For years, across different industries, there has been a common idea that you can build a team culture by making your workplace ‘fun’. Often, this turned into an opportunity to stand out from the competition and attract talent with impressive perks like free coffee and meals, ping pong tables, open floor offices, on-site gyms, and frequent social activities.
While these flashy and unique aspects of office life may have once worked to entice recruits — remote and hybrid work models have proven that those ‘special perks’ may no longer appeal to all, with employees now seeking more meaningful benefits.
As people, we crave connection, transparency, and purpose — the same goes for team culture. Every company will be different, but the objects and activities you provide to your employees will not determine your culture. Instead, it’s about fostering positive relationships with your leaders and peers, overall employee experience, and shared priorities and values.
Whether you’re a small, medium, or a large company operating out of an office, your home, or completely remote, we share a few ways to cultivate team culture successfully.
Understand, share, and practice a set of team values
At .efficiently, our core values are respect, service, integrity, knowledge, and kindness. They represent our team, what we feel is important as a company, and how we treat one another.
Your company will have different values from the next, but identifying those values will help employees share your vision and connect over why you do what you do.
The alignment of a company and an individual’s beliefs and behavior are vital to establishing a strong team culture that allows people to grow together.
Enable your team to do what they do best
With the right information, access to resources, and appropriate autonomy, doing your job well will be much more manageable.
Giving team members context about the company and its growth plans, as well as the confidence and autonomy they need can help employees gain a broader picture of the business, and understand how they can use their skills to succeed as a team.
Enabling team members may not seem like a way to foster culture, but ensuring your staff feels supported and able is a sure way to boost individual and team morale — an essential ingredient for a robust culture.
Remember to assess, adapt and change when necessary
Sometimes growth can take a while, and sometimes it happens very quickly. With growth comes greater leadership, more defined processes, new systems, but this can also cause friction for team members who perhaps struggle with change or are still trying to do a new job in the same old way.
So always remember to check in with your team to understand what is working and what no longer fits the way you do business. What worked five years ago may not work today — and that’s not a bad thing.
Changing the way you operate is not about dismissing previous methods as ineffective — they once worked and helped you get to where you are today. It’s about finding new efficiencies so you can do what you do well, even better. Help your team transition appropriately and celebrate the change.
Together, you’re onto bigger and better things.
Often the challenge for leaders can lie in bringing people together, making a team of diverse individuals willing to collaborate, connect, empathize, and grow. Doing so can be difficult and feel almost impossible as a remote company, but there lies your first hurdle — you need to rethink what it means to foster team culture.
Culture does not form from sitting at a desk 2m away from another, nor will it develop from a smorgasbord of fun perks. Instead, culture stems from your team’s individual attitudes — how they feel when doing their job, the trust and support they receive from you, and the organic connections they create with their teammates through shared values.
By leveraging your people and harnessing the power of the tips shared in this article, you can foster a kind of team culture built for success.