Have you had a good look at your team dynamics lately?
If you paid close attention, you’d see the patterns of communication and interaction and pick up on the trust levels in your teams.
You already know why trust and a culture of safety is so important to your team success.
But let’s talk a bit more about culture. We’ve looked at it pretty closely in these last few articles, but I need you to understand that ‘culture’ isn’t just the fad of the moment.
Culture is a living, breathing thing that binds you together. It’s great when it works but disastrous when it doesn’t. It tells everyone what to do and how to behave when they’re together.
It’s the kind of thing that isn’t written into an employee handbook.
So how do you communicate a team culture or create one?
Start at the beginning
Now, here is where I should talk about vision and values, and the organisation’s mission. But I won’t. I will say, though, that these are vital to your culture because they’re clear signposts for everyone inside or outside about what’s acceptable in your organisation.
But no mission statement or set of values is worth the paper it’s written on if it isn’t acted on.
For example, if open communication is one of the values, you need to keep the team informed about what’s happening. It means you need to tackle rumours when they arise and deal with them – out in the open.
Live up to the values. You team will follow on.
But what about the people?
This is a question I hear quite often. Unfortunately, it’s not often we have a say in the recruiting process and culture can be damaged by just one person who doesn’t fit.
One unhappy person can bring the whole team down and damage your productivity and team dynamic. It’s bad for you for the team and for the person who doesn’t fit in.
This is one of those things no leader likes to do, but if you can’t find a way to help the person adapt to the culture, you need to help them find a better job fit elsewhere
Goals and projects
We become a team when we work together to achieve something. Just putting a group of people together won’t make a team. We need something that unites us. That’s where goals are so important. But don’t just set goals, get together and check your progress. Work on it together. Watch the ideas start to form and the collaboration build.
And when you’ve met that goal…
Social connection and shared celebrations are an important part of cementing a team culture. The most cohesive teams I’ve ever seen are those that do non-work things together. Have a drink after work or go out to lunch together. It changes the way people see each other and adds a whole new dimension to them.
It’s a lot easier to build a strong culture when we know more about the people we’re working with.
And I’m sure I don’t need to say this, but…
Be yourself. Be honest. You’re what holds the culture together, so you’ve got to be the real deal.
So, what do you think about culture now? How effective is the culture in your team or organisation?
And remember, if you’re struggling with the culture around you, I can help you find a solution. Give me a call on 0405 322 005 and let’s look at some options.