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  • Writer's pictureTara Lennox

4 Key Elements in Shaping Team Culture – Such a Hot Topic!

Team culture is the collective values, attitudes, and behaviors that shape the work environment. It affects job satisfaction and overall business performance. Here are four crucial factors that influence team culture:

1. Leadership Behaviours:

Leaders set the tone. Their actions and attitudes can either support or undermine the culture. Consistency is key, as frequent changes in leadership behavior can create confusion and disengagement among employees. Clear communication helps keep everyone aligned.

For example, Josh’s general manager and supervisor rarely agree with each other on tasks and overall goals for his position (among other things). His general manger often gets frustrated at him for following his supervisor’s orders. This makes Josh feel like he is being used as a tool in the two’s power struggle. With everyone in his management team on a different page, it seems like there is no right choice for Josh to make. It is his manager’s responsibility to agree on and provide clear work expectations for him. How can Josh do what is expected of him if he isn’t informed what that is?

The best way to foster an honest, open team culture is communication – keep everyone on the same page heading towards common goals.

2. Management Priorities:

What leaders focus on will shape the culture. If there's a mismatch between management and employee values, job satisfaction and culture may suffer. For example, valuing work over well-being can cause burnout.

When management clearly prioritizes tasks, it provides teams with focus and direction. Team members understand what’s important and can align their efforts accordingly. This clarity can foster a sense of purpose and drive within a team.

For example, Sara manages a marketing firm and she decides to focus on increasing customer satisfaction. She begins by spending quality time with their clients to ensure her company understands their needs and then encourages her team to produce out-of-the-box solutions to add value.

Because Sara's team knows that making clients happy is a top priority, they start working together better, sharing ideas, and supporting each other. Clients notice a positive change in results and start recommending your firm to others. This enhances your team’s energy because they see their hard work paying off.

Knowing where you are going drives a team.

3. Recognition and Accountability

Clear expectations should be set for rewards and penalties. A lack of clarity can lead to dissatisfaction. Employees need to know what is expected in order to excel and avoid mistakes.

For example, Tim has never been informed about a dress code at his office, and there is nothing listed in his employee manual. One morning, his boss scolds him for not wearing a tie. Tim is confused but apologizes and agrees to wear a tie in the future. About an hour later, Tim hears his boss compliment a coworker’s shirt. He notices that this coworker is also not wearing a tie. Tim is even more confused and now feels that he was specifically targeted. Does his manager dislike him? Is this a rule that only applies to his division? He has no idea because his management has failed to communicate either way.

People can only measure up when they have been fully informed first!

4. Resource Allocation

How resources are distributed reflects management’s priorities. Striking a balance between client needs and employee well-being is crucial. Failure to do so can make employees feel undervalued.

For example, Claire notices a lack of funding being allocated to her division. She brings her concerns forward to management, and she is told that the marketing division needs the extra budget. She is not given any further explanation. This leaves her feeling underappreciated and undervalued. It is very hard to remain dedicated to work that everyone else sees as unimportant.

Clients are a vital part of your business, of course, but so are your employees!

The Core of Your Business – Its Team Culture!

A strong team culture enhances business performance and aligns all team members toward common goals. It requires consistent leadership, clear priorities, fair recognition, and thoughtful resource distribution.

A machine is much more effective when all the parts are working in unison!

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