Creating strong teams that are focused on collaboration is a major key element for success. A team that takes ownership of their contribution and how they work together they will have a strong shared vision and will continuously search for ways to improve.
Most of the time when people come into leadership roles, the team has already been created. This means you must adapt your preconceived ideas to fit the preferences and abilities of the existing team.
Other times, leaders are given the opportunity to create their own team. This can happen for many reasons, whether you are finding people in different departments, creating an entirely new department or creating a team to start with overall.
Whatever situation you find yourself in, this article will explain the nuts and bolts of how great team culture is built and strategies for implementing them in the workplace or out in the field. Below are some ways you can begin building great team culture today.
UNDERSTANDING WHAT YOUR TEAM CULTURE IS
A very important part of developing a strong team is having a good group of individuals who are focused on a collective effort greater than themselves. A compelling purpose is a key element in building a strong team.
As humans we cannot simply be forced to take part in a team; they need a desire to belong and contribute. So, one of the most import jobs of any leader is to clearly articulate a vision and how the team will achieve it. The members of the team need to truly understand how their contribution fits into the bigger picture.
Reinforcing the bigger vision of the team is something that must be continually reinforced. It cannot be stated once and then forgotten; leaders will need to find ways to infuse this sense of purpose on an ongoing basis for the continued growth and productivity of the team.
Setting up a regular meeting that takes place weekly will make a big difference in great team culture. Regular meetings will build rapport, encourage productivity, and bring the importance of improving the team to the forefront.
When setting up these meetings you will want to schedule them out in advance and everyone should be familiar with the agenda before the meeting begins. Make sure to have clearly defined roles for meetings; for example, one person can lead the meeting, one can act as a timekeeper, and one can take notes on the discussion for follow up emails.
These meetings should be focused on discussing problems and coming up with solutions; they should also be an opportunity to build relationships. Make sure to be careful not to lose sight of the primary objective of the meeting; don’t allow the discussion to be derailed by other interests or topics that are not on the agenda or relative to the discussion.
GET TO KNOW YOUR TEAM
It’s important to take the time to get to know the people on your team. It may seem simple, but getting to know your team members will strengthen the team and build a great culture.
This involves doing things like celebrating birthdays, promotions, and holidays with your team. Encourage camaraderie by having occasional potlucks and eating lunch together. Little things like this can make a major impact on the teams culture.
By creating relationships and getting to know your team, you will begin to understand their strengths, weaknesses, and skills yet to be developed. A good leader understands how to draw out the talent around them. So, take the time to learn how to motivate your team to go beyond what is expected of them.
CREATE LEADERS NOT JUST EMPLOYEES
A great team culture is one that emphasizes mentorship over management. Creating leadership will play an important role in establishing the culture of the team.
You must communicate clearly with team members so everyone is on the same page. Develop schedules that are designed to offer flexibility so everyone can do their work in the way that is most effective for them, but not so flexible that they become unmanageable.
Teach your team how to give constructive feedback that encourages productivity rather than causing shame or embarrassment. Create and participate in improvement efforts alongside your team members.
The best way you can teach leadership is through being an example, so take care to teach your team members clearly and patiently and remember that everyone has something to offer.
PROVIDE CONSTRUCTIVE FEEDBACK
Constructive feedback is seriously one of the best ways to help your team continue to improve. Don’t over-complicate this process; feedback is often more impactful when it is informal and a natural part of an ongoing dialogue.
No two people are the same and the method for delivering feedback should not be the same for every person either. This is another reason why it’s important to develop relationships with your team members; when the people on your team trust you, they will take your suggestions to heart because they know you have their best interests in mind.
Instead of waiting until a problem occurs the then giving feedback, develop a habit of regularly letting your team members know how they are doing and what areas they could improve. Allow this communication to be a two-way street; take the time to listen as well.
CREATE A CULTURE OF LEARNING
When promoting a culture of learning where every person is encouraged to continue expanding their skill sets things can get exciting for the team. This can be done by providing access to ongoing training and personal development. The expansion of online learning has made this so much easier as people can learn on their own time when it best suits them. Offer access to online courses and create opportunities for team members to take on new responsibilities.
When everyone has access to the tools they need to be successful and move forward in their careers, they will be more engaged and will create a stronger work environment. A great team culture is best for business.
Developing a great team culture will enable success and attract more talent. It is important to remember that at the heart of every great team are people, so it is necessary to understand the dynamics of how they work.
Remember, treat your team members like they matter and are not simply resources for the company to use. Find ways to foster their self-esteem, ambition, independence, and desire for growth. This will lead to a better understanding of decisions, increased participation in meetings, thoughtful contribution is decision making, and a stronger sense of community.