Team Culture: Key to Success Unveiled

Jan 3, 2024
/
5 mins to read
Team Culture: Key to Success Unveiled

Creating a healthy team culture is essential for a thriving workplace environment. Learn about the impact of toxic cultures and how to foster a positive team culture in the post-COVID era for improved collaboration and employee well-being.

Introduction

“Great things in business are never done by one person. They're done by a team of people.” 

Steve Jobs once stressed the power of having a great team in an organization. But here's the thing - it's not just about having a team; it's about creating a culture where every team member can truly shine.

In this blog, we're going to dig into what really makes a team culture tick, how to spot the difference between a toxic one and a healthy one and share some down-to-earth tips for building a strong team culture in the post-COVID world.

What is Culture?

According to Merriam-Webster, culture in an institution or organization is about the attitudes, values, goals, and practices that everyone shares. While we mainly associate culture with a country or a society, companies also need an established culture to connect people and establish shared goals and practices. This is called the team culture.

Then, What is A Team Culture?

Team culture is like the vibe of a group. It's about the values, attitudes, beliefs, and actions that shape how a team works together. If the team's vibe is weak or toxic, it can bring down morale, make people leave, and hurt how well we perform.

Read more about team culture

Why is Team Culture Important?

There are four reasons why team culture is essential in a company:

  1. Improves employee morale, productivity, and job satisfaction.
  2. Encourages innovation and agility.
  3. Fosters cognitive diversity, which leads to more innovation.
  4. Results in better customer ratings, productivity, and profitability.

How to Identify a Strong Team Culture? 

You can imagine having a solid team culture as the solid concrete pillars that support the roof. The roof in this simile is the company, while the concrete pillars establish a strong team culture. Five pillars support our roof:

  1. Clear Communication: The first pillar that supports success in a healthy team culture is clear communication. When team members communicate openly, honestly, and transparently, they can freely share their thoughts, ideas, and concerns.
  2. Collaboration: Collaboration is the second most important pillar in a healthy team. Collaboration consists of working together as a team and it establishes cohesive team values.
  3. Innovation: As the third pillar, innovation is a must in a company. Without innovation, there’ll be no development. When a company allows others to speak freely, then team members can share their ideas and opinions without fear of judgment.
  4. Employee Engagement: The fourth pillar is employee engagement. Employees who feel connected to their organization and team tend to be more engaged and motivated. In return, team members are more likely to be productive, committed, and loyal to their organization.
  5. Shared Values: The last pillar is the shared values. Overall, shared values reflect the team's mission and guide their behavior and decision-making. Without shared values, our roof is at risk of falling in any minor inconvenience. 

How to Identify a Toxic Team Culture?

It's crucial to notice when things get toxic. Picture the toxic culture like little cracks in a team's pillars. If a company can't fix these tiny cracks, even a small shake, like a disagreement, it can bring the whole roof down. Let's check out a few examples:

  1. Poor Communication: The first crack is poor communication. Poor communication consists of using unclear language, not actively listening to others, ignoring guidelines, and even avoiding eye contact. If poor communication cannot be prevented, it leads to irrevocable problems.
  2. Lack of Collaboration: The second crack is the lack of collaboration. Lack of collaboration consists of rejection of new ideas and working against other team members. In an environment where there’s lack of collaboration, team members may feel unsupported and undervalued. 
  3. High Stress Levels: The third crack is high stress levels among employees. This is often caused by unrealistic expectations set by management. High stress levels can cause a wide range of physical and mental health issues, including anxiety, depression, and burnout.
  4. Lack of Accountability: The fourth crack is the lack of accountability. Lack of accountability can result in team members blaming others for their own mistakes and overlooking their own shortcomings.
  5. Low Morale: The fifth and last crack in a toxic workplace environment is low morale. Low morale can harm team members’ motivation, productivity, and mental health.

Pre and Post-Covid Team Culture

As we all know, the way teams work has changed significantly due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Here are some major changes:

  • Increased focus on remote work: Since COVID-19, we've been doing more work from home. Turns out, some jobs can be done just as well remotely. And teams are enjoying the flexibility – it helps them balance work and life better.
  • Greater emphasis on employee wellbeing: The pandemic has proved the importance of the staff to most companies. Because, without the staff, a company is not a company. Therefore, many organizations are now emphasizing providing thorough support to their staff like free counseling services or wellness programs.
  • Increased use of technology: Now, businesses mostly rely on digital tools like Zoom, Google Meet, or Calendly for remote working. This flexibility in technology has allowed teams to stay connected and communicate seamlessly.
  • Increased focus on diversity and inclusion: The pandemic showed us how important it is to include everyone at work. Now, companies are working hard to make sure everyone feels valued and supported by creating a more inclusive and friendly environment when hiring.

Tips to Build a Team Culture in a Post-COVID World

So far, we've covered why team culture matters, how to spot if a workplace is toxic or healthy, and ways to build a positive team vibe after COVID-19. Now, let's dive into four down-to-earth tips to make those foundations stronger in the post-pandemic world.

1. Team Building Activities: 

Coffee chats are awesome for getting to know your colleagues in a relaxed way. Check out our blog post "Connections Over Coffee: Understanding the Power of a Coffee Chat" for more on making the most of these chats.

Another cool way to build a strong team culture is through group activities. These could be anything from hanging out at social events to going on retreats. For some fun ideas, check out our blog post "Work Hard, Play Harder: Group Activities for Adults & Professionals."

2.Cheers for the Wins:

Next up is giving a shout-out and celebrating victories, big or small. Recognizing and appreciating accomplishments not only lifts team spirits but also boosts motivation and job happiness. For more tips on showing your team some love, check out our blog post,  "The Complete Guide to Employee Appreciation."

3. Clear Goals, Happy Team:

For a winning team, set clear and specific goals. It's vital to spell out the team's purpose, objectives, and key performance indicators to ensure everyone's on the same page.

4. Flexibility and Work-from-Anywhere Vibes:

Work is changing, and that's okay. Let's find ways to make work fit into our lives – whether it's flexible hours, working from anywhere, or choosing to be part-time or full-time from home.

Conclusion:

Building a team culture in a company may seem like an easy task, but it requires more than just occasional meetings and checking in on your colleagues. Establishing a strong team culture involves various fundamental pillars that are essential for a secure and safe working environment, especially in this post-COVID world.

This blog covered the essentials of team culture and provided guidelines for building a strong one in our ever-evolving world. While there's no one-size-fits-all solution, companies need to be creative and have a clear vision to establish and maintain a healthy team culture.

Gayé Padir
Gayé Padir

Gaye is a Marketing and Content Intern at Litespace. She completed her bachelor's in sociology and later obtained a certificate in marketing. She's eager to combine her sociology knowledge and marketing to create compelling content for Litespace.

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