Peter Drucker once wrote that "culture eats strategy for lunch." Even though the importance of company culture is well known, it's often taken for granted. The reality is that your strategy will never actualize if you don't have the work culture that attracts motivated people who put everything into their work. Environments shape our mood, energy, and creativity.

Think about this: What if your office felt like home? How many of you think that work should feel as fulfilling and comfortable as your homes? Or even better, that your employees or co-workers feel like family? In working with CEOs and executives of small and midsize companies, I have come across people who are doing just that--creating cultures that feel like home.

The next question: How? For those of you who are building businesses and are interested in creating great places to work, you may learn something from AppLovin and PayLease. AppLovin has the highest rating for employee satisfaction on Glassdoor, and Paylease has been named to San Diego Business Journal's "Best Places to Work" list for two years running. These two small companies have created work cultures their employees describe as home- and family-like. So who better to provide insight than members of those "families"? I recently asked key people in each company to share their thoughts on how these great cultures were created.

What do you think is the core reason the company culture feels more like a family than an office?

"The tone of the entire company is set by its three founders. They are visionaries, who keep the product and our customers as our priority--the practice of delivering the best flows to the entire team. We are one unit, working toward a set of shared goals, and that makes us closer and more like a family."

- Katie Jansen, vice president of corporate marketing, AppLovin

"Because employees truly care about one another and are committed to one another's success--shared goals, interdependencies, and deep personal relationships."

- Ben Truehart, senior vice president, PayLease

What is the impact of having a family-like culture on your performance?

"Everyone works hard, which makes working here a lot easier. You know that the other people on your team are working just as hard, if not harder, and will have your back if you need help. When someone has a question, we make sure to check and see if anyone else would benefit from covering the same type of problem, which helps everyone grow. "

- Kyler Murlas, manager, strategic accounts, AppLovin

"People are genuinely committed to one another and feel personally responsible for the success or failure of the organization. People truly care."

- Ben Truehart, senior vice president, PayLease

3. How would you describe the culture in three words?

"Vibrant, agile, and transparent"

- Rafael Vivas, director of business development, AppLovin

"Playful, high-energy, and positive"

- Ben Truehart, senior vice president, PayLease

We may think that work should feel like work. But a growing number of companies are demonstrating that the more work feels fun and familial, the happier employees are and the better their performance.

Published on: Sep 23, 2014