What Are the Common Team Culture Pitfalls?
Culture is the holy grail of organizational success. Healthy team culture will not only drive the right behavior but it will ensure that every individual is engaged in something more important than the work itself.
Nowadays, the importance of a well-prepared corporate culture takes on new meaning due to the conditions of the pandemic. Increasingly, employees have to work remotely and this, of course, affects the building of team culture. When people truly believe in the culture of the organization they are choosing to work with, they will definitely work harder, deliver higher quality products, and give more of themselves.
Building a thriving culture is not always as easy as it looks. It may require more effort than purely hanging a vision statement on the wall. There are essential factors that come into play in defining and embedding a culture throughout an organization. It is rather important to avoid obvious pitfalls that may lie in wait for you while doing so.
The goal of this post is to cover the common specialties of team culture and define key pitfalls we see leaders make when it comes to culture.
What is team culture?
According to one of the most basic definitions, team culture includes the values, attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors shared by the entire team. This is about how people work together towards a common goal and how they treat each other.
Team culture is also about dynamics between humans. Different teams within a company can manifest their own culture. However, they’re typically influenced by the company culture as a whole.
Good and Toxic Workplace Cultures
What is good workplace culture?
In many companies, the word “culture” has become a cheesy word. Often, organizations project their culture to attract potential employees. It can also be built over time, as different people take up different roles.
Good team culture is when team members cooperate, share experiences, support each other, and care for one another constantly. They are excited to collaborate and do extraordinary things at work altogether.
This is beneficial to the company and all employees as a strong organizational culture is necessary to build trust from employees and customers’ loyalty.
What is toxic workplace culture?
As we’ve outlined above, once the company’s leaders misbehaving in keeping pace with the team culture, the employees automatically will find it hard to fit in properly.
For example, some companies preach excellent customers care service as part of their culture, but the leaders of this company often treat customers in a way that questions the particular piece of their culture. This is toxic and contagious. Some employers refuse to express their minds concerning what they experienced from either customers or colleagues. This is also negative.
Toxic and harmful work culture will birth unhappiness, discomfort, and a less productive workplace. This will definitely tarnish the image of any company.
All this is actually not pleasant and we would like to close the unpleasant moments related to this topic. However, there is still a negative paragraph ahead, describing obvious pitfalls that can occur during the creation or optimization of team culture.
The Most Common Pitfalls of Team Culture Changes
Uniform efforts towards creating a healthy team culture is a requisite for you to drive your company towards success.
A lot has been said about the importance of robust remote team culture and how we can do it. However, considering all the things that can go wrong in a remote team are overwhelming. There are some evident pitfalls in building a remote team culture that you should be expected as a part of the journey toward a strong and inspiring work culture. Here are some of them:
1. No common purpose
Strong company culture must contain a clear purpose or common cause as a core. This purpose should be the heartbeat of your company. Without it, none of the other elements can function and thrive. Does your team have a clear purpose? Are people in the team aware of what this is and understand why you exist as an organization?
Any employee wants to be part of something bigger than themselves. When you ensure every individual knows their work matters your company culture will thrive.
2. Insufficient focus on communication
Insufficient focus on communication is one of the most common mistakes made in introducing a new culture or shifting the focus of an existing one. General explaining why culture is important will not have a lasting impact. Employees need tangible guidance on how to actually align with corporate and organizational culture.
Communicate the values that underpin your team’s culture and the behaviors that align with those values. It will let your team members know exactly what success looks like and have something clear to strive for on a day-to-day basis.
3. Excessive focusing on the behavioral factor
Often focusing solely on behavior can have a negative effect. Some years ago the focus used to be solely on behavior and tangible activity when it came to driving performance at work.
Certain behavior is associated with a strong performance. It would be a leader’s responsibility to instill these behaviors within their teams. However, simply enforcing this behavior onto the team is not the most effective mean of driving performance. Instead, building a high-performance team requires focusing on the culture that underpins everything else within your company.
4. A lack of accountability
When it comes to sales and revenue targets, you need to have the same level of accountability when it comes to implementing a team culture. Try to find out the best company accountability frameworks line up with your new desire to focus on culture. Making sure people’s KPIs include the element of culture and behavior.
5. The weak role of the leader
Leadership is the essential factor of success for any company that strives to change and build the culture going to need to grow in the future. This behavior’s role modeling will make it easier for others to recognize opportunities for them to change and grow.
If other leaders within your company are not setting shining examples of the team culture, it will be difficult to expect more junior employees to be on board.
6. Team members’ isolation
Remote work can make certain team members feel isolated even despite your best efforts to bring your team together.
People may participate in all work meetings and check off all of the project tasks, for example, using convenient Kanban boards. However, they may not feel that they are being heard or growing within the company. The best way to deal with this is to create a very clear path for them and make them feel an important part of the team.
7. Poor training
Pandemic conditions make it difficult to impart the training to your remote employees. A great amount of information exchange takes place in an office, in passing. Training the remote workforce might become difficult, even with the help of powerful collaboration software. A key is to always structure an ongoing series of training sessions so that gradually, you are able to guide your remote team in the right direction.
How to Improve Team Culture?
Whatever pitfalls you face, there are some ways you can choose to begin building a great team culture today. Here’re some useful tips:
- Create a bigger vision around your team culture. Reinforcing the bigger vision of the team is something that has to be continually improved. It cannot be said once and then forgotten. Managers need to find ways to infuse a sense of purpose for the continued team’s growth and productivity.
- Meet regularly. Regular meetings will make a big difference in great team culture. They will build rapport and encourage productivity. These events should focus on discussing problems and coming up with solutions.
- Provide feedback. Constructive feedback is a proper way to help your team continue to improve. Feedback is often more impactful if it is informal. When your colleagues trust you, they will take your suggestions to heart as they know you have their best interests in mind.
- Create leaders, not managers. It is about the right mentorship that is over management. Cultivating leadership plays an essential role in establishing the culture of the team. Communicate clearly, develop schedules, and teach team members how to give constructive feedback that encourages productivity.
- Get to know your team. Find the time to get to know the people around you. Getting to know your colleagues will strengthen the team and build a great culture. For example, encourage camaraderie by eating lunch together.
- Initiate a culture of learning. Promoting a culture of learning where employees are encouraged to continue expanding their skill sets is also a good idea. The expansion of online learning will make it easier because people can learn on their own time when it best suits them.
At the center of every successful team culture, some people hold different personal cultures and belief systems. Encouraging team members constantly will bring successful business outcomes and help to build customer loyalty.
The only right way to make changes is to act as a united team. This is easier when you have a good leader.