Sadly, we must say goodbye to our summer co-op students. Timed with the wrap-up of their ONB tenure, this week’s content comes from our students.

Retired baseball all-star Wade Boggs once noted, “a positive attitude causes a chain reaction of positive thoughts, events, and outcomes. It is a catalyst and it sparks extraordinary results.” Throughout my tenure as an Opportunities NB (ONB) Culture Summer Student, I learned that this truth can easily translate into the business world. A positive culture can make a world of a difference in any organization.

Some may still see “culture” as a trendy way of saying Human Resources and question its importance/relevance. They may ask “is it not perfectly acceptable for a company to place no emphasis whatsoever on culture and still expect world-class results?”

Although “corporate culture” can at first seem like too abstract a concept to wrap one’s mind around, I have learned to boil it down to this — it’s the “oil” that keeps the organization’s metaphorical gears running.

What makes world-renowned companies such as Google, Pixar, Netflix, and others take so much pride in their culture? What makes CEOs like ONB’s Stephen Lund place emphasis on culture within their organizations?

The answer is simple — the importance of people.

The people, or the employees, are the building blocks of every organization; they are the ones who ultimately determine its success or its failure. The “oil” that is poured into the organization will directly impact the way employees feel, work, and respond. A positive culture attracts the best people, it’s that simple.

Great culture equals productivity

According to the University of Bristol and IZA Institute of Labor Economics, several studies on worker happiness and productivity point to there being a direct link between the two factors. Studies also indicate that positive moods lead to an increase in creativity and innovation, as well as an improvement in performance—growth that any employer loves to see come to life in their employees. Growth that can be enabled and catalyzed through a positive work environment.

It comes down to logic. Every company and organization will develop some sort of culture, but unless work is put into it, there is no guarantee it will be the right one. A thriving and vibrant positive workplace culture does not happen overnight, but it is clearly something every world-class company should want.

I am grateful to have had the opportunity to see firsthand the importance of fostering a winning culture via the fine work being done by ONB. The organization’s Culture Specialist (and my mentor), Julie Melanson, has it right. “I can’t make {ONB employees} love their every task,” she says. “But I can ensure they love where they work.”

And at the end of the day, loving where they work is something everyone wants.

Written by Melina Paz Galeano

ONB’s Student Program is open to fall and winter co-op placements and a summer work term. One hundred per cent of participants would recommend ONB to other students as a place to work. Interested in applying? Contact us.