Culture is like gravity. It’s an elemental force; you can’t smell it, you can’t see it, you can’t touch it.” – Andrew L. Ross, President & CEO, The Children’s Guild

According to one of our favorite publications, Entrepreneur Magazine, corporate culture is defined as “A blend of the values, beliefs, taboos, symbols, rituals and myths all companies develop over time.”  In the hustle and bustle of today’s society, these shared values and beliefs are often overlooked or tossed aside in exchange for an earlier punch on the time clock or a shortcut along the extra mile.

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As the Millennial generation has begun infiltrating today’s work force, corporations have noticed a major shift in how their employees view their roles in the workplace. Over the last decade, the mantra of maintaining a work-life balance has become abundantly prominent (and more life-heavy) as Generation Y has been proven more likely to choose a day off work over a day of pay than previous generations. The trend of this new work force follows the idea that life is too short to spend precious time working away in an office rather than enjoying one’s time in a comfort zone with friends and family. To combat this seemingly downward trend of productivity, smart corporate leaders are taking massive strides to transform their corporate environments into those which simulate the desirable comfort zone in which co-workers are actually viewed as friends and family. This goal of evolving the worn-out, stressful zone of the workplace into a space of cohesion, fun and productivity is what drives corporate culture.

Enter: SmartCEO Corporate Culture Awards.

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This year, SmartCEO hosted their Baltimore Corporate Culture Award ceremony at CityGarage on December 15, 2015. The event celebrated companies with the best performance-driven cultures in Baltimore. Plank Industries was among the generous mix of sponsors and Under Armour made the cut among the impressive list of over 40 winners along with Boordy Vineyards, The Children’s Guild and The Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults, to name a few.

“At Under Armour, I believe we’ve created a strong culture that is first and foremost built on people… You can’t invent these things. People have to feel it.” – Kevin Plank, Founder & CEO, Under Armour

The lesson of the day was simple: A corporate culture filled with collaboration, fun, flexibility, respect, teamwork and integrity is crucial to a company’s success. A company thrives when its employees thrive; employees thrive when they feel valued, incentivized and trusted. This magic mix of values paves the way for dedication and ownership of one’s role in the workplace, which in turn paves the ultimate way to success.

City Garage is proud to have hosted the 2015 SmartCEO Baltimore Corporate Culture Awards and looks forward to the amazing impact these winning companies will have on Baltimore in the future.

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For more information, photos & videos about SmartCEO, click HERE.