Vincent Low, Director & General Manager of Business Imaging Solutions, writes about establishing positive team culture in a three-part series. In his previous article, he discussed the importance of building team culture in an organization. As a follow up to that, this piece will list the few key aspects required for your team to be united and work collaboratively with the company.
I believe that few will disagree with the positive impact of a healthy team or organisation culture. Leaders and their organisations are likely to benefit from having Clarity and Purpose, Building Team Spirit and Separating the “Believers” and the “Non-Believers”, as per my previous article on the value of building team culture in the company.
Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos, once said, “Your personal core values define who you are, and a company’s core values ultimately define the company’s character and brand. For individuals, character is destiny. For organisations, culture is destiny.”
If culture defines success, what secret ingredients are needed to aid the growth of an organisation and its respective teams? Is this responsibility exclusive to the role of leaders? Who else plays a part in the whole company ecosystem? Are there leading or lagging indicators to track progress?
In this article, I will answer these questions by sharing some of the success factors needed to build positive team culture.
When leaders of an organisation do not walk the talk, you can be sure that will ruin a company’s positive team culture. It gives everyone in the team excuses to discredit and walk away from the team’s goals and values.
Leaders need to be examples and live out the organisation’s core values in order to encourage their team members to follow suit. The responsibility of culture creation, maintenance, and its growth can never be delegated. Leaders must eat, sleep and breathe the very culture they wish to create! In turn, this will earn them the acceptance and trust from the rest of the team. If my leaders are doing it, so can I.
Having simple core values that are easy to understand can further aid the success of growing team culture. There will not likely be different interpretations or confusion among the team members.
My team’s core values are centered on only three words: Believe! Excel! Celebrate!
I lead an energetic and young team of sales and marketing professionals and it’s paramount that I keep the work atmosphere simple and exciting. Of course, the three words need to be expanded and explained to all to ensure common understanding.
Remember that cultivating team culture is a long-term process with checkpoints in between and possibly no final destination.
During the early days of growing a team culture, repetition and constant enforcing of common values can make the leaders sound like a broken record at times. But leaders should persevere, keeping the faith that through words and actions, the core values become ingrained in the everyday lives of the team members. With persistence, the team will grow into a happy and cohesive unit.
There is no better way to win over more “believers” than to have examples of success through embracing core values.
I celebrate the core values of Believe! Excel! Celebrate! during every monthly meeting with my team. Believe! is a segment where we share on the success stories of deals won despite adversities, amplifying the key value that nothing is impossible. In the Excel! segment, we applaud those who have exceeded their targets for that month. Finally, we also give out awards and incentives in the Celebrate! portion.
As Richard Branson of Virgin Group puts it, “There is no magic formula for great company culture. The key is just to treat your staff how you would like to be treated.” Celebrating success will only build team spirit and pride that further enhances the quality of work the team does.
It is often a lonely and winding road for leaders to build a positive team culture in the workplace. Continue to praise and encourage the “believers” and be brave enough not to tolerate undesirable behaviour from anyone at any level. The rewards and satisfaction of a united and happy team are priceless!
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