The One Secret to Inspiring An Engaging Company Culture

Businesses often overthink the creation of their culture and neglect the simple act of expressing gratitude to their team.


The CEO’s of Apple, Google and Pepsi cultivated a culture that attracts and retains the highest quality employees from all over the globe. It took these reputable brands years, if not decades, to discover that it’s not all about how beefed up the perks and benefits are, it’s simple gestures that pack the most punch. These brands succeeded in establishing desirable and well sought after cultures because they understand the value their employees bring to the success of their business.

Businesses often overthink the creation of their culture and neglect the simple act of expressing gratitude to their team. Many have forgotten the effectiveness of this massive gesture that creates almost instantaneous growth when applied. 

As powerful leaders in their own industry, Apple, Google and Pepsi have learned the value of taking the time to recognize their team by saying thank you in their own unique, yet impactful, ways. Yes, it’s the act of simply saying thank you. Something so small, easy to forget and yet so powerful. According to Cicero Group research, 50 percent of employees believe being thanked by their managers not only improved their relationship but also built trust with their higher-ups.

Here’s what business leaders can learn from these 3 CEOs how how they uniquely communicate a sincere “thank you” to their teams

Pepsi CEO, Indra Nooyi, says thank you to not only her employees but she also takes the time to write out handwritten letters to the parents of her executives. Infusing an Indian tradition into the working culture of Pepsi, she writes around 400 letters thanking the parents for a job well done on raising their son or daughter.

Tim Cook, CEO of Apple not only proudly acknowledges his employees while jumping around on stage, but he went a step further and extended their Thanksgiving holiday by three days so they can have more time with their family and loved ones.

Google consistently ranking as one of the best places to work due to their robust employee engagement program takes employee recognition to an entirely new level. Google has built a culture on demonstrating how much they value their employees through diverse programs, perks and benefits that not only pamper their employees but keep them productive, happy and engaged.

All three companies take the time to publicly acknowledge and thank their employees for their hard work and contributions to the success of the company. In turn, they go above and beyond in unique ways to show how much they truly value them. In order for these a thank you to be effective, it must be sincere. Otherwise, their words will fall flat and be perceived as disingenuous.

What are some unique ways you say “thank you” to your team? Let’s inspire one another.

This piece originally appeared on

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