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IMPROVE COMPANY CULTURE

Updated: Feb 5, 2019

HOW TO BUILD A POSITIVE TEAM CULTURE?


The positive relationship between company culture and company performance has been established in scientific research years ago. But how to build such a positive culture? We have easy, actionable steps to increase company performance ready for you.


But first...


What is a positive company culture?

Team members often define a positive culture as:

  • A place where respect thrives, while delivering quality work every day.

  • An environment that encourages collaboration and sincere appreciation.

  • A workplace that trusts the experience and decision-making of employees.

  • An office where autonomy and purpose at work are highly valued.


How do you create such a culture at work? The moment you start building your team, corporate culture is seeded. It follows every step you take and every word you spread.


People build cultures.

Building a company culture is one of the greatest responsibilities of today's leaders. It's the soil of high-performance. Do you perform well if you do not feel well?


If there's already a team in place, you might need to improve the culture. Employee turnover goes through the roof, burn-outs are trending, you encounter many team crises. It is all connected to the culture you nurture.



Skills to develop a strong company culture

Culture is a long-term project. Lasting influence is better than a short burst of flames. To create long-term effects a team leader need to gear up on a couple of skills:


1. Authenticity Sincere actions are felt. Sincere talks too. Stay true to yourself. Dare to open up. Being vulnerable is a strength, not a weakness. They cannot hit you in the weak spot anymore, because you've already talked about it. Lead by example, so team members learn to be authentic too.


2. Storytelling

Be authentic in your talks and you will notice the mesmerizing effect. Be ambitious and stir the blood with magic. Magic can be found in shared adventures. Adventures led by a visionary leader. It helps to compose a story full of powerful beliefs, which resonate within your team.


3. Listening

As soon as the story resonates, team members try to add value to it. Listen to their ideas and worries. There's a place for all. You'll experience valuable conversations and great commitment to shared goals.


4. Constructive feedback

To come to the best plans, you are the one that brings the magic together. You select the optimal route and explain this route - again, storytelling! - via constructive feedback to your team members.


No vague or inauthentic feedback during yearly evaluations. Use tops (doing great!) and tips (could be improved) on a regular base. Make it part of day-to-day communication. Nothing formal, just sharing thoughts on potential improvements. Change can be realized swiftly, do not wait until urgency has already vanished.


5. Appreciation

Your team has delivered high quality work, through which you have come to new insights. Don't forget to thank them for this effort. It's a small group of people that realizes big changes over here. You can't realize change on your own. What changes if no one follows?


6. Delegation

Team members need to add their perspective to the table to make synergy work. Trust their experience and decision-making. As long as there is a clear goal on your crusade - you will be fine.





Improve the team environment While improving your leadership skills, you can also boost the environment surrounding your team. Factors influencing your corporate culture can definitely be adjusted.


But... how?


1. Hire the right people Culture is made by the people in it. Make a shortlist of 3 universal characteristics you are looking for in each team member and use it during selection processes.


Make sure there's enough place for differences around these 3 core characteristics. Celebrate differences, while having the same essential values. Synergy comes from different perspectives towards the same purpose in life.

2. Communicate Share victories AND losses. Talk AND listen. Communicate in full transparency so colleagues become aware of unfiltered company insights. This builds trust.


Change the regular question "Is it necessary to share this?" into