Team Culture in 2020 - What is it, why is it important?
Your teams wants, needs and values continue to transform and change as each year passes by. With so many different things impacting the way we live our lives and what we care about, it's no surprise that I've been pondering about what ‘Team Culture’ means in 2020, and more specifically, how can we keep up & transform alongside these political, economic and social shifts?
The term 'team culture' gets thrown around a lot in the business world, and I’m certain you’ve heard it once or twice. You may be at a mates BBQ and the topic of conversation will drift into the ‘work-chat’ or ‘shop-talk’, no doubt one of your friends will use the line - ‘our organisation is great, we have a fantastic team culture’. It may be referenced when interviewing potential candidates & the manager cuts the interview and progresses into the line of ‘I don’t believe you will be the right culture fit’.
So what is team culture?
The formal definition is the values, beliefs, attitudes and behaviours shared by a team. It’s how you treat each other when working towards a common goal. Personally, I believe it’s deeper than that…… Most of us can look back on our working careers and easily identify our happiest times, and on the flip side, the not so great times. When you reminisce on these experiences, what common factors contributed to your happiness at work?
For me, it's as much about the people who surround you as the work itself. It’s a great feeling going into the office and knowing that whatever life throws at you the team will have your back and support you. It’s about trust, accountability, vulnerability, conflict, commitment & being on the same page.
How can I improve my team culture?
Right about now I know you’re thinking ‘yeah that’s great, but how do I get to that’, so let’s investigate it a bit deeper.
Of course, time plays an important part in this; we can’t change or influence this BUT there is some key items you can look to implement in your business to assist in getting your team culture buzzing.
- Lead by example; as an owner of the business it is up to you to set the tone for your team culture. If leaders are acting inappropriately this can start to normalise bad behaviour and filter down.
- Vision; A strong sense of vision is key to giving the team direction and can provide a platform for helping everyone move forward in times of change or challenging situations. Everyone should know where the business is heading and what their role is to play in those goals, essential working from the same page, cohesively together fostering strong team synergy.
- Define core values for your team; to generate the best results from this exercise it is best to have everyone in the business participate in this activity so you have buy in from all. It’s a lot of fun, but also creates vulnerability and trust amongst participants.
- Provide Feedback; this is key to the on-going improvement of your team. It needs to be constructive and proactive in nature – don’t over complicate this process; it is more often than not that an informal delivery of feedback will have more of an impact on the individual. Try to avoid communicating feedback via email, yes we are all time poor but using this avenue of communication can sometimes be misinterpreted.
- Promote a culture of learning; as human beings we need to be continuously learning to be stimulated. If you encourage your employees to learn new things and support them in their evolution the return on investment will not disappoint.
- Put yourself in their shoes – Undergo an exercise whereby you place yourself in their shoes, really consider what their life is like at work, and what they go home to when they leave. You may see that they'd appreciate some flexibility in terms of looking after the kids, or they may have a lot of things distracting from their important responsibilities and are craving a distraction-free ‘work from home’ day to get back on track.
"The workplace changes all the time and never so much as in the last 10 or so years, with the advancements of technology. Our minds have to change, and I think other things are starting to take priority like health, wellbeing and flexible workplaces.” - Lisa Messenger
When you have a strong team culture, you (as the business owner) will start to notice that you are spending less of your time putting out fires and focusing on providing a great product or service to your customers.
Developing this area of your business will enable you to attract talent, and retain good people. Treat your team members like they matter and aren’t just a resource for the business and they will reward you.
A great team culture is great for business!
If you would like some advice and guidance on how to create your ideal team culture, get in touch with us. We’d be happy to drill down on the key concepts as broached above and help assist in implementing these and other strategies to ensure the optimisation of your teams performance.
Also, download your free 'HR Audit & Workplace Compliance Checklist', where you can work through important factors like awards, National employment Standards and HR Systems & Processes to ensure your business is fully compliant.