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In today’s growing economy where employees have more leverage, strong company culture is no longer optional. According to Gallup research, only 31% of employees are engaged at work – 51% are disengaged and 17.5% actively disengaged. While assessing and rebuilding a company culture may seem like a daunting task, businesses that thrive are grounded by a fundamental value system that reaches every corner of the organization.

In today’s millennial-driven workforce, culture is often measured by the “perks” of a company – from free lunches to an on-site arcade – yet, the elements of culture that truly allow a business to thrive stem from the basics: kindness, consideration, hard work and (gasp!) even a little fun. Today, an investment in your company’s culture is one that will pay dividends in the long term.

Here are 5 Simple Ways to Build a Strong Culture:

  • Walk the Talk: 

Too often, the overarching messaging of a company’s values differs from reality. When it comes to effective culture, actions speak louder than words. Leadership must actively ‘walk the talk’ and allow the entire organization to enjoy the same considerations as those at the top. An example of ‘walking the talk’ is Facebook’s trailblazing in the area of employee benefits. They’ve recently implemented extremely compassionate policies for employees regarding extensive maternity and paternity leave, paid family sick leave and bereavement benefits.

  •  Celebrate Effort and Success:

In an increasingly remote work environment, employees who feel connected are more inclined to share the passion of the company and work toward the mission. A celebratory culture promotes a safe place for people to learn, grow, fail, and push themselves. We place particular emphasis on celebration at Geneca, promoting team building and acknowledgement of a job well done by organizing outings for employees and their families, inner-office Jenga competitions and even poker night.

  •  Just Be Nice:

Who wants to work in a negative environment? The simple truth is, it doesn’t require a lot of extra energy to greet colleagues with the same enthusiasm needed to communicate with customers or clients. Recently, Twitter topped the Glassdoor list of companies with the best work culture because of its friendly, helpful work environment. Known for its rooftop team meetings, Twitter enjoys the ROI of a “just be nice” culture as one of the most profitable technology companies in existence.

  •  Make Sure Everyone Feels Invested:

A rising tide lifts all boats. When employees feel part of the larger mission of the company, they will feel invested in its success. Southwest Airlines stands out in an industry riddled with cranky, dissatisfied customers because of its unique culture. Southwest employees are empowered to find creative ways to make customers happy, as part of a unified team with a mission for customer service.

  •  Welcome All Ideas:

Thinking “big” starts in your own backyard and above all else, everyone wants to be heard. Employees are the best and most important resource for idea generation because they have a deep understanding of their customers and segments. Create an ideation space that welcomes all ideas from all areas of the company. Organizations that do this well are often “flat,” in that they aren’t overwhelmed by levels of management. Instead, organizations (like Squarespace, for example) foster creativity by allowing direct access to leadership to share ideas and as a result, enjoy empowered employees and improved morale.