7 Ways to Create a Positive Work Culture

17th January 2024

As with many industries, aviation recruitment was significantly impacted by the events of the 2020 Coronavirus pandemic. After the industry reopened, a significantly reduced number of employees went back to work, and companies since have been working much harder to attract and retain talented employees in all areas.

A positive work and company culture is a priority for many candidates in the aviation job market, with opinions shifting over the past few years to prioritising organisations with a strong, value-driven culture as opposed to ones that just offer the highest salaries. As an employer in the aviation industry, creating a positive work culture can have a brilliant impact on your recruitment effort and retention rates, as well as helping to improve the quality of the work you do.

In this article, we share some of the key benefits of creating a positive work culture and explain the best way to do this for your aviation or aerospace business.

What is Workplace Culture?

Workplace culture is the environment created for employees in a company, made up of your values, goals, organisational structure, ways of working, approach to feedback and recognition, and benefits. It dictates the experience that employees have when working for your company and may also be referred to as organisational or workplace culture.

Different workplaces have different cultures, which can influence everything from how employees are onboarded or how projects are managed to the amount of socialising that employees do inside and outside of work. It also plays a massive part in how engaged employees are at work and how much they enjoy what they do, which can impact your recruitment efforts depending on the reputation you create.

In the aviation industry, a safety consciousness should be an integral part of your workplace culture in order to adhere to the necessary standards that dictate successful work in this area. When your workplace culture is also positive, getting employees to uphold safety and quality standards and remain proactive about responding to issues is much easier, as everyone will be more aligned and committed to business goals and feel more comfortable sharing challenges and learning opportunities.

The Benefits of Positive Workplace Culture

When you invest in creating a good company culture, you’ll see the benefits in your recruitment efforts, retention, employee engagement and productivity.

As we’ve already touched on, having a positive workplace culture can help employees feel more engaged in their roles, which has a number of benefits including increasing retention. Research from Quantum Workplace found that employees who feel disengaged are 3.8 times more likely to use poor organisational culture as a reason for leaving a company than those who feel engaged at work.

The same research also highlighted that 66% of employees said that their workplace culture impacted their work and behaviour. When your culture is positive, you’re going to have a positive effect on the work and interactions of your employees, which leads to higher quality output overall.

A research paper from Limeade shared that 90% of respondents said that an organisation’s culture influences their decision to work there. When you have a company with a positive culture, candidates will be more likely to accept your job offers and be more likely to want to work for you, helping to acquire the best talent in the industry to help deliver the best products and services.

80% of respondents also said that an organisation’s culture influences whether they want to put as much effort as possible into their work. So another benefit of a positive culture in the workplace is that your employees will try harder and be more productive, leading to higher quality and an increased output of work.

How to Create a Positive Culture in the Workplace

Creating a positive workplace environment isn’t as simple as making a simple change and watching your culture transform. It requires multiple small but consistent changes as well as an investigation of what you really want your aviation company's workplace experience to be like and how you want your employees to feel at work.

The following actions will help you understand how to create a positive work environment and build a better company culture.

Define Your Company Values

Your culture should be a direct reflection of your values. The way that employees behave and interact, the way that you give feedback and reward success, and the benefits and progression you offer your staff all create a sense of culture, and these can all be linked back to your values for a more aligned experience.

Your values are the foundation of your business, informing your goals and dictating the way you work. Once you’ve got a clear idea of these company values, the next stage is to decide what these values look like in action when employees are embodying or demonstrating them.

For example, if one of your values is a commitment to exceptional safety standards, employees putting this into practice looks like reporting potential problems, reflecting on mistakes and pursuing additional training. If your values link to pursuing innovation, ‘living’ this value could involve taking the initiative to suggest new ideas, getting involved in additional projects or pursuing research and development outside of work.

This exercise should give you a clearer idea of what your workforce will look like when they’re embodying your company values. From here, you should then consider what you need to do to make this behaviour easy to pursue and incentivise it.

Highlight Your Unique Benefits

A positive workplace culture is more notable when it has unique benefits and features. Of course, you need these features in the first place in order to make the most of the impact they can have, so if you’re struggling to think of what your workplace experience uniquely offers your employees, first consider whether you’re providing enough valuable benefits and opportunities.

Whether you offer flexible working arrangements, a development budget, regular socials or co-working memberships for remote employees, these small features will inform your company culture and be important when it comes to advertising why your aviation business is such a great place to work. Make sure that all employees are aware of your benefits and that they’re easily accessible, as the more engaged your workforce is with what you offer, the more benefits both you and them will experience.

Ensure Inclusivity

An inclusive environment is an essential feature of a positive culture within the workplace. Employees won’t be able to feel engaged, motivated and productive if they don’t feel accepted or are facing access issues, so your company culture should prioritise inclusivity to ensure it’s a welcoming place to work.

Inclusivity begins by ensuring that there’s nothing in your existing culture that unintentionally excludes certain people. Hiring for culture fit for example can often lead to similar personality types working in the same team, but this shouldn’t ever be at the determinant of diversity.

Consider whether the senior members of your team represent a diverse range of backgrounds and experiences and aim to improve this if you feel like it’s lacking. It’s also a good idea to create a formal or informal DEI team so that employees have someone to talk to if they’re experiencing inclusion issues.

Finally, think about inclusivity in the way your aviation business operates day to day. Do employees have the option to choose a working schedule that works for them? Are different forms of communication and collaboration used to be more inclusive of people’s preferences? Have you created a culture where employees can talk about their access needs?

Make Change at Every Level

Implementing company culture cannot just be done at one level of a business to try and change the behaviour or attitudes of the bulk of your employees. It needs to be a consistent and thorough process that starts from your company values and mission, changes the behaviour of senior staff and then trickles down to all employees through structural change and positive examples.

Behaviour is a key part of company culture and workplace atmosphere, and the best way to make a consistent change in this area is to ensure that staff at every level embody your values and conduct themselves in a way that creates a positive work culture. If you want employees to get better at giving and receiving feedback for example to help facilitate a culture of growth, make sure that managers and department heads also engage with this and encourage their teams to do the same.

When it comes to things like benefits, flexibility and progression opportunities, you also need to make sure that the same opportunities are offered at each level. There will obviously be some cases where more senior employees receive different levels of benefits, but if you want your workplace culture to be somewhere where employees feel supported and recognised, you must ensure that this support and recognition happens fairly for everyone.

Facilitate Enjoyable Experiences

Having positive experiences at work is essential to creating a positive workplace culture. It doesn’t matter how many systematic changes you make or new values you add to your mission; if employees aren’t enjoying their time at work, the culture will not feel positive.

Enjoyable experiences at work are usually thought of as social activities, which are a great way to build stronger connections between employees, reward their work and generate a stronger sense of culture without the stress of work. Make sure you’re talking to employees and providing socials that they’ll actually want to attend instead of what you think will be fun; this will ensure the desired impact and better engagement.

Moments of connection and fun at work don’t have to only take place at a social gathering however, so consider the other ways that you can facilitate more personal conversations and team bonding day-to-day. Consider things like social meetups that encourage cross-department interaction, fun prompts in meetings or on workplace messaging systems that allow employees to learn more about each other, or relaxed team-building activities that help build skills and camaraderie.

Reward All Kinds of Success

Something that can quickly damage or hinder the creation of a positive company culture is failing to recognise success in all of its forms. If you only reward employees who are successful in a traditional way, such as making a sale or completing a project, you’ll fail to recognise a lot of your workforce most of the time, which could impact morale and create a culture that doesn’t feel very supportive.

By implementing a recognition and rewards system that includes everyone and also celebrates personal achievements, you’ll help to create a more positive culture within the workplace because employees will feel like their effort is being appreciated. Having this system will also ideally motivate more employees to tackle challenges and pursue success, as they know they’ll be recognised and praised for doing so.

Encourage and Respond to Feedback

Our final piece of feedback for aviation companies that want to create positive work cultures is to make sure your employees know that they can feed back about the culture at work and make suggestions for how it can be improved or changed. Not only does this ensure that you’re creating the kind of positive culture that employees actually want to work in, but it also demonstrates a commitment to listening to your team, which helps to improve morale.

If you’re encouraging feedback from your workforce then you can’t just leave it at that; you need to make the effort to acknowledge and ideally respond to it. This will help to encourage more feedback and build trust between you and your employees, which also helps to develop a more positive workplace culture.


A positive workplace culture can transform so many areas of your business, especially recruitment. With the search for talented candidates being particularly competitive in the aviation and aerospace industry at the moment, it’s well worth investing time in ensuring you have a positive culture in the workplace that improves your reputation as an employer, as well as your internal employee retention.

If you’re an employer in the aviation industry looking for recruitment support, working with a specialist recruiter like Oaklands Global can ensure you attract the best candidates for your roles. Find out more about how we help employers in this industry or get in touch to speak to our team about how we can help.

by William Finden

About the Author: William Finden is the Founder and MD of Oaklands Global. He is a seasoned executive search and recruitment specialist with over 16 years of experience, dedicated to the international aviation & aerospace markets. William leads Oaklands Global’s C-Suite practice and has had a successful career delivering at the executive level for a diverse portfolio of clientele including Business Jet Operators, OEM’s, MRO’s, FBO’s Airlines and Rotary businesses. To learn more about how William can assist with your next career move or to discuss your next director level hire please contact him by email: william.finden@oaklandsglobal.com