspiring reads:
1. Work Rules! (Insights from Inside Google That Will Transform How You Live and Lead) — Laszlo Bock
“This book provides an amazing look at how Google operates its business and how its culture has made them one of the most successful companies in the world. It’s a perfect example of how workplace culture is the key to success in any organization.”— Shaun Connell, Founder of Writing Tips Institute
Google is one of the most profitable businesses and among the most desirable employers in the business world.
But is the success of Google only due to the company’s generous benefits package, which includes things like free gourmet cuisine and cutting-edge offices? Who better than a Google insider to reveal the company’s secrets?
Laszlo Bock, the book’s author and a former Google executive who oversaw the company’s people operations, helped create the company’s famous work culture.
This book presents personal insights from Google’s methods, examples from other successful companies, and findings from behavioral research. Work Rules! is filled with helpful advice for making the workplace a place where people feel valued and motivated.
Laszlo Bock’s work offers excellent advice on building positive work environments and keeping employees engaged. He elaborates on the significance of making workers feel secure, appreciated, and respected in the workplace.
Organizations may foster innovation, creativity, and productivity by adopting the practices described in this book.
Work Rules! is a must-read for every business owner who cares about cultivating a positive and productive work environment, and it provides a fascinating glimpse into Google’s workplace culture.
2. Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don’t — Simon Sinek
“I particularly enjoyed the way Sinek uses research-backed data to back up his claims, making it easy to understand the concepts and apply them in real-life situations. Overall, I highly recommend this book as a must-read for anyone looking to improve their team’s workplace culture.”— Ann Young, CEO of Fix The Photo
Sinek continues examining what defines a great leader with this follow-up to his bestselling book, Start With Why.
Simon Sinek, an advocate of the servant leadership style, argues that exceptional societies can’t thrive without selfless leaders. When business leaders prioritize the group’s goals over their own, team members feel respected and appreciated.
Leaders Eat Last argues that efficiency and contentment levels increase when a business prioritizes its employees. When workers are happy in their jobs, they give their all to the firm and the team.
After all, strong bonds of trust and respect between managers and their employees are the foundation of any thriving business.
Leaders Eat Last digs into human beings’ emotions and biology to explain why building a “circle of safety” for your employees is vital. This will give them the confidence to grow, offering an approach to leadership development beyond management techniques and theory.
3. Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose — Tony Hsieh
“One of the well-regarded books on workplace culture is Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose by Tony Hsieh, the former CEO of Zappos. The book details the company’s unique approach to company culture and how it has helped drive success and provides actionable insights for other organizations looking to create a strong and positive workplace culture.”— Andre Oentoro, CEO and Founder of Breadnbeyond
It shouldn’t be surprising to see a book authored by Zappos’ CEO on this list, as numerous other books have highlighted the online retailer as an example of great organizational culture.
The book, Delivering Happiness is a manifesto for doing work that matters. Tony Hsieh details how he established and expanded Zappos’s renowned upbeat culture.
Zappos built a company that people wanted to work for and shop from by focusing on the four C’s: commerce, corporate culture, customer service, and community.
The company notoriously paid dissatisfied employees $2,000 to quit, encouraging them to leave by prioritizing organizational health and happiness and making customer service a shared responsibility.
Many will never forget the culture at Zappos as a lasting tribute to its effectiveness of upbeat, productive attitudes. Zappos is an excellent example of how to succeed by focusing on the well-being of employees rather than on increasing output.
4. The Culture Blueprint: A Guide to Building the High-Performance Workplace — Robert Richman
“People who see their work as meaningful and rewarding make the world go round, and the more companies understand this, the better. The book is a treasure chest of valuable insights and tactical advice. Written in a reader-friendly manner, informative, and full of practical tips, it is a true must-read!”— Agata Szczepanek, Community Manager at LiveCareer
Robert Richman’s The Culture Blueprint is a guide to creating a workplace that inspires loyalty and passion in its workers. It’s full of helpful advice that you can practice immediately.
Richman is a co-founder of Zappio Insights and a recognized culture strategist whose approaches to team development consistently receive praise for their creativity and success. Companies like Toyota, Google, and Eli Lilly have brought him in to train their employees on cultural norms.
The author of The Culture Blueprint helps readers find and retain top talent while inspiring them to reach their full potential in the best way. The techniques outlined in this work show readers how to foster an environment that encourages employees to do their best job and feel a sense of belonging.
5. The Culture Code: The Secrets of Highly Successful Groups — Daniel Coyle
“The Culture Code doesn’t just teach you how to create a strong and healthy office culture, but it also draws on real-life examples of how culture has affected companies in multiple industries. Coyle tells you what you are doing wrong, why, and how to fix it.
Each chapter has been followed by an “Ideas for Action” section, which gives actionable advice on how to make positive changes. Chapter 15 on “How to Lead for Proficiency” is exciting, as it teaches how to support your team’s individual strengths and nurture your office culture.”— Louisa Smith, Owner of Epic Book Society
Among the best books on workplace culture, The Culture Code stands out. This book delves into the workings of successful for-profit and nonprofit organizations to find out what makes them tick.
The author employs a three-pronged strategy: create security, share vulnerability, and establish a purpose. Coyle describes methods that foster teamwork, individual development, and constructive change. The Culture Code addresses fixing toxic cultures and building communities that help employees thrive.
6. The Culture Question: How to Create a Workplace Where People Like to Work — Randy Grieser, Eric Stutzman, et al.
“Introducing us to six elements that contribute to creating a healthy workplace culture, the book reveals a great mix of purposeful leadership insights and practical workplace solutions that enable leaders to create a happy, engaging, and inspiring workplace.”— Neil Platt, Director at Emerald Home Improvements
The Culture Question investigates what motivates or disengages workers in the workplace.
The authors identify six primary characteristics of healthy workplaces:
- Communicating a clear purpose and core values
- Allowing the leadership style to focus on people
- Providing and creating meaningful work
- Developing meaningful relationships
- Handling conflict management in a constructive way
- Developing high-performance groups
The book offers advice on designing and constructing workplaces that foster happiness and productivity.
7. The Best Place to Work: The Art and Science of Creating an Extraordinary Workplace — Ron Friedman
“Friedman carefully balances a wealth of scientific facts with real-life anecdotes and situations to create a vivid picture of his approach to workplace culture. Key emphasis is placed on creating the right conditions for employees to perform optimally and not simply spending the most money on frivolous perks and incentives.”— Alexandre Robicquet, co-founder and CEO of Crossing Minds
The Best Place to Work takes a data-driven strategy to improve corporate culture. Ron Friedman uses concepts from behavioral economics, neuroscience, and management psychology to illustrate how an office setting can subtly affect an individual’s thought processes.
The book covers the benefits of rewarding failure, the impact of office architecture on employee engagement, and hostage-negotiator-inspired strategies for calming down workplace tensions, just to name a few of its subjects.
The Best Place to Work is an interesting look at the influences of organizational culture, balancing anecdotes with scientific statistics.
8. Radical Candor — Kim Malone Scott
“This book is incredible not only for what I would deem to be an objectively straightforward framework for leadership and broader cultural development in the workplace, but it also has some critical culture-specific lessons that employees at any level in an organization can learn from.”— Wendy Makinson, HR Manager, Joloda Hydraroll
The principles of Radical Candor encourage employees to speak their minds freely and openly while at work. The guidelines provided in this book can help you become a more trustworthy manager or team member.
According to Kim Malone Scott, being direct with your coworkers is essential, but it doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice your humanity in that process.
The concept of Radical Candor encourages managers to be direct and understanding while dealing with their staff. Adopting this mindset will enable workers to speak frankly and open up, resulting in a more trustworthy environment for everyone.
This book encourages managers to shift their focus from command and control to partnership and cooperation to improve output and employee growth.
Caring deeply about your employees individually and immediately challenging them is the essence of Radical Candor. However, Scott goes further by outlining three critical concepts for managers to better connect with their staff: get stuff done, understand why it matters, and make it personal.
9. Elevate — Robert Glazer
“Whenever I need a creative boost or to re-evaluate my team’s culture, I always turn to Elevate for inspiration. Glazer does a great job of helping the reader understand why certain aspects of our work environments are crucial in bettering ourselves and our teams. He also paints an optimistic but realistic view of how technology can help propel us forward while still keeping our humanity intact and properly valued.”— Ludovic Chung-Sao, Lead Engineer and Founder of Zen Soundproof
Robert Glazer’s best-selling book is a motivational guide to bringing out the best in yourself and those around you. Using the strength of positive thinking and his position as a corporate visionary, he compiles the advice of a wide range of successful people.
The primary goal of this book is not merely to assist readers in becoming more self-aware. Instead, Glazer delves considerably deeper.
He examines how one can improve themselves and inspire the best in people around them by investigating their spirituality, emotional intelligence, and intellectual capacity. As a result, he provides the secret to success and fulfillment in all areas of life.
10. An Everyone Culture: Becoming a Deliberately Developmental Organization — Lisa Laskow Lahey and Robert Kegan
“The book provides practical strategies for developing an ‘everyone culture’, such as creating a culture of feedback, encouraging employee autonomy, and empowering employees to take ownership of their work. It is a must-read for anyone looking to build high-performing organizations and develop the leadership potential of all employees.”— Jim Mayer, President, TCO Strategies
Your organizational culture’s quality will always reflect its members’ quality. This book delves into what happens when businesses put resources into their cultures and all of their employees rather than just the stars among them.
This book examines three successful businesses labeled as “Deliberately Developmental Organizations,” or companies that incorporate development in the foundation of their daily operations rather than saving it for special events like conferences. It then offers suggestions for how your own business can adopt these practices.
Making development a part of every employee’s daily routine and procedure and offering a safe and supportive atmosphere for growth are essential ingredients in the recipe for success.
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