Corporate culture is a fundamental factor of a company’s success and ability to retain talent. Team members must be nurtured and corporate culture purposefully developed to build a foundation for a company’s long-term growth. After all, what is a company without the people who help build it? Here at Aegis, we do culture right. Aegonians, as we like to call ourselves, know that our culture is our core, and that the company’s commitment to staff is as important as the commitment to exceptional client service. We motivate each other to be the best we can be in our field. At Aegis, we work hard and we also play hard. Internal training sessions and an open-door policy are coupled with company lunches attended by everyone from the CEO to the newest hire, a beer fridge (for after work!), fantasy sports leagues, and summer barbecues with our families. These efforts to develop a positive corporate culture that is distinct to Aegis show staff that they are valued and create an environment where teamwork and loyalty thrive. Culture cannot be treated only as a marketing tool – it has to be lived for it to matter. Writing teamwork on a brochure is easy, but fostering an environment that mentors new employees, trains managers from the inside-up, and inspires loyalty is difficult. In an effective culture, values like teamwork aren’t merely used as advertising slogans – employees consistently experience them and this generates positive results. In addition to modeling the values of the organization on a daily basis, it’s also important to provide a place where people can actually enjoy work. Let’s face it, the movie Office Space was so popular because sometimes the corporate world can be redundant and frustrating. Ask yourself: What customs does your organization have to challenge employees, as well as to promote and reward achievement? An enlivening workplace that challenges staff to perform at high levels and creative, fun events demonstrate to employees that they’re appreciated and inspires them to put forth the ongoing effort needed to achieve excellence. It’s also vital to engender a sense of dignity in the organization’s mission. Employees at every level want to be proud of their professions and employers. People shouldn’t feel like mere cogs in a profit-generating machine – they ought to believe that they are an integral part of a group with a unique and worthwhile cause. Author Dan Ariely said it well in a recent Ted Talk: “…when we think about labor, we usually think about motivation and payment as the same thing, but the reality is that we should probably add all kinds of things to it — meaning, creation, challenges, ownership, identity, pride, etc. And the good news is that if we added all of those components and thought about them we could get people to both be more productive and happier.” Bottom line: employees want to be challenged, valued, and feel like they are making a difference. Today, the average worker stays at a job for 4.4 years, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and millennials even less than that. That’s a staggeringly small amount of time when you consider the time and resources that companies put into recruiting and training employees. Creating a corporate culture that helps retain employees – and keeps them happy and motivated – pays dividends to the bottom line. For a peek behind the curtain at Aegis, check out some of our pictures.