Types of Team Cultures

When a group of people work together, they form a culture. A company’s culture is shaped by regular employee habits, beliefs, and values, and that culture affects practically every facet of how a company operates.

While no two businesses are alike, and each has its own culture, there are some common characteristics among them. And it is based on these characteristics that a company’s culture is determined.

A culture type allows you to categorise businesses into groups and, looking at
similarities and differences, distinguish one organisation from another.

To differentiate between team cultures, you can generally place a company into one of four categories:

  • Adhocracy
  • Hierarchical
  • Clan
  • Market-driven

Adhocracy. Adhocracy is built on innovation, change, and adaptation and follows an unstructured corporate structure. In modern fast-paced corporate settings, business is a fast-paced environment. Employees are encouraged to take chances and stretch their abilities,
experiment and flex their creative muscles.

Hierarchical. A hierarchical culture is structured and formal. These traditional top-down management approaches are used by businesses, with firmly defined roles and responsibilities.

They’re noted for their consistency and uniformity at corporate levels.

Clan: Clan culture is modelled after a family. This culture is, above all, devoted to the team. It promotes a one-for-all, all-for-one mentality. And, rather than encouraging employees to compete with one another, a clan culture encourages them to work together, promoting cohesion, collaboration, and mentorship.

Market-driven. Market-driven cultures are results-driven and goal-oriented. Market-driven cultures are the most aggressive of the four culture types. These cultures are built on competition—both internal and external.
And they prioritise achievement and concrete results.

The key takeaways

Companies can be classified into culture types based on their similarities and variances. There are four basic culture types, however there is no such thing as a “correct” culture or a “one-size-fits-all” type.

Some businesses are adhocracies that place a premium on invention and creativity, while others are not.

Others use a hierarchical approach and place a premium on structure and uniformity.

And while some businesses are clan cultures that encourage collaboration and consensus, others are market-driven businesses that place a premium on competitiveness and profit.

Each of the four cultural types has advantages and disadvantages, and successful businesses can fit into any of them.

Keep in mind when deciding on your culture type that you can choose one of these cultures to operate under, or you can construct your own bespoke blend by combining elements from each culture type that appeal to you.

Culture can change. What are the most essential benefits to you as a business? What drawbacks do you think you’ll be able to live with?

You can make gradual changes and adopt a new style if you’re currently employing a cultural type that doesn’t fit those responses.

Culture is not static. You have the ability to alter things. Continue to learn about these four cultures, and then move on to the next step and make a decision about where your company’s values lie.

Assessing Your Team Culture

The culture of your team is made up of many moving parts, some of which are difficult to describe. Still, culture is important to understand since it reveals how individuals collaborate and how they feel about their work. It also helps to reveal obstacles, which you can then use to guide your next steps.

Begin by taking the proper method to assessing your team’s culture. Take on the role of a neutral spectator, be aware of emotions, and pay attention to what isn’t there just as much as what is. Then, to begin your evaluation, go on a culture walk and take notes on what you observe.

What do you look for when you go on a culture walk around the office?

Culture is more than just the stuff at work. It’s about how people act, the type of workplace space they have, how they work, what equipment they use, and so on.

Culture walks can help you discover characteristics of your organisation that are concealed within the setting of the workplace and can have a detrimental impact on your culture if you are not aware of them. They’re also a terrific method to enlist employees’ help in promoting your company’s culture.

A company’s genuine culture can be revealed through a culture walk.

  • Cultural assumptions that aren’t obvious.
  • Unspoken preconceptions about workers.
  • Cultural beliefs that aren’t widely known.
  • Unspoken management beliefs.
  • Getting employees involved in the culture of the company.

Through the process of discovery, a culture walk can accomplish this. It’s like going on a treasure quest for cultural clues.

The clues are buried in the organisation’s background, and uncovering them will reveal how to promote your culture, and more crucially, how to promote the company.

Conducting group interviews

Conduct group interviews to learn more about what your team members are thinking and how they communicate.

So, get your pen, notebook, and questions ready. Ask of yourself or others about how your culture acts in a certain scenario.

The more questions you ask, the more you reveal about your culture. Let’s have a look at some examples you could ask:

  • What is the purpose of leaving work in the middle of the day?
  • Why is there so much gossip among the staff?
  • What is the purpose of having an office Christmas party?

This is only the start of learning about your culture. To learn more about your culture, ask more questions.

Using anonymous surveys

Use anonymous surveys to uncover any aspects of your workplace culture that you hadn’t considered. This will provide you with a complete picture of what’s going on both in front of and behind the scenes.

If you have an open plan workplace with no personal offices, for example, a clear trend is emerging around your office that reflects who you are and how you function.

If you wish to foster this corporate culture, you can use this information to influence your office design and make it more inviting to employees who prefer a more free-wheeling, flexible work environment.

The goal of assessing your team culture is to motivate you to think about how you may improve your culture and environment to attract new employees and keep current ones. The more you can concentrate on this, the more competitive and successful you will become.

The key takeaways

Culture is more than just the stuff at work. It’s about how people act, the type of workplace space they have, how they work, what equipment they use, and so on.

Culture walks can help you discover characteristics of your organisation that are concealed within the setting of the workplace. The more questions you ask, the more you reveal about your workplace culture. The clues are buried in your organisation’s background, and uncovering them will reveal how to promote your culture.

Conduct group interviews to learn more about what your team members are thinking and how they communicate.

Use anonymous surveys to uncover any aspects of your workplace culture that you hadn’t considered. This will provide you with a complete picture of what’s going on both in front of and behind the scenes.

What Is Team Culture and Why Does It Matter?

Within an organisation, team culture fosters community. It refers to how employees at a company think and perform. It consists of the shared behaviours, practises, rules, beliefs, values, and attitudes of a group.

When employee activities align with your company’s vision, values, and strategy, you have a strong team culture. When those practises are either not visible to your employees or people opt not to follow them, your team culture is weak. Simply put, culture is determined by your actions.

And the stronger your team culture is, the more employee activities are aligned with your organisation’s aims.

A strong team culture has various advantages, including:

  • reduced need for explicit regulations
  • a strong corporate identity
  • enhanced employee engagement, and
  • a higher possibility of attracting and retaining the right talent

—all of which make a strong team culture a worthwhile aim to pursue.

Culture is created by people. It’s easy to point to items your company has—like free coffee in the break room—or things your organisation says—like the mission statement in your employee handbook—when establishing your team culture.

Culture, on the other hand, is formed by people, not by things or sayings.

So take a look around your office, pay attention to how people interact with one another, and notice the strategies that employees use, because those are the aspects that make up your corporate culture.

The key takeaways

Within an organisation, team culture refers to how employees at a company think and perform.

It consists of the shared behaviours, practises, rules, beliefs, values, and attitudes of a group.

The stronger your team culture is, the more employee activities are aligned with your organisation’s aims.

A strong team culture has various advantages, including reduced need for explicit regulations, enhanced employee engagement, and a higher possibility of attracting and retaining talent.

Getting to Know Employees’ Strengths, Interests, and Values

How often have you thought about sitting down with your staff and saying,

“I’d love to find out what you find intriguing in this job; what components of your work you find meaningful; and are there any modifications we can do to make your job a little more exciting?”

Now is the time for leaders to reflect and say, “I haven’t always learnt as much as I should have about my employees’ values, interests, strengths, and motivations, and what better time than now?”

Getting to know people is at the heart of developing others. Think about their:

  • Strengths. Understanding the qualities of each member of your team is the first step towards maximising their abilities.
  • Interests. Before you can assist someone to grow and develop in a way that is meaningful and gratifying to them, you must first understand their interests.
  • Values. Similarly, if you don’t know what motivates your staff, you’ll struggle to keep them motivated.

It sounds easy to get to know your employees, and it is.

  • Spend time with the individuals in your team.
  • Have open and honest discussions with them about their passions, objectives, and priorities.
  • Pay attention to their distinctive abilities and viewpoints at work, as well as who they are and how they spend their free time.

You may assist employees in establishing a career that lets them do what they enjoy while still being effective at it by identifying and using their strengths, interests, and values.

This translates to contented employees and a productive team.

Don’t be shy. People enjoy talking about what they’re good at, what they’re enthusiastic about, and what matters to them.

Just ask if you have any reservations or questions about someone’s abilities, interests, or values.

The key takeaways

Getting to know people is at the heart of developing others.

Understanding the strength, interests, and values of each member of your team is the first step towards maximising their abilities.

If you don’t know what motivates your staff, you’ll struggle to keep them motivated.

You can assist employees in establishing a career that lets them do what they enjoy while still being effective at it.

What is Communication and Why Does it Sometimes Fail?

Communication is a method of exchanging information. A sender first sends a message using a process known as transmission. Second, using a process known as reception, a receiver reads the message. The message is then acted upon by a messenger, or listener, who communicates it on to someone else.

There are also four basic communication goals:

  • to obtain information from another
  • to express oneself to another
  • to persuade someone to change their viewpoint
  • to make another person happy

What are the three different styles of communication?

Speech, writing, and body language are the three styles of communication that can be used in any interaction with another person.

Speech: This is the simplest and most direct method of communication. People who use speech get their information through their mouth. They can use it to communicate with others as well. When communicating with someone you know well, though, you can usually grasp what they’re attempting to communicate. If you’re using it with someone you don’t know well, you might need to ask questions or spend some time getting to know them better before you comprehend them.

Writing: Not only may this be used to communicate with others, but it can also be used to keep track of information and memories. People who use writing get their information through their hand and fingers. This is a useful method for writing down ideas and sharing them with others. If you don’t have any speech problems or don’t want to interrupt your chat to talk, it’s also a good approach to share information with others.

Body language: This is when people communicate with each other by using gestures, movement, and other body-related skills and objects. The eyes, head, shoulders, arms, and hands are all used by those who use body language to communicate. If you want to persuade someone to change their mind, this is a great way to do it. You can influence someone’s mind in an instant if you know how to use it effectively. If you do this without first getting to know the individual, you may need to spend some time getting to know them before you can persuade them to change their minds.

Why does communication go wrong at times?

We must concentrate on two important areas to develop communication skills:

  • First figure out where we’re having trouble reaching a common understanding of what we’re trying to express.
  • Second, once we have a common understanding, we must practise saying it out loud.

Let’s start with a step back and establishing what we’re trying to say:

What is our communication goal? Is it a brief statement with a single goal? Or do we want to send a message with many goals and discuss a variety of topics?

Let’s have a look at the methods of communication we employ:

E-mail: This is a simple and straightforward method of communication. We compose an e-mail and send it to a specific recipient. We are not required to share our vision or to converse with one another when writing a message in a specified format. Furthermore, we do not have to face each other when communicating via e-mail.

Phone call: This is similar to e-mail, except that instead of sending an e-mail, we phone each other and talk to each other face to face. We can communicate and converse freely even if we are across the country. This mode of communication, on the other hand, is best suited for small and rapid communications. If we just want to convey a quick message, we can talk for a few minutes.

Text message: With this method, we use a small text or a message that contains many words. We may communicate whatever we want this way, but it can be tough to organise and interpret text messages. If we write more than one or two lines, it can be highly difficult for both parties to utilise. This might lead to misconceptions and a sense of bewilderment.

Zoom/Teams: This is a quick and easy way to communicate. We can stream live video and make a free phone call. We may also share a document, which is quite useful. We only need a fast internet connection, but it can be useful and entertaining when communicating with a colleague in another country.

WhatsApp: We can communicate and organise our meetings in a more practical and flexible manner by sharing photographs and videos. We can schedule meetings and deliver messages at the appropriate times. We may also send each other messages and share images, as well as enquire about who is coming, who needs a ride, and anything else we want to know.

Social Media: One of the most prevalent and fastest means of communication is through social media. It is something that we all use to communicate what we need with our friends. We can exchange photos, videos, and even stories in a matter of seconds. Others can provide us with ideas. This can be a highly practical and convenient method of exchanging thoughts, and we can share everything we please.

Communication sometimes fails because:

  • Both the sender and the recipient must understand the message in the same way for the communication process to work.
  • There is a disconnect between the sender, the message, or the recipient. This breakdown is more likely to occur if the sender sends a message that is ambiguous or confusing.
  • The message isn’t being presented in the most effective way possible.
  • The message is not delivered to the intended recipient.
  • The receiver is preoccupied.
  • The recipient misunderstands the information and fails to provide feedback to the sender.

The key takeaways

Communication is a method of exchanging information.

There are three different styles of communication – speech, writing and body language.

People who use speech get their information through their mouth, and can also use it to communicate with others.

Writing may this be used to communicate with others, but it can also be used to keep track of information and memories.

Body language is when people communicate with each other by using gestures, movement and objects.

In order to communicate effectively, we must first work out what we’re trying to say and then practise saying it out loud.

There are different communication methods to use – e-mail, phone calls, text messages and video chats.

Communication sometimes fails because:

Both the sender and the recipient must understand the message in the same way for the process to work.

There is a disconnect between the sender, the message, or the recipient.

This breakdown is more likely to occur if the message isn’t being presented in the most effective way possible.

How to Conduct Effective One-on-Ones

‘One-on-ones’ are scheduled regular meetings managers have with individual team members.

The goal is to check in, assess how things are going, and address any specific needs or career advancement opportunities.

These meetings last roughly 30 minutes on average.

Here are a couple of manager tips for the meeting:

  • Encourage new hires to participate actively in the conversation. Request that they arrive with questions or conversation ideas in mind.
  • Ask probing questions to elicit feedback or gain a better grasp of a direct report’s issues, objectives, and preferences.
  • Stick to a straightforward meeting format. Begin with their talking points, then add a couple of your own, and conclude with action items.

Managers and team members benefit from thoughtful one-on-ones because they foster trust, communication, and regular feedback. They can be used to set expectations, identify and resolve issues, and find new ways to energise and engage your team.

Keep project updates to a maximum of five minutes during your meeting. While discussing where an employee stands on a project or job is a simple topic to broach, it’s not the most productive way to spend your one-on-one time together. Keep the update to five minutes and then go on to more employee-specific topics.

The key takeaways

‘One-on-ones’ are regular manager scheduled meetings with individual team members.

The goal is to assess how things are going, and address any specific needs or career advancement opportunities.

These regular catch-ups can be used to set expectations, identify and resolve issues, and find new ways to energise and engage your team.

Choosing the Right Training Methods

Assume that you’ve been tasked with educating your team about new code of conduct procedures. What factors do you consider while deciding how to perform the training?

Do you get your team together for a group discussion? Do you plan to create an e-Learning course?

  • Do you provide a test or a quiz?
  • Should you create scenarios for role-playing in groups?
  • What additional kind of on-the-job training could you include?

It’s not always easy to choose the best training strategy.

The best training approach is determined by your objectives, trainees, and training content.

First, we’ll discuss a range of training methods, as well as the benefits and drawbacks of each.

Then you’ll discover what things to think about when determining which strategy is appropriate for your team and situation.

You can use a variety of approaches to convey training information and assist your team in developing new skills or behaviours.

Four of the most frequent types of training methods are:

  • Lectures, webinars, and guest speakers are examples of presentations.
  • On-the-job training, case studies, and exercises or assessments are all examples of hands-on training.
  • Team building exercises might take the form of team challenges or business games.
  • Online courses, video tutorials, animations, and other computer applications are examples of e-learning and multimedia approaches.

To choose the ideal training approach, you must first examine your scenario and then choose the method (or combination of methods) that best fits your needs.

To make the optimal decision, identify your training goals, analyse your audience, assess your restrictions, and evaluate your existing resources.

Make training interesting and useful. Employees are more engaged when training is immediately relevant or related to their daily tasks.

Consider how you can use case studies or videos to make training content more engaging, or how you can make it more relevant by using real-life examples. Use your imagination!

The key takeaways

You can use a variety of approaches to convey training information and assist your team in developing new skills or behaviours.

The best training approach is determined by your objectives, trainees, and training content.

To choose the ideal training approach, you must first examine your scenario and then choose the method (or combination of methods) that best fits your needs.

The Four Stages of Team Development

You realise your new team is a group of individuals who collaborate to achieve a common goal, right?

The reality is, it takes time for a group of strangers to gel into a cohesive unit.

Your team members must get to know one another, form relationships, and learn how to work together and contribute to the team.

Consider this: Each team develops their own culture, conventions, and dynamics. It’s unrealistic to expect your team to master these skills in a single day. Along the way, there will be hiccups, challenges, and experimentation.

So, how do teams come together?

What are the steps in the formation of a team?

And how can you, as their manager, assist your team in moving faster through the stages of development?

The team development model of Dr. Bruce Tuckman is a common framework for understanding how teams form.

Teams, according to Tuckman, progress through four stages of development: forming, storming, norming, and performing.

  • The formation stage is the first step for teams. Members are just starting to get to know one another and what they’ll be doing together.
  • The storming stage follows, which is characterised by conflict, competing ideas, and conflicting communication methods.
  • Norming is the third stage. Teams embrace a uniform set of team rules, roles, and conventions in this situation. They begin to learn how to collaborate and complete tasks.
  • When teams reach their peak performance, they are said to be performing.

As team manager, you should be aware of your team’s current stage of development, and modify your management strategy to help them progress to the next level.

Ask yourself…

“What has happened to my team?”

Examine the four stages of team development to see which stage your team most closely resembles.

“What stage are they at now?”

What can you do to assist them in moving forwards?

The key takeaways

Teams go through four stages of development, according to Dr. Bruce Tuckman: forming, storming, norming, and performing.

Managers should be aware of their team’s development stage so that they can modify their management strategies to help the team to progress.

Developing Your Team Through Coaching

Coaching is a process through which managers and team members work together.

The team member is treated as the expert in a coaching relationship, and the coach serves as a facilitator who assists them in finding their own solution, charting their own course, and determining their own path forwards.

Coaches achieve this via probing questions, seeking ideas, recognising limiting beliefs, talking about goals, and establishing action steps.

If coaching sessions with team members are planned and have a clear goal, they will be more fruitful.

The GROW model was developed by John Whitmore in his book “Coaching for Performance.” The GROW model is a straightforward and effective structure for organising coaching sessions.

There are four steps to it:

G stands for set a goal
R stands for examine the current reality
O stands for explore your options
W stands for determine a way forward

Setting Goals

To begin, a session must have a goal or objective that must be met. If the aim is to be measured and achieved, it must be specific and measurable.

So, once the goals have been established, simple questions like “What would you like to achieve in this area?” are good places to start.

It is critical that the goals are articulated in a positive manner, such as ‘I would like to achieve……..’ rather than ‘I must not fail………’ It’s also a good idea to talk about the goal of the unique coaching session.

Reality Checking

Knowing where you want to start can help you figure out what you want to accomplish. That is, the current situation. This is frequently a crucial beginning point, and once this is established, the solution becomes clear and simple.

It may be necessary to revisit the original goal and discuss ‘how challenging/realistic are these goals in light of current reality?’

Options Stage

The next step is to define your options for accomplishing your objectives after you know where you are and where you want to go.

Following the creation of a list of prospective solutions and possibilities, the benefits and costs of each option can be assessed. Coaches’ suggestions should only be treated as possibilities, not as answers. The participant, not the coach, must provide the solutions.

Will (Way Forward) Stage

The goal of this step is to turn a discussion into a decision. You must also be motivated or have the will to make the journey. Whatever emphasis is placed on this stage, the ideal outcome is a commitment to action.

Keep in mind that a coach is not the same as a teacher. Team members are more likely to take ownership of their ideas and outcomes if they are given the opportunity to participate actively in solving problems or furthering their careers.

Make a note of any unusual behaviours, ideas, or language patterns. Keep an eye out for anything unusual.

  • Have you noticed some unusual behaviours, ideas, or language patterns?
  • Have you ever observed how a member of your team frequently competes with or compares themselves to their coworkers?
  • Have you ever observed a disconnect between a team member’s self-perception and their actual performance?

Call out your observations; they can be powerful points for reflection.

The key takeaways

The GROW model is a straightforward and effective structure for organising coaching sessions. There are four steps to it:

G stands for set a goal, R stands for examine the current reality, O stands for explore your options, and W stands for determine a way forward.

Coaches achieve this via probing questions, seeking ideas, recognising limiting beliefs and talking about goals.

It may be necessary to revisit the original goal and discuss ‘how challenging/realistic are these goals in light of current reality?’

Once you know where you are and where you want to go, the next stage is to define your options.

The final step is to turn a discussion into a decision. You must also be motivated or have the ‘will’ to make the journey. Whatever emphasis is placed on this stage, the ideal outcome is a commitment to action.

Coaches’ suggestions should only be treated as possibilities, not as answers. Team members are more likely to take ownership of their ideas and outcomes if they are given the opportunity to participate actively in solving problems or furthering their careers.

A Manager’s Role In Career Development

Career development is a lifelong journey of self-awareness and professional growth.

As a manager, you are responsible for the success of your team. It is your responsibility to motivate your staff so that they, as well as you, may attain higher levels of success.

However, with career development, it’s not always clear where such responsibilities begin and end.

Yes, you should assist your team in setting goals. Yes, you should keep track of their progress, encourage them to complete tasks, and provide direction. But what part do you play in an employee’s long-term professional development? What, if any, role do you have in an employee’s personal development?

You’ll likely get different replies depending on who you ask. Some people believe that it is the employee’s obligation to develop.
Others say that the effort should be led by a manager. So, who’s right? The truth, like with most questions, lies somewhere in the middle.

As a manager, when you encourage your employees to invest in their professional growth, you increase their motivation and engagement, increase productivity, and improve your organisation’s reputation.

If you invest in your employees’ growth, you’ll not only have a consistent supply of highly skilled staff, but you’ll also be able to recruit and keep even more top talent.
While employees should be in charge of their own professional development, you should be supportive of them.

Get to know your employees, share your ideas, and provide them with opportunities. It’s a straightforward method that benefits your employees while also benefiting your organisation as a whole and helps you to stand out as a manager.

The key takeaways

When managers encourage and support their employees to invest in their professional growth, they increase their staffs’ motivation and engagement, increase productivity, improve their organisation’s reputation and helps them stand out as a manager.

Investing in employees’ growth, means managers also have a consistent supply of highly skilled staff, and able to recruit and keep more top talent.

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