How to rapidly improve your company culture

Gary Bartley
Gary Bartley
September 12th 2019 - 4 Minute Read

You know you’ve got something special when you’re part of a good team. You’re infinitely more productive, you enjoy coming to work and you count your co-workers as friends because you can trust and rely on them. That’s not just nice for the individual, it’s great news from a business perspective. A united team offers limitless potential.

The perfect team has a complementary blend of skills and experience that will help your business prosper because they collaborate toward the same goal. Of course, not everyone is suited to such a dynamic. Different personalities clash and some people’s voices get lost in the crowd. Strained interactions, distractions and altercations can really put a damper on engagement and productivity. It’s difficult to manufacture a good team dynamic so we’ve rounded up 5 things you can do to improve teamwork in your business.

Here’s how you can turn a group of individuals into a cohesive dream team;

 

Communicate shared goals to the team

Salesforce’s research revealed 96% of execs blame a lack of collaboration and ineffective communication for workplace failures. And this is true of any team whether it’s on the sports field or in the office. The Clear Company found only 14% of companies have workers who understand their company strategy, goals and direction.

Good communication should operate at all levels but the key goals and objectives need to filter down from the top. Your people should be clear about what is expected of them and why. Start with your company’s mission and values. Knowing these will help them understand where they fit into the business and how they can contribute to its success.

Ways to improve communication;

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Hold employees accountable

One of the most contentious issues within a team is workload. If everyone knows their role and responsibilities then there are no excuses. This is the best way to avoid issues and frustrations that arise when work is distributed. Just one employee not pulling their weight drains productivity and damages engagement.

Picking up the slack of lacklustre colleagues only breeds resentment. This can be a real challenge for managers, of which the Harvard Business Review found 46% of businesses were rated poor at ‘holding people accountable’. Managing people is difficult because there are so many variables. This is why ongoing professional development for employees at all levels is so important.

Ways to improve accountability;

  • Measure performance
  • Don’t let accountability lapses go unnoticed
  • Ensure people managers have the right skills 

 

Offer equal opportunities for professional development

“An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest,” said Benjamin Franklin. And he wasn’t wrong. Businesses who invest in employee training experience 24% higher profits than those who don’t. It also has an overwhelmingly positive effect on employee retention, with 7/10 employees saying that training and development opportunities influenced their decision to stay with their business.

Giving employees the chance to learn and grow is personally beneficial to them, but also equips them with the skills they need to do their job better and support the rest of the team.

How to improve professional development;

  • Ask employees what they need to do their job better
  • Offer employees relevant training, eLearning and access to industry qualifications
  • Coaching, mentoring and shadowing of senior staff
  • Secondment opportunities

 

Build relationships outside of the work environment

Having good relationships with the people you work with builds trust, a vital component of effective teamwork. Working under the pressure of looming deadlines and increasing workloads doesn’t allow those relationships to flourish in a way that they could in a less pressured environment.

Whether it’s a team building residential, an extended lunch or a team night out, allow your team the opportunity to get to know each other. After all, full-time employees spend more time with their colleagues than they do with their families, it’s better for everyone if they get along!

Out of work activities to get your team talking;

  • Quiz nights
  • Treasure hunts
  • Team building weekends

 

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Recognise and reward positive behaviour throughout the team

There’s nothing more unifying than sharing a common goal and achieving it, especially when there’s a reward at the end of the journey. Recognition and reward can play an important role in motivating the team. 69% of employees would work harder if they felt their efforts were better appreciated.

Recognition doesn’t have to be restricted to management. Studies show that peer-to-peer recognition is 35% more likely to have a positive impact on financial results. So why not encourage the team to give deserving individuals a pat on the back or a shout out on social media? 

Ways to reward and recognise employees;

  • Monetary rewards such as bonus, gift or vouchers
  • Promotion
  • A team meal or night out
  • A shout out in your newsletter
  • A simple ‘thank you’ from senior management

 

The importance of your company culture

The value of a positive team dynamic should not be underestimated. 67% of employees believe colleagues can encourage and help them do their jobs better. By creating a positive company culture your employees can learn from one another for the betterment of the business.

How can you make your company culture more positive? By giving your employees a voice.

Start asking your team ‘How do you feel?’ to discover how happy your employees are. Then use their feedback to make improvements around the workplace, and don’t forget to respond to their comments too.

By following these simple steps your company culture will thrive.

 

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Gary Bartley

Gary is on a mission to help businesses understand the role that customer and employee happiness plays in their success.

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