15 Considerations When Manufacturing A Positive Team Culture
Having a positive team culture is the first step to achieving greater things as a team. So, here’s a list of 15 things that you should keep track of while building a team or working with a team.
I have had the opportunity to work on teams, build teams from scratch as a startup CEO, and most recently contributing to a senior team on manufacturing an amazing corporate culture over the last ten years. I also have worked with organizations all over the world supporting their attempts to transform legacy cultures into new dynamic, transparent, digitally-enabled cultures.
Positive team culture is not only about motivating teammates constantly but giving the team the time and environment that will help them to bring out the best in themselves.
All right, here are my 15 considerations for manufacturing a positive team culture. I would love to hear from you!
Manufacture A Culture Of Success
While working as a team, you work towards the same goal. That’s why it is important to educate your team to help them understand what success means to them while working as a contributor on your team. Discuss and understand the metrics that would define the term “success” for your team on a professional and personal level. If you EXPECT SUCCESS as a cultural element of your business it is amazing what happens, you become more successful.
After deciding upon the success level metrics, work on the goals that you and your team have to achieve at any given period. Anytime I have worked with an organization that was underachieving, I have been able to establish in a very short period of time the lack of a goal-setting process.
As human beings, we have varied values and belief systems. So, discussing the kind of values that your teammates hold will avoid any unnecessary friction within the team. Understanding your team member's values helps you support them.
After understanding what your teammates stand for, respecting them for the person they are is the most important step you can take towards building a positive team culture. Also, if people are not respected in a team, they’ll know that they can’t grow! A lack of respect and empathy will rip your team apart.
Every team member has to take accountability for their actions that build the culture of the team as much as the work they do. Being responsible as a good human being is not only a team leader's role but also every team member's non-negotiable act. As the old saying goes “there is no I in team!”
Any goal is achievable only by showing the commitment it deserves. Having a goal, putting together an action plan becomes a road that leads nowhere without showing your commitment to support the goal.
One way to support and show commitment is a regular cadence to check in on progress towards milestones. We recently have been working on a strategic initiative which in the past had been languishing in the background. I have been delighted to see what can happen when you set clear goals, get everyone to agree on the path forward, and then get to work.
I encourage you to consider a methodology I like to call “constant pressure” it consists of regular touchpoints with all stakeholders in a project. Weekly, Monthly, Quarterly you must decide the pressure required to accomplish the goal. This ensures all teams are clear on the goals, timelines, and accountability cadence. With this “constant pressure” you will achieve more of your goals than ever.
Offer continuous support
Building a positive team culture is not a project that ends in a month or two but a prolonging process. That's why showing continuous commitment and dedication is the way out to build a strong team in the long run. Don’t just check in on the culture Weekly, Monthly, Quarterly, but one tactic I like to deploy is random check-ins almost like skip level reviews to ensure various leaders are promoting the cultural values of the organization. These skip-level reviews are also excellent ways to identify up-and-coming talent for future leadership roles.
"That's really good work" goes a long way. Because people love to be around people who make them feel heard and appreciated. So, as a team leader or coach, make a little effort to appreciate people. One of our jobs as a leader is to support and grow our team's confidence as much as it is to ensure compliance with the process.
Winning your teammates' trust is as important as everything else you do. You can earn their trust by showing your support. So, to support them, stand by your teammates when they take a big step; Give them the reassurance they need to take a bigger step; Don’t blame them for the mistakes entirely.
Be there for your team.
Working together or showing your support does not necessarily mean getting into every conversation and managing the small details. But it does mean we should check-in and see if they need anything. Support your teams and encourage working together.
One way a leader can be better is by using WE and TEAM instead of I.
Another way to foster teamwork is to be careful of statements like “I have 25 people that report to me” if you want a dictatorship for your business model do this and be a dinosaur. If you want a collaborative culture of working together, be a modern servant leader.
One of the best books I have read on team culture is “The five dysfunctions of a team” by Patrick Lencioni
Have Conversations Outside Work
Everyone has a life outside work. Talk about that as well. When your teammate plays in the baseball championship, go out as a team to show your support. It’s the little things that you do outside work that count largely.
I recently met a new colleague of mine Roy Pereria, GM of Vendasta’s SMB Division and former CEO of Calendar Hero. In the Calendar Hero culture, they have a ritual where once a week they have a team meeting to discuss anything BUT work. What did the team do last week that was interesting? Work is not allowed as a topic. This ritual ensures the team knows a little about what makes everyone tick outside of work. Another reason I love this, it helps remote teams have a bit of “water cooler” when we aren’t able to be face to face.
Lead By Example
Don’t expect results from your team that you can’t do yourself. I always have this echoing in my mind: The first boot in the field is mine. You above “we as a leader” must embody the core values and principles we want in our companies. Remember even a single sales representative is running their own “small business” you can set your own Core Values and Guiding Principles for even a team of ONE. This will become your BRAND as a sales professional.
Communicate your expectations
As a team lead, you ought to have expectations from your teammates. So, communicate that directly to them and your teammates and make them aware of what the team is working towards. I also have found the root of many of my frustrations with a team has a root cause of “me” not communicating and setting proper expectations. Look in the mirror, many times the leader is the cause of the team not meeting expectations due to unclear communication.
Remember: If you don’t know what you expect from your teammates, nothing will be enough for you!
As cliche as it sounds, Rome was not built in a day. So, be patient and listen to your teammates and trust the process. Build a framework, adapt it, and inspect what you expect.
Communicate and then Communicate again and again and again
Stress on a point until it’s met! Communicate over and over again to make your point clear and keep your team aware of everything you’re up to! However, don’t worry about coming across as an annoying lead because you can never over-communicate an important topic. When you are absolutely sick of talking about a topic is when the audience is “just starting to get it.” I learned this in the media business, we communicated with audiences all the time, and the frequency of the delivery of the message was key.
I get asked all the time how to build Positive team cultures. It is important to note, they don’t just happen. You manufacture positive team cultures, they take work, long days, and longer nights developing the framework for a culture your customers can feel. Remember the reason you need a great culture is for your most precious resource your team members, and your customers can feel it. I can’t tell you how many times in the past years I have watched us win deals and grow more business because our clients LOVE our culture. The team exudes what you manufacture.
If you liked these tips on creating a positive work culture, then you’d also love content that I share with my amazing network! Visit www.conquerlocal.com/podcast to subscribe to the award-winning Conquer Local Podcast today. Be sure not to miss The Triumphant newsletter at least weekly on Linkedin.
As the holidays approach I wish you and your family and friends much happiness in the year to come.
I look forward to speaking to you in the new year
I will see you when I see you,