How to Create an Extraordinary Team Culture

Written by Wholegrain Team - December 5, 2016

Creating an extraordinary team culture is one of the best things you can do for your business. Making sure staff are well paid and have a generous holiday allowance are both important, but workers spend a large percentage of their day interacting with colleagues, so team spirit plays a vital part in how happy they are with their jobs.

Generating a strong team culture will do more than benefit your team members, however. Merging and nurturing talent creates creativity and energy, plus it encourages productivity, loyalty, and promotes engagement within the company.

So creating a team that shares your company vision and empowering them to work together to achieve common goals will benefit you, your business and your clients.

Here are our tips for building an extraordinary team culture.

1. Don’t Hire for Talent Alone

When recruiting new team members, don’t only focus on their technical skills. While their ability to do the job is undoubtedly important, hiring somebody who doesn’t fit your team culture or, worse, is actively disruptive, can be devastating for your business, regardless of how wonderful their technical skills are.

When bringing new members on board, think about how they would fit in with your current team members and look for a person with the desire to learn and grow. Hiring somebody who is curious, creative, passionate and hardworking, if lacking a couple of skills, is much better than bringing in an expert who thinks there’s nothing new for them to learn and who isn’t a team player.

2. Share Your Vision

If you want to create a team that shares your dream and is willing to work hard to take your business to the next level, it’s important that you share your dream with them as early as possible.

Explain to all team members what your vision is for your business and how they can help you to achieve it, and remind them of that vision frequently. If they know what they’re aiming for and what their role is, they’ll be as excited as you to hit the goals you set and reach for the stars.

Like anything, it’s inevitable that your vision and goals will change over time, so keep your team updated with any changes so they can adjust and even share their ideas for your business development.

3. Set High Expectations

People thrive on trust and expectation, so demonstrate your trust in your team members by assigning them challenging work that you know they can do well. This gives them opportunities for growth, shows them how much you value their skills, and helps them feel satisfied in their work. If you’re strong in your conviction that they’re capable of producing brilliant work, they won’t want to let you down.

An important complement to setting high expectations is to take a step back and ensure you’re not micromanaging – this is one of the fastest ways to stifle creativity and lower morale. The only time micromanagement is necessary is when you have a new team member and you need to ensure they know their role. Once they’ve proved themselves, trust them, step back and watch them fly!

4. Create a Team-Oriented Organisation

If you’re serious about creating a team culture for your business, demonstrate the value of teams and teamwork by empowering teams to make their own decisions, and accept responsibility for the results.

Your teams don’t need to have a formal structure; sometimes informal teams can be more productive than formal ones, so encourage people to form their own teams and tackle problems together, without referring every little decision to higher management.

Teamwork is something where it’s imperative you lead by example, too – so no running off to the golf course or shutting yourself behind a closed door. Show how important teamwork is by being part of the team, not setting yourself above it.

Don’t leave all the decision-making to the same people either. By assigning important projects, such as exploring new techniques or market trends, to different team members you’ll all benefit from a new perspective, which helps keep your company fresh, interesting, and ahead of your competitors.

5. Enhance Your Team’s Skills

One of the best investments you can make is to invest in your team, especially in terms of personal development and learning new skills. Paying for training courses and providing resources so your employees can develop their skills shows them how important they are to your business, which increases their loyalty to you and dedication to your business.

It’s also important to educate everybody on how different parts of the company work. Take web design – if web designers and copywriters both understand a little about each other’s work processes, they can make informed decision that benefit everybody, rather than doing something that can cause problems for other team members further down the line.

6. Make Them Feel Great

We all love a little praise for a job well done, so make your team members feel valued by praising them when they’ve achieved something great. Don’t go overboard by showering them in praise for every little thing – this can seem insincere – but make sure you recognise their hard work and accomplishments.

It doesn’t matter how you do this – you could reward people with a team lunch or outing, brag about how wonderful they are in public, or simply give genuine praise for their work. Just ensure they feel appreciated – it sets a positive tone and will send their confidence sky high!

7. Respect

Finally, promote a culture of respect within your team. In any workplace there are likely to be people from a range of different cultural and social-economic backgrounds, and people with different ethics and clashing personalities – this diversity is wonderful for any business, as long as you have respect for each others’ beliefs, personalities, abilities, perspectives, philosophies, and their personal space, privacy and even their belongings.

Respect is very easy to lose, and can be much more difficult to regain. But it’s the foundation for trust, which results in a happy, productive and engaged workplace. Without a culture of respect, teams can very quickly start to fall apart.

Building an extraordinary team culture where people feel valued, challenged and nurtured won’t happen overnight – it requires hard work from everybody. But once you’ve achieved it, you can be sure that everyone will fight to ensure it’s maintained and protected. Your team is your business’s most valuable asset – with everybody on board and working towards the same goals, the sky’s the limit for your business vision.

What do you do to promote an extraordinary team culture in your business? Can you add anything to our list? Share your tips below…