3 Essential Ingredients That Shape Your Team Culture
Culture drives the commercial, not the other way around
If you are struggling to attract and keep quality employees, then the following article could share some insights!
When you hear the word ‘culture’, what comes up for you? When you break the word down it begins with the word ‘cult’. In its casual use, "cult" often carries a negative connotation, but such a definition is not inherent in the term's original meaning. The original meaning is: “a social group defined by its beliefs, or by its common interest in a particular object, or goal.”
Who wouldn’t like a team aligned with achieving a common goal – for the business?
By the way, every company has a culture. It is whether it is created by design or has happened by default. The culture in your organisation either contributes towards your business goals or detracts from them. Which is it?
If your employees are disengaged look to the leadership of your team. Starting with yourself. Culture reflects leadership.
From experience your company culture (or environment) is primarily shaped by three things:
- The values you hold
- The language your use
- The traditions you repeat
Values are the non-negotiable core beliefs that shape everything you do. Which is why leadership (impact and influence) is an inside-out philosophy. If your company culture is not healthy, it always starts with the main influencer or most dominant personality in the room; not necessarily the healthiest. Ensure your values are clear, communicated and discussed regularly. Hire (and fire) based on these. Live and breathe them and see the company come alive. Neglect them and watch the opposite take place.
Language is incredibly important. The words you use shape the environment you are in. Positivity and gratitude empower. Negativity and blame diminish. Do you foster a space where the team look to support each other, find solutions, and take ownership? Or is it one where employees look to hide from responsibility, make excuses and point the finger? Again, this all starts from the leadership group.
Traditions are really how we celebrate success. For example, onboarding a new employee is a tradition that can set them up for success as soon as possible. Your meeting rhythms are a tradition. Their regularity, how they flow and how they leave people feeling is critical. Celebrating wins, no matter how small are important and lets the team know how they fit into the big picture. Hitting certain milestones at work are also traditions.
Work anniversaries, family successes and Most Valuable Player acknowledgments are all opportunities to celebrate achievement and progress.
Ultimately, the leader is the mirror of the culture within a company. It is said: “Show me your leader, it will show me your company. The good, the bad, the ugly and everything in between.”
Fostering and maintaining a healthy culture is one that takes time, persistence, and determination. It doesn't happen overnight yet the rewards in the long term are worth the effort.
Written by Jon Mailer