By Karin Volo 

As we researched several companies for our book, Engage!, that have stood out as excellent models for the rest of the world, we wanted to discover how they rise above the millions of companies that exist in the world.

There are five key elements we have found that they all have in common. These are the “red thread” in the cultures and we call these the 5 Cultural Keys (or the 5 C’s) as they are the backbone to a company:

Collaboration—an ability to work together for the greater good of all. This is going way beyond teamwork. We see it as a much deeper connection and a genuine caring of the employees.  Employees take a vested interest in each other and understand that a group working together elevates everyone. Therefore, it is easy to give and support one another. The whole is stronger than its separate parts.

Creativity—innovation and a sense of continually improving. Amazing Companies allow creativity to flourish and they encourage it wholeheartedly. Some of the best ideas have come from deep within the company as we’ll share examples of this in this book. Innovation is held high, freedom and trust allow for employees to tap into their creative forces for the good of the company—and it shows. 

Connection—a Thriving Culture where people are connected through shared values and purpose. There is a stronger connection to the customers.  When a group of people come together because of what they believe in, they are connected on a much deeper level and will support each other more for the greater purpose.

Celebration—a focus on the achievements and an allowing to learn and grow from mistakes, and the employees have a lot of fun and give plenty of recognition. Who doesn’t need more fun in their lives? This is by far the one key that seems to be the toughest for most companies to master. We all take ourselves so seriously. We need to lighten up! We seem to have forgotten somewhere along the road to growing up our childlike nature with curiosity and the ability to laugh often.

Contribution—a clear purpose and a giving-back-to-the-world mindset. Finally, the key of giving back. Contribution is a critical key to creating that bigger purpose that will drive a business forward by leaps and bounds. It doesn’t matter if the contribution is on a local community level or in tackling some of our global problems like hunger and environmental issues.

The business has a purpose that is clearly defined, the values are infused into the organization through its people, and the element of giving is what motivates employees to do their best.

Leaders of all companies have a choice now. The choice is to try to hold onto the status quo… or to embrace a new mindset and an empowering way of doing business.

Focusing on employee engagement is not a cost, it is an investment in the company. Employees are the heart and soul of a company. You take care of them and the company will thrive and grow. Give them the opportunity to be the best that they can be and watch to see just how much the company will transform.

Karin Volo, an expert in engagement, career, personal and organizational development, is known as the Evolution Expert. With over 15 years experience working with executive search, leadership mentoring as well as professional inspirational speaking. Karin is the co-author of international best-selling ENGAGE! You can find out more about Karin and how to create an Amazing Company

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