Why Creating Team Culture is the Key to Company Success
People come first. It’s a mantra that many companies lead by, and for very good reason. Even with technology prowess, top leadership and unlimited resources, what ultimately matters most to a company’s success are its people. Beyond employing the brightest minds in the business, and finding what seems to be every right “cultural fit”, ensuring that employees are happy, motivated, and feel a sense of belonging is the real key to empowering them to perform to their best abilities. That’s where culture comes in. Having a vision, mission and defined company values is, of course, part of establishing company culture. But how do you get, and keep employees engaged?
As a manager or leader trying to achieve KPIs, it’s important to ensure that your team stays productive and on task. Now, that’s certainly not to say that you should stand behind their desks all day, or constantly monitor their schedules. Rather, establishing a strong team-oriented environment will make your employees want to be there, and want to be as productive as possible. Creating a culture amongst your team members plays a factor in how happy and creative they are at work – not to mention, it also plays a role in how much time and value they’ll invest in the company.
Luckily, there are several ways to build a positive and engaged culture within your team. Check out these 3 ways that provide a good starting point for making your office environment collaborative, open and productive:
- Establish goals together.
If you aren’t transparent with your team about what your goals are, they’re likely to fall off the bandwagon fast. Or maybe your team is aware of your goals, but they may seem unrealistic or unattainable. If this is the case, there’s a good chance your employees might not invest adequate time and effort into accomplishing team and company goals.
Whether it’s a monthly meeting, or quarterly “town hall”, or even a team lunch outing, the first important step is to bring everyone together to establish a set of common goals and initiatives. Listen to what your individual team members’ goals are, and determine how they may naturally fit into the company’s bigger picture for growth or success. Answer your team’s questions as openly as you can, in order to ensure everyone is brought up to speed and on the same page about expectations. If there’s an honest effort made to integrate employee goals into the goals of the company, chances are it will fuel their motivation to accomplish them quickly. Especially for newer employees, getting a sense of how their role fits into the puzzle will provide them both a sense of belonging and purpose.
- Create fun work spaces.
While we don’t all have the budget to provide nap pods or treadmill desks, there are ways to build a physical office environment that makes people excited to come to work. Company branding around the office is important, as well as establishing a physical place for the vision, mission and values –whether that be on a poster, a wall decal, or the kitchen chalkboard. Showcasing them reminds employees why they’re there in the first place – hopefully for very good reasons!
It’s also equally important to leave ample room for creativity and individuality in the office. Let your team decorate their cubicles or work spaces in their own personal styles, especially because this space is where they’ll spend most of their time. It also might benefit your team to come up with fun decorating challenges around the holidays – a great activity to get more creative and collaborative juices flowing.
Finally, work should be a place where employees have the opportunity to “unplug” from their busy, sometimes demanding schedules. While you want everyone to work hard, there should also be an element of relaxation associated with the office environment, ensuring a balance between healthy productivity and some time to disconnect and recharge.
- Plan team outings.
A key step in creating a unified team in the office is to also encourage activities outside the office. Try to make time in everyone’s busy schedules for a weekly or monthly lunch outing. And what’s most important here is to leave work at the office! Employees need time to engage and get to know each other in a low stress, non-working environment. It often helps employees to feel more comfortable with each other, which promotes further communication and team collaboration towards common goals. You might also consider planning events that occur after work hours to get your teams’ friends and families involved.
As a leader, bringing your team together by creating your own unique culture could make all the difference between productivity and success, and unhappy employees and failure. What it comes down to is this: ensure employee happiness, and you’ve empowered them with the tools to return the favor!