Bringing out the best in others that you work with is all above creating a culture that makes people feel that they belong. Experiences that connect people definitely form a sense of belonging. Every company has its own identity that’s just as unique as a person’s identity. When those identities align, belonging begins. Those who feel a sense of belonging at their company feel alive, inspired and purposeful. They are engaged and are more productive. An employee is then at their best, and the company is at its best. While some companies attempt to define their identities in a company employee handbook, there are others that create a culture through interaction with executives, managers and peers. These companies recognize that the company culture reflects productivity.

These smart companies allow employees to take risks without being vulnerable. It’s a meaningful moment for employees when they are allowed to propose a new idea, ask for help or ask for a personal favor. Allowing these things creates a loop that company culture nurtures its employees. For example, an employee presenting a new idea may feel like they are taking a risk. But when it’s met with listening ears or accepted, that risk is gone. It helps confirm alignment with the company. How does your company react to a single mother asking for full-time benefits or Fridays off due to childcare issues? When leadership reacts in a way that accommodates its employees, it is building culture. If the company’s identity takes pride in its people and their needs, that type of culture creates an environment of belonging.

Unfortunately, sometimes interactions at the workplace break the culture rather than building it. For example, an employee asking for help through training could be told no. That type of response is demoralizing and doesn’t create a positive company culture. When employees feel confident in their job performance, their performance becomes a standout.

Storytelling is a great way to influence people and build a group identity. It’s a good idea for companies to publish these stories in a company newsletter, too. For example, a staff who was tending a near-death patient didn’t want to die in a sterile environment. The decision was then made to put medical equipment outdoors on a small patio. Even the CEO of the company was thrilled with how the staff reaction to this situation. The retelling of this story to a new hire or just a friend reinforces company culture and a personal tie to it.

This is the type of situation where company culture jumps off from paper into real life. Forget about trying to create a company identity with branding materials. Think of things you can do that inspires your employees to say, “I belong here.” It’s the most effective way to bring out the best in your employees to bring out the best in your company.