Are you guilty of overlooking the importance of team culture?
With the ability to make your business thrive or simply survive, the type of work environment you provide affects your employees, your customers, and your bottom line.
So, why is workplace culture so important, and how can you improve your company culture quickly and effectively?
Keep reading to find out more!
What is team culture?
Team culture, often referred to as company culture, refers to a team’s values, beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors. In a workplace, it’s how employees work together to achieve a common goal.
A positive company culture can:
- Improve employee retention
- Boost morale in the workplace
- Drive customer engagement
- Build trust amongst employees
- Improve relationships between management and staff
- Increase productivity
- Boost sales
- Improve profitability
However, a bad company culture can have a severely detrimental effect on your employees and your customers.
What makes a good team culture?
Although each workplace is different, there are certain characteristics of a positive company culture. These include a workplace that:
- Makes employees feel supported
- Encourages collaboration
- Supports personal growth
- Fosters an environment of trust
On the other hand, a toxic company culture typically starts at the top and trickles down to affect the entire team. For example, a manager who acts inappropriately or who doesn’t celebrate the successes of their staff will cause the whole workforce to suffer.
Bad team culture can also come about due to biased hiring. For example, if one gender dominates your workforce or people from only one ethnic background do, this can have a seriously detrimental effect on workplace culture.
6 Steps to improving team culture
The good news is that it is never too late to start improving your company culture. Follow these tried and tested techniques, and you’ll see a significant improvement in nearly all aspects of your business.
Step 1: Focus on your employee relationship
If you want to see a change across your entire business, you need to start with the foundations of your work environment, namely the relationship between HR, management and your employees.
When it comes to having a good company culture, your managers must lead by example. They need to work hard to keep the lines of communication open between themselves and their team so that all your workforce feel listened to and supported.
It’s not enough to just organize annual employee reviews. You need to actively facilitate ongoing and open relationships to create a strong and positive workplace culture.
Step 2: Provide mentoring
Leaders who are mentors are much more effective than those who create a barrier between themselves and their employees. In fact, when a manager acts as a mentor, employees feel more motivated, more connected, and more likely to have a favorable perception of the person in question.
Becoming a mentor, rather than just a boss, can help you to get to know your employees on a more personal level, which is instrumental in creating a good working environment. You can learn more about what it is like to work in your business and how day-to-day life goes. This could lead you to make some positive changes.
Step 3: Invest in CRM software
CRM, candidate relationship management software, is a highly useful tool that can help you to nurture relationships with potential candidates and provide a more streamlined hiring process.
This innovative technology can help you to showcase your positive company culture to prospective employees and attract more like-minded applicants to your job vacancies.
If you struggle to attract the top talent in your industry and are worried that this is affecting your team’s morale, CRM software is just what you need to give you the edge over your competitors.
Step 4: Encourage employee recognition
Everyone likes to feel appreciated, which is especially true when they have gone above and beyond for their employer. However, many businesses fail to show their appreciation for their employees and even more fail to recognize their successes.
There are many ways that you can recognize your employees’ hard work, and it doesn’t have to involve a monetary reward.
The simplest and arguably most effective technique is to praise someone publicly. Easy to do and completely free, you will be surprised at how effective this can be in boosting employee morale. You should find that employees work harder for you.
If you have remote workers, make sure that you do not forget about them when it comes to praise and appreciation. Just because they aren’t in the office or workplace doesn’t mean they don’t deserve to have their efforts recognized.
Step 5: Be transparent
During the COVID-19 pandemic, when many people’s jobs were on the line, studies showed that employees wanted complete honesty from their employers, even if the news was not good.
This trend for transparency has continued in the workplace. Now employees want their employers to actively communicate with them about all aspects of the business.
In terms of company culture, workplaces that offer transparency have more engaged and happy employees. In contrast, ones that hold back tend to have a higher staff turnover and less motivated workers.
When it comes to transparency, it’s important to be open about salaries. Ensure that everyone feels valued and appropriately paid for their contributions. If you don’t and staff leave, your reputation could be affected.
Step 6: Don’t micro-manage
Leaders who have to know what their employees are doing every second of the day can be hugely damaging to their team. In fact, autonomy is one of the most effective strategies for fostering a positive working environment as it shows that you trust your employees and their abilities.
Changing your organizational culture so that your employees can work more independently may be difficult at first, but you’ll soon start to see the benefits. Rather than setting specific goals or tasks for your team, set out the tone and expectations and let them find their own way.
You may be surprised at just how much better they work when left to their own devices.