If you’ve got a team, it’s likely that in the next 6+ months you’d like to improve your team culture. While it may seem like an intangible goal at first, there are very real steps you can take to improve your team culture and enhance the employee experience across your organisation.
A strong team culture is linked to greater output, longevity within an organisation and competitiveness in the market. All in all, it’s a goal worth striving for, so we want to help you make it happen.
Today we’re going to take a look at the practical steps you as a leader can take to improve your team culture. If that’s something you’re aiming for, keep on reading. Better yet, grab a notepad and pen and get to taking notes. This one’s a good’un.
How to improve your team culture in seven steps:
1. Reflect on your last 12 months
How has the last 12 months challenged, strengthened and changed your team? By taking the time to reflect on the past and consider what you’ve learned along the way, you’ll be much better placed to achieve your goals in the future.
There also may have been things that happened that are weighing on the minds of your team members, impacting their motivation levels and generally hindering their ability to focus on the present. Take the time for reflection in order to improve your team culture.
2. Identify your stories
There will be stories that come to the front when reflecting on the past. Some of these stories are helpful, and others are not so helpful. Take a look at our team activities blog post for instructions on how to categorise and create a library of team stories to reference into the future.
3. Set your team goals
Every great team needs worthy goals to chase and maintain motivation levels. Milestones along the way with rewards to uncover along the journey only add to the excitement. Strengthen your team culture by committing to a set of 5-8 team goals throughout the year.
4. Clarify your team identity
Looking towards the future and the goals you want to achieve, consider what you’ll need to change in order to get to that far off horizon. It may mean changing the way you approach collaboration, communication or team gatherings. You may need to commit to a new set of behaviours to support your strategies for success. Get clear, and put your Team Identity Charter somewhere visible.
5. Commit to support strategies
Teams aren’t made up of an individual’s capacity to complete work. Nope, that’s the complete opposite of a team dynamic, and it’s something to keep in mind in this next section. In order to create a great team culture you’re going to need to be there for your teammates. It’s called support, and it’s something we don’t often talk about. If you want to improve your team culture you need to commit to key strategies for supporting your teammates in both the good and bad times.
6. Create space for regular connection
Teams that don’t take time out for connection, fun and friendly gatherings are teams that fall apart. In order to maintain a great team culture throughout the year you’re going to need to carve out time for quality connection. It could be a quarterly team gathering or a weekly team Zoom call. However you like to slice and dice it, that’s what team connection is all about.
7. Encourage recovery breaks
In order for your team to have a great team culture of high performance you need to incorporate regular recovery breaks throughout the workday. It’s something we often forget about when talking about performance, but it is true that taking the time out to relax and recover between work sprints ultimately leads to more sustainable success.