Culture is a notoriously difficult metric to define. A happy workplace is one thing. But what does culture add to a company’s bottom line, if anything?

One sign of a successful company can be found far from the balance sheet. Work culture is hard to quantify (or even qualify) but a few simple questions start to paint a picture of a company’s inner dynamism:

• How long have most employees worked there?
• How quickly can employees advance up the ranks?
• How positive (or negative) are the comments about the company on sites like glassdoor?
• Does the company exhibit too much churn?

All of these questions are connected, for sure. Still, there is no perfect way to gauge culture. Culture may well be overrated. It is, at least, far down the list of metrics for many people. I disagree, however. I think culture is very important.

One of the things we learned when we formed Bookmark Content and Communications was that the work cultures in Spafax Content Marketing and Forward Worldwide were mostly aligned. This has helped the merger along enormously, and continues to do so.

But when one of your employees is called, by industry peers, a “Rising Star” – perhaps you’re doing more than something right. And that brings me to Katie Sehl, the Content Council‘s newest Rising Star. Katie started at Spafax as an intern, then as a research assistant, then as a junior editor, and finally as the editor-in-chief of our work for APEX (the Airline Passenger Experience Association). Her work leading this account has long earned her kudos from the client, and now the industry at large has recognized her talent. Her team’s output is multi-platform and all-encompassing. And Katie’s leadership of the editorial and creative team has been nothing short of phenomenal; the APEX account is worked out of offices in London, Montreal, Toronto, Orange County, and Santiago. That’s three continents and four time zones. And yet everything comes together seamlessly. The work itself is award-winning and deservedly so.

The work culture at Spafax has always been important. It continues to be so in both The Spafax Group and within its content division, Bookmark Content and Communications. We have managed to retain talent while also providing room for personal and professional advancement.

Katie is proof that age, talent and experience don’t necessarily correlate. And that if an organization can spot talent and nurture it, everyone wins.