While you might think company culture is just a boardroom buzzword, it can play a significant role in both your employee morale and business success, especially in a highly competitive landscape. According to a 2021 global survey of 3,200 workers conducted by PwC, 69% of senior leaders attribute much of their success during the pandemic to culture.
A great culture gives employees purpose and effectively aligns teams to work toward achieving business goals. Here are six ways to build excellent team culture in your organization.
How can team culture impact your business?
Company culture is the core set of values that dictate how a company will operate day-to-day as it works to achieve its long-term goals, guiding employees as they interact with leadership, customers and stakeholders.
When your teams are aligned with your company culture and believe in carrying it out, it shows. They’re happier and more engaged with their work, which means better quality and quantity of work. This, in turn, means more revenue for your business.
In fact, a Grant Thornton LLP and Oxford Economics study found that businesses where executives report an extremely healthy culture are 1.5 times more likely to report average revenue growth of more than 15% over three years. Furthermore, public companies with very healthy cultures are 2.5 times more likely to show significant increases in stock price over three years.
Building a great team culture can also help you attract and retain top talent, saving on costly employee churn expenses. In a 2019 Builtin survey, 46% of job seekers said company culture was an important factor in the application process. Meanwhile, 47% cited poor company culture as their driving reason for seeking a new job. Investing in culture is one of the best ways to recruit and keep top talent.
Six ways to build great team culture
So how do you take steps to create a more successful company culture? Here are six simple ways to get started:
1. Clearly define your values and mission
Business culture is the living, breathing embodiment of its core values and mission. It’s essential to explain these things and put them in writing to share and revisit them with your team. Ask yourself these questions:
- What values do you live by personally? Are those values the same when it comes to professional success?
- What qualities do you look for in the people you hire?
- Who are your model employees, and what do you admire about them?
- What do you love about working for your company?
- What day-to-day behaviors do you see among your employees that inspire you?
- What ultimate goals are you working toward?
2. Be transparent
Creating core values and putting your mission into words is only the first step. The key is to be transparent about the mission and values so your team can align with them. Make sure your employees can easily access your statement: build it into an employee handbook, display core values on posters in the office and reinforce your mission regularly in team meetings. Your employees will know what they should be striving for when it comes to your mission and how they should conduct themselves as they work toward achieving it.
Being transparent about your values and mission is crucial for your team to meet your business goals. But the real key to success here is to back it up. For example, if diversity and inclusion is one of your core values, back it up with concrete initiatives, workshops or support groups that move the agenda forward.
3. Ask for feedback
Company culture should constantly change and evolve as you bring on new employees and grow. So it’s crucial to continually check in on how your employees perceive your culture so you can nimbly make changes when needed. Instead of waiting until there’s a problem, leadership teams should proactively ask for (and provide) feedback regularly.
It doesn’t have to be an overly formal or complex process. Feedback is often more valuable and honest when informal and part of an ongoing dialogue. Discuss company culture openly in team meetings, company gatherings and one-on-ones between managers and direct reports.
4. Prioritize continuous learning
Motivate your teams to keep expanding their skill sets and grow professionally by offering training resources (there are many free options online) or hosting training sessions. This can be done virtually or in the office. Hosting in-person “lunch and learns” or having experts give talks can double as team-building exercises.
Encouraging professional growth helps prevent workers from becoming complacent or bored. It boosts engagement and morale while adding value to departments and the business as a whole.
5. Leverage modern communication and collaboration tools
One of the most effective ways to boost company morale and build team culture is by delivering open lines of communication across channels and hierarchies. Modern communication and collaboration tools like Slack make this possible. Slack is a convenient, all-in-one platform for real-time and asynchronous communication among individuals, team-specific channels and external partners.
Leveraging this tool enhances overall communication, fosters stronger employee engagement and enables coworkers to build working relationships even when working remotely. You can create channels to keep department or project collaborators aligned both synchronously and asynchronously. You can also dramatically streamline workflows, give direct feedback in threads, have real-time conversations from anywhere and enable multiple people to provide approvals and edits on the go. On a more personal level, you can create social channels to help coworkers connect over shared interests and hobbies. Think
6. Recognize wins and accomplishments
A 2019 study conducted by the University of Oxford’s Saïd Business School reported happy employees are 13% more productive. One simple way to make employees happy is to give praise when it’s due. Highlighting team or client wins and accomplishments asynchronously is an inspiring way to make employees who go above and beyond feel recognized and appreciated, and encourage other employees to do the same.
Slack makes it easy to recognize team members and give kudos for a job well done. You can create a #shoutout or #kudos channel to capture all the wins. Or integrate Bonusly or Disco within your Slack workspace to award perks. Recognizing employees that go the extra mile encourages everyone to do their best.
Company culture is so much more than a boardroom buzzword. It’s worth the investment. Leverage these tools and tactics to build a strong team culture that can deliver extraordinary outcomes for your business.