Building a Positive Team Culture

Developing a positive or “ideal” team culture isn’t something that can be done in a day. It will take time and effort to establish one for your team, but it will be worthwhile.

A common vision is the first step in creating an ideal team culture. The team can see what they’re working for, what they’re strong at, and what’s expected of them with this shared vision. Employees must understand how they can contribute to the success of their team.

The way you communicate with your staff determines the culture of your organisation. The way your team communicates frequently produces a negative team culture and can lead to low morale. You must communicate with your team on a regular basis if you want to foster a positive team culture.

Building relationships within your team is another method to foster a positive team culture. Relationships with other team members and your management can be developed. If you want to strengthen your team’s connections, you must trust and respect your teammates, as well as trust that they trust you.

When team members have faith in one another, they are more open to discussing concerns, questions, and triumphs. When you trust your team members, they will feel more at ease speaking with you and will be more willing to offer their ideas.

The most effective team culture, on the other hand, is one in which team members have a healthy interchange of respect. The work ethic of your team members reflects a healthy team culture. Your team members must be willing to put forth their best effort, even if they have something better to do.

Your team members need to feel they have ownership of their work. Your team members need to feel like their work is respected and that their opinion is valuable. If they feel this way, then they’ll work hard to create the best work possible for your team.

Feedback from all team members can help to strengthen the team culture. Feedback is a vital part of establishing and maintaining a positive team culture, as it aids in the development and strengthening of relationships among team members.

Recognise that each member brings their own strengths and shortcomings to the team in order to build the most successful team culture. Some team members are better at working with a single individual or group of people, while others are better at working with other people or in different roles.

A team’s capacity to fulfil organisational goals requires not only a healthy team culture, but also the ability to effectively work together.

By having clear team goals, identifying and acknowledging your team members’ skills and weaknesses, and cultivating a healthy team culture, you may build your team culture. Your team members will put out their best effort and be willing to share ideas and thoughts if they respect one another.

The key takeaways

Employees can feel and perform at their best when they work in a positive team culture. Employees on these teams share a common vision, communicate often, and form great relationships. They also have mutual trust and respect, a sense of ownership over their work, and are driven by their jobs.

To create such a culture within your team, you’ll need to instil a sense of purpose and prioritise open communication. Employees must also be kept motivated by encouraging learning and development and assisting team members in forming social connections.

If you follow those steps, your employees will most likely be happier, less stressed, and more loyal. Engagement and performance will both improve. And soon, even more great talent will be knocking on your door.

The importance of consistency cannot be overstated. Developing a positive team culture is a long-term process. It necessitates consistent effort and commitment. Allow some of these best practises to fall by the wayside, and your culture may suffer as a result. Be consistent. Long-term, continuous efforts are the ones that pay off the most.

Creating a Strengths-Based Culture

A strengths-based culture lays the foundation for a versatile, talented workforce. But what does it take to build such a culture? The key is to weave a strengths-based mentality throughout all organisational levels.

There are 5 strategies Gallup suggests to create this empowering culture by setting a foundational strategy and structure for it.

Leadership alignment: setting the stage for a Strengths-based culture. This has to start at the top, and those at the top need to buy in for the culture change to be effective.

Management alignment: developing teams and employees through the lens of Strengths. People don’t leave companies as much as they leave managers. Finding the right people to manage is essential — and challenging — and they must be empowered with the tools to develop employees.

Internal communication: generating awareness and enthusiasm for Strengths. This can be fun and involve t-shirts, StrengthsFinder happy hours with Strengths-based activities or posting the Strengths of team members where everyone can see them.

Coaching: building a network of Strengths experts and advocates. Incorporate a few on-site Strengths advocates to act as resources for your team. This assures everyone that your organization is serious about sustaining Strengths.

Performance management: focusing on development and recognition of employee Strengths. Performance plans are out; development plans are in. Understanding the most powerful way to encourage the development of employees, using Strengths, improves both morale and performance.

Strengths community: making Strengths an integral and natural part of the organization’s day-to-day policies and rituals. Using a team grid, considering who may be best at what task through a Strengths lens, and incorporating the language in meetings are all ways to build the community around this shared language.

Researched at: https://www.gallup.com/cliftonstrengths/en/290903/how-to-create-strengths-based-company-culture.aspx

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.

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