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How to Create a Positive Team Culture

 

As an IT manager, you understand the importance of teamwork. When your team members communicate and collaborate well, they are better able to do their work. However, blending employees with different talents and personalities can result in challenges. This is one reason why having a strong team culture is necessary.

Follow these 6 guidelines to build a desirable team culture.

1. Define Your Team Culture

Talk with your team about what your culture should look like. This is important because your employees’ actions, interactions, and attitudes impact the effectiveness of your success. For instance, your team culture may be defined by having a positive mindset both inside and outside the office. This creates a strong team synergy that minimizes conflict and increases success. Everyone performs better when they work as a cohesive group. Different ideas lead to solutions for problems. Shared visions let your team see the future.

2. Learn from Other Successful Teams

Explore how teams with proven track records communicate, collaborate, and solve problems. For instance, incorporate ideas from companies like Google, Southwest Airlines, and Zappos to develop your teambuilding procedures. These companies are among the most successful in engagement, productivity, and goal attainment.

3. Encourage Collaboration

Instill in your team culture the importance of collaboration. Use your enthusiasm, self-discipline, and strengths to serve as a guide for teamwork. For instance, trust your team members to make hard decisions when you are away. Encourage them to discuss how you would handle a situation and carry out an appropriate plan of action.

4. Emphasize Your Company Mission and Core Values

Work with your team to create a list of team values based on your company’s mission and core values. Include in the discussion what everyone’s most important personal values are. Find out whether the same values impact their professional success and whether they would look for these values when hiring employees. Also, talk about what your team would not tolerate in the workplace. Use their answers to set team standards for job performance, customer service, and related issues.

5. Clarify Your Expectations

Explain to your team what you expect from them all of the time. Examples include honesty, accountability, commitment, conflict resolution, and pride in top performance. If your expectations are not being met, privately talk with the employee about the issue. Find out what it causing the problem and how you can help. If the employee does not want to set goals for improvement, assume responsibility, or respond to feedback, they may need to find another source of employment.

6. Continue to Build Your Team Culture

Use positive reinforcement to maintain your team culture. For instance, provide real-time feedback and coaching to help your employees maintain professional growth. Also, encourage your team to get involved in local charity events. Plus, organize employee family activities one weekend per month.

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3 Tips for Performing an Effective Employee Review

As a manager, one of your duties is to conduct monthly, quarterly, or annual employee reviews. These meetings let you talk with each employee about their accomplishments, challenges, and concrete ways to improve performance. Although these discussions can be difficult, they are necessary to ensure your employees align on shared goals and have a plan for future improvements.

Implement these three tips to conduct your next employee review.

1. Prepare Your Feedback in Advance

Gather your thoughts and data about the employee’s performance well before the review. Use the information to fill out the employee evaluation form. This can serve as the framework for your discussion. Make sure your remarks are direct, concise, and transparent. Include specific examples of what the employee has been doing well and how they can improve. This should clarify your goals and expectations and avoid confusion. Have a copy of the evaluation form ready to give the employee to reference and stay on track with the improvements you requested.

2. Maintain a Two-Way Conversation

Encourage an open discussion about the employee’s performance. You want to promote trust, clarity, and alignment with company goals. For instance, find out what they believe to be their greatest strengths, biggest challenges, and areas they can improve in within a month, quarter, or year. You may ask questions such as, “What is the accomplishment from the review period that you are most proud of?” “Which areas do you think you need to improve the most in?” Or, “How can I support you in reaching your goals?” Also, clarify your expectations and evaluation guidelines. In order to stay engaged, the employee should know the level they should be performing at and how their success will be measured. Additionally, actively listen to what the employee says. Repeat what you hear to make sure it is accurate. Ask follow-up questions to gather more information.

3. Focus on the Future

Share your goals and plans for the employee to improve their performance. For instance, involve them in creating an action plan to set milestones and reach objectives in line with company goals. Clarify that you want them to succeed and are available to discuss their concerns and challenges. End the discussion on a positive note with motivation and hope for the future.

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Setting 2021 Goals for Your Team

The year 2020 is almost over and few people aren’t glad to see the back of it. Next year could be equally challenging, but here are lessons you can carry from this year into 2021.

One of those lessons is the importance of setting goals for your team. Goals help focus and maintain momentum, even in the midst of chaos. However, you need to choose these goals carefully.

Are you putting together a vision for 2021? Use these tips to set goals that will inspire your team in 2021.

Prioritize Your Team’s Vision

You have an idea of goals to choose from, but do your team members agree?

It’s difficult to motivate teams to do something they have no interest in or don’t see its value. So your first task is to figure out what your group wants to achieve. Once you understand that, you may find it helpful to develop a vision statement that reflects your team’s position. You can use this to reflect on when you set goals and when you reevaluate throughout the year.

Defining goals based on the team’s vision is key. Once everyone is on the same page, it’s much easier to pull in the same direction as one team.

Connect Team Goals to the Organizational Strategy

More and more, employees derive satisfaction and motivation from knowing they’re contributing to something bigger than themselves. Most employees work at your company because they believe in what they do. It’s not the day-to-day operations that drive them but the bigger picture.

Lean into this motivating factor when developing your goals. Identify those instances that connect with the organizational strategy. In other words, ask, “What is everyone here to do, and how does our team take the organization one step closer to achieving it?”

Choose Measurable Goals

A goal you can’t measure isn’t a goal at all. Measurable goals are specific and include precise details: usually, you’ll focus on numbers. For example, “improve customer retention” is a good goal, but it’s hardly measurable unless you choose to “improve customer retention by 10% in one year.”

Keep in mind that your goals should be achievable with the resources available. They can require extra effort, but your projections should always be realistic.

Goal Setting Requires More Than Numbers

Setting and achieving goals in 2021 demands more than picking a KPI and throwing it against the wall. To motivate teams and keep them working together, you need goals that inspire teams to do their best work, even when they’re apart. These are aligned with your vision, connected to strategy, and inherently measurable.

Are you looking to add new team members in 2021? RightStone can help you find someone who fits into your team’s strategy. Get in touch to learn more about the RightStone 360 process.


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