This article explores workplace culture. Workplace culture includes the values and behaviours within a workplace that create its unique social environment for staff and customers.

Getting Started

Introduction to the article (perhaps by having everyone read it)

Ask everyone to read the article and jot down some notes while they are reading.

Subject Area(s) covered

Business administration, leadership, organizational development


Study and Discussion Activity

Key things students can learn from this lesson

  • Students will learn what is meant by workplace culture and begin to describe a culture they think they might thrive in.

Action (here’s how we’ll do it)

  • Ask students to share what notes they took when they read the article.
  • Have a discussion about the different aspects of workplace culture. Once each aspect is identified ask students to complete a chart (see below). Have students each select four or five aspects and describe what they might look like, feel like and sound like in a workplace. Ask them to add something they find interesting about that culture in the last column.

  • From the article how would you describe the workplace culture at Netflix? How does this fit in with the descriptors you have in the chart?
  • Reed Hastings, CEO of Netflix, indicates “In a creative organization you want to stimulate people and inspire them rather than supervise them”. What do students think he means by this? How does this fit with the culture aspects you described in the chart?
  • Would students like to work for an organization like Netflix? Why or why not?

Consolidation of learning

  • There is a saying: Culture eats strategy. What does this mean? What might this look like in an organization? How does Reed Hastings refer to this in the article?
Success and Additional Learning

Success Criteria

  • Students understand different aspects of workplace culture.

Confirming Activities

  • There is a strong relationship between leadership style and culture within an organization. Research two different leadership styles and explore how they impact culture in an organization.

Helpful Internet Searches

Activities to do together

  • Discuss two or three different leadership styles. Create a portrait of what workplace culture might look like under each leadership style.
  • Examining your own preferences, which leadership style would be most motivating for you to be your best self? How will you be able to identify this when you begin to look for work?