Culture can be created by choice. So start by deciding what culture you want to create in your workplace. Get this right and you can have the best team, increased staff retention and happier customers. This can lead to organisational growth.
So, the question we need to ask is “how do we create the right culture?” While you might have some initial ideas, culture-building is a team effort, and should be treated as a team effort.
So where do we start?
Here are our top 3 starting points for developing your team culture.
1. Start with “why” in everything you do
As Simon Sinek explains in his book “Start With Why” – it’s not enough these days to only know what you do and how you do it. People are motivated by why you do it. Values form the basis for understanding the core business beliefs and passion. So, use this as a starting point for getting to your why.
With your team collaboratively create a why statement. Ask them: What are our values and what are we passionate about? Why does the business exist? Why is our team important to the business? Why do you enjoy working in the team?
Having a clear why statement provides an intrinsic call to action and provides purpose to the organisation’s services. It’s human nature to want to feel part of something bigger with a sense of community. The why statement acts as an anchor, stabilising a team to focus on a greater commitment.
2. Give employees time to recharge and de-stress
As culture is created by choice, be aware of the choices you’re making and how they influence your team. If you have a habit of working long hours, never taking a lunch break and operating under stressful conditions this will flow on to the team.
Working long hours and rarely taking breaks may boost results in the short-term but can be damaging in the long-term. Stress in teams creates a negative environment leading to employees growing sick, tired, and unmotivated.
Establish ways to create intrinsic incentives and other creative solutions to let employees recharge and renew their creativity. For example, ensure each staff member steps away from their desk to take a lunch break. Or hold meditation sessions in the boardroom on a Friday. It’s even more common now for organisations to allow employees to work from home or flex their hours outside of the 9 to 5. By giving employees more flexibility and an environment to recharge you’ll likely find better work results with the team achieving more. Not only does it help the success of the organisation, but it is also the organisation’s responsibility to look after its employees!
3. Give everyone the opportunity to work directly with customers.
To truly develop a great team culture means understanding the impact each position has on the customer – the reason your business exists! This needs to be experienced to be understood. Provide the opportunity for team members to work on the front line for a day or two. Getting direct lived experience with customers provides insight as to how the team member’s work impacts customer service levels.
Learning how to better serve your customers connects directly with accountability in teams. It increases collective knowledge and allows the opportunity to address the biggest pain points. When everyone works together to provide better service it leads to a positive team culture of responsibility, to be the best they can be.
Team culture is something to nurture, internally and externally. Think through all efforts to influence and grow your team culture. If the strategy considers both the happiness of your employees and your customers, then you are on the right track.
We at ATI-Mirage can help. Join us for our next workshops:
Ignite! Leadership Program for Middle Managers
Managing People and Performance