Like the idea of a top-class company that keeps customers coming back for more and employees grinning from ear to ear? Yes, such a thing exists and it can be achieved- even without a four year Business Management degree. It’s all about creating the right team culture, but “what is team culture?”, we hear you cry. Well, today, we're here to dissect exactly what team culture means and offer some of the best suggestions for cultivating it in your workplace.
What is team culture?
Team culture is the glue that holds a group of individuals together towards achieving common goals. It's the personality of a team that reflects their values, norms, and behavior. It's like a well-oiled machine; every part matters, and everyone has a role to play. Together, the team celebrates successes, acknowledges failures, and ultimately learns from both.
What are the benefits from building positive team culture for your business?
From leadership style to communication patterns, every factor contributes to shaping a team's culture. The importance of a strong team culture cannot be overstated and when everyone is on the same page, goals are met with ease. Here are some benefits a positive team culture can bring to your business:
- Increased employee morale and engagement
A thriving working culture allows team members to feel supported, motivated and valued, which in turn leads to greater levels of productivity and job satisfaction.
- Greater innovation and creativity
A great atmosphere promotes a collaborative environment where team members feel free to share ideas and thoughts, leading to greater innovation and creativity.
- Reduced employee turnover
If your team is excited to wake up and go to the office every morning, expect to see a high employee satisfaction rates on your next survey. This, in, turn lowers employee turnover rates as they have no reason to want to leave
- Improved teamwork and performance.
Having every team member on the same page fosters a sense of unity and shared goals, which leads to improved teamwork and overall performance.
- Enhanced customer satisfaction
A positive team culture encourages employees to provide high-quality customer service, leading to higher levels of customer satisfaction and retention.
- Improved reputation and brand image
A great atmosphere attracts talented employees and promotes a positive brand image, which can attract customers and business partners.
On the flip side, a negative culture can lead to distrust, disengagement, and even turnover. Leaders must prioritize creating a strong team culture aligned with the organization's values to achieve the best results.
But it’s important to remember that team culture goes beyond fun perks and snacks and below we take a closer look at how you can achieve a culture that will rival the very best in the business.
1. Clearly define the team's values and goals, and communicate them regularly to team members
As a boss, having a well-defined set of values and goals for your team is great, but if you're not actively working to establish a positive team culture, those strategies won't carry you very far.
One way to build a strong team culture is by clearly defining and regularly communicating your team's values and goals. This gives everyone on the team a shared understanding of what's important and what you're working towards. It also helps to create a sense of belonging and purpose among your team members, which is key for a positive work environment.
When your team's values and goals are communicated clearly and regularly, it helps to create a sense of accountability too. Everyone knows what they're working towards, and everyone is aware of the standards that are expected of them. This can help to build trust among team members, which is essential for a strong team culture.
Defining your team's values and goals is important, but it's only half the battle. To really make a difference, you need to communicate those values and goals regularly until they become a part of your team's DNA. This will help to build a positive team culture that will benefit everyone in the workplace.
2. Celebrate team goals and successes
So, you’ve followed the previous step by clearly defining your goals to your team. They have been working tirelessly for months on a project, and finally, it's done. The product launch was a roaring success, and the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. So, what do you do? Do you just move on to the next project? Of course not! You celebrate! You bask in the glory of a job well done and you do it with your team, because let's face it, they're the ones who made it happen.
Celebrating milestones and goals acknowledges the hard work and dedication that went into achieving them. It also builds team morale and creates a sense of camaraderie and unity. When team members feel valued and appreciated, they're more likely to go above and beyond in future projects. In fact, a recent study found that even the simplest of “thank you” cards were well received by employees and motivated them to continue working hard for the company in the future.
3. Provide developmental opportunities to foster team culture growth
Just in the same way a nutritious meal fuels our bodies, developmental opportunities fuel our brains. When everyone in the workplace has their brain fuelled, it's like a domino effect, but in a good way.
When employees have the chance to learn and grow together, they're more likely to form a close-knit bond as a team. These opportunities help employees identify their strengths and weaknesses, allowing them to support each other in areas where they may be lacking. This gives everyone a chance to excel and feel valued in their contributions to the team.
Some of these developmental opportunities could be in the way of training programs, mentorship opportunities, leadership development initiatives, job shadowing assignments, cross-functional projects- the list goes on and on. Just try and put yourself in the shoes of your employees. By now you should have learned enough about each member to know what makes them tick. If the employee who shows serious managerial potential is allowed to attend leadership development programs, you’re setting them, and the whole team, up for success.
4. Allowing feedback to be a normal part of the workplace helps to build team culture
Creating opportunities for team members to give and receive feedback is a game-changer for team culture. First and foremost, feedback allows team members to grow and improve. By providing feedback, team members can identify areas for improvement and work on them. This not only benefits the individual but also the team as a whole.
Feedback shows that the team is invested in each other's success. When team members take the time to provide feedback, it shows that they care about their colleagues and want to see them thrive. This creates a positive and supportive team culture where everyone feels valued and appreciated.
Creating opportunities for feedback is the secret sauce to a successful team culture. This can be done by regularly soliciting feedback, either through anonymous surveys or open communication channels, such as suggestion boxes, company town hall meetings, or one-on-one meetings with managers. It's important to actively listen to the feedback given and to take action on it whenever possible to show employees that their input is valued and can lead to positive change.
5. Emphasizing the importance of work/life balance
It's no secret that we spend a large chunk of our lives working, but it's equally important to have a healthy and fulfilling personal life. By emphasizing the importance of work-life balance, we create an environment that acknowledges the value of both our personal and professional lives.
When we encourage our team members to take time off to pursue personal interests, or even just to take a break away from work, it helps to reduce stress and burnout (ah, the dreaded burnout, the last thing any team needs).
This in turn creates happier and more productive employees and leads to a positive and supportive team culture where everyone's personal needs are respected. Watch the entire team as a whole benefit from it in no time.
By promoting a work-life balance culture guarantees that our team is inclusive and diverse. Every member has unique individual obligations and hobbies that require attention alongside work, and by instilling a culture that values these variations, we are establishing a team that is accepting and accommodating towards all.
6. Don’t overlook the importance of team-building activities
Team building activities, love them or hate them, they’re fantastic for building team culture. Why do you think we’re always taught team games from an early age? But just because you played Hangman with your school friends a few times, it doesn’t mean you’ve mastered the art (not yet anyway!). In fact, we as humans never stop learning, progressing and perfecting everything we’ve already achieved.
There’s always more we can do to improve, and below, are just the very reasons as to why you should consider encorporating team building activities as part of weekly office life:
- They promote collaboration and communication: Team-building games aren't just a fun way to pass the time - they're essential for creating a cohesive and communicative team. By encouraging collaboration, effective communication, and leveraging everyone's unique skills and perspectives, these games help lay the groundwork for a truly unstoppable team culture.
- They build trust: As with any good relationship, building trust is key - even in team games. By taking part in trust exercises, team members learn to rely on each other and develop a strong foundation of trust. This helps foster a collaborative environment where ideas are freely shared, leading to a robust team culture that's sure to tackle any challenge with ease.
- It increases motivation and productivity: Office games provide an opportunity for team members to take a break from work and connect with one another. This can increase motivation and productivity when they return to work, as they feel more connected and invested in the team's success.
- It identifies strengths and weaknesses: Team-building games provide an opportunity for team members to identify their individual strengths and weaknesses. This knowledge can be used to focus on team member development and ensure that everyone is contributing their best to the team.
If you’re struggling to break the creative block, make sure to check out our 50 best team-building games to give you the inspiration you need!
7. Strive to break the norms occasionally; consider off-site activities!
In today's fast-paced world of work, it's easy to get bogged down in the routine of the daily grind. But, breaking away from the normal office environment is essential for building a strong team culture that fosters creativity and collaboration. Going off-site allows for a change of scenery that can inspire new ideas and approaches to problem-solving. It's also a great way to ensure remote workers feel included and part of the team. Just ask Stephanie Lee from Buffer if you don’t agree!
Let’s take a closer look on how you and your team can benefit
- Building Trust: Taking a step back with the team creates a laid-back vibe that veers from the usual nine-to-five routine. This opens up opportunities for colleagues to forge stronger bonds, weaving a web of trust and spurring clear communication.
- Strengthening Relationships: Team retreats are the ultimate playground for fostering team unity and camaraderie. By engaging in activities that strengthen the bonds between team members, we pave the way for effective collaboration and cohesive teamwork that is hard to beat. With such a unified front, our common goals are much easier to achieve!
- Encouraging Collaboration: Team retreats are more than just a chance to escape the office for a change of scenery. They're an opportunity to foster collaboration and teamwork through group activities that challenge participants to put their heads together and use their individual strengths to achieve a common goal.
- Fostering a Positive Environment: Let's be real, work can be a bit of a grind. That's why team retreats are like a breath of fresh air, a chance to escape the monotony of the daily grind and kick back with your team. Why not take a break, bond with your team and allow them all to come back to work feeling energized and ready to tackle the world?
- Defining Shared Goals and Values: Retreats give team members a chance to bond over common goals and values. Jean from HR may have never have spoken to Jenny from Marketing due to their paths not passing on a work based level. Now, they have the chance to learn about each other and once they bring this level of understanding back to the office environment, you’d be surprised how well an internal issue is handled.
Perhaps you’re reading this and thinking it’s all very well and good, but Surf Office, I’m not great in the creativity department! Fear not, make sure to check out 20 company offsite ideas your team will love.
How Surf Office can help you with your next off-site idea
We recognize the significance of a dedicated and inspired team at Surf Office. We provide an optimal setting for teams to collaborate, build relationships, and unwind. Our venues are situated in picturesque destinations worldwide, offering a distinct blend of work and recreation in a peaceful atmosphere that can enhance your team's productivity and innovation.
Why let this chance slip away? Get in touch with us now to explore our facilities and experience how we can elevate your team to greater heights.