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Negative Team Culture To Watch Out For

ByBlogpost, challenges, Food for thought, Goals, inspirations, Leadership, management, opportunities

A winning team culture can easily give your company that extra advantage over the competition. The team or corporate culture is one of the foundations of a strong business. This can greatly contribute on how fast you can achieve your goals or better yet, be a factor in your company’s longevity.

Take a look at today’s most successful and long running companies and examine their respective corporate cultures. You can probably see how similar their corporate team culture is to their brand image and the quality of their products. The corporate culture in one way or another reflects what the company’s image is.

A winning team culture is achievable by any organisation but does not come easy. A team culture is developed over time. It takes time, discipline and good leadership. A leader’s job is to encourage positive values and prevent negative ones. There are negative values that need to be stamped out before they can become deeply ingrained in your team.

Poor Communication

This is the easiest one to detect and is easily one of the most toxic. Poor communication goes against the very concept of a team. Communication between team members is essential if they are expected to work with each other to achieve their common goals. Poor communication stifles creativity and hinders great ideas from being implemented. This can also turn off high-performing members – causing them to quit and look for another company to work for. Give the team members the freedom to speak their minds. Encourage open communication but do not force. Just like any value you want to instill in the team culture, it takes time.

Micromanaging

Managing your team is indeed your job as the leader but do not overdo it. You hired these people because you are confident that they can do their jobs. This is what the hiring and the interview process is for. The fact that they are already employed means that you have already decided that they are the right people for the job at hand. Micromanaging can put your staff under unnecessary pressure and can stress yourself out. Whether it’s you or a person of managing position in your company, avoid micromanaging. Trust the team. Guide them but give them enough freedom to do what they do best.

Too Profit Focused

Ensuring that your company makes a profit is important but should not be the be-all and end-all. This can lead to aiming for short term results and focusing more on the bottom line. A profit focused culture can lead to poor employee engagement. Just like having a culture of poor communication, this can lead to individuals, possible high-performing individuals, leaving for another company. Strike for a good balance between profit and employee engagement. Remember, without employees, you cannot run a business.

Managing High-Performing Teams

Bychallenges, Goals, Human resources, Leadership, management, mindset, opportunities

You finally have the best of the best and have them working in the same team. You now have your go-to team for high priority tasks or projects. Your team can spearhead your organisation’s path to success. In short, you now have a high-performing team working for you. Having a high-performing team in a company is like having a Special Forces division in the military. These are the guys you go to if you want something done. As mentioned before, they are the best of the best.

Having a high-performing team in your organisation does not mean that you can go on auto-pilot mode. Teams are composed of people and not machines. People within an organisation still need to be managed by people one step above the corporate ladder. If you think about it, even machines need to be guided on how to effectively complete their tasks – but they are not as flexible as humans. As a leader, you might enjoy high productivity from high performing teams but you will also have the difficult task of dealing with varying attitudes from team members. There is also an issue with teams that follow their own rules. This is especially true with teams that have been working with each other for a long time. So how do you strike that balance between keeping the team in top form but at the same time have a semblance of managerial control?

Recognition

Give credit where credit is due. Recognize the team’s achievements. Even better, recognize individuals within the team that went one step beyond what is expected of them. Show everyone in the team how much you respect them and their work. This is after all, THE team in your organisation. Giving recognition not only boosts their morale but also serves as an inspiration to the rest of the company.

Accountability

One of the reasons why high-performing teams are able to achieve success is that they tend to do things their own way. Allow them to keep on doing what they do best, but make sure that they understand that it must be done within a reasonable time period and within the company budget. With this type of freedom, it is also important that they be held accountable for both successes and failures.

Balance

Challenge the team to think creatively but that creativity must be in service to the organisation’s mission and goals. Give them the freedom to choose which methods to go for but the objectives must be in line with the organisation’s goals.

Changing Your Team Culture for the Better

Bychallenges, Blogpost, Food for thought, habits, Leadership, management, opportunities, purpose

No company is perfect. Not even yours. There is always something to improve on. And that is a good thing. Those flaws keep you on your toes and if you have the right mindset for it and you love a good challenge every now and then, you can consider it as the fun part of running a business.

One aspect of the company that you can improve is the team culture. As I have mentioned in one of my previous articles,Building a Winning Team Culture, team culture is the sum of the beliefs, values and attitudes shared by the team members. Since a team is composed of different individuals with different personalities and attitudes, there is a tendency that bad habits will form overtime. It can start with one or two members and would then rub off onto their teammates thus becoming part of the team culture. If left unchecked, it can negatively affect the team and in turn your company. As the business owner, the challenge is to look out for these bad habits and change them. It is not easy to change a deeply ingrained habit in the team but it is never too late to change it.

Choosing What to Add or Change

Changing or adding a value in the existing team culture is a long process. It can take months or years depending on how deeply ingrained the value is. Since it can take a lot of time and effort, let’s make sure that those resources are not wasted. Carefully consider which value is worth adding or changing. Think how big of an impact it can make in the team. Ask yourself if adding or changing a value can come into conflict with some of the existing values in the team culture. Careful consideration and forward thinking are essential when making this decision.

Keep on Repeating

If you want a value to sink in to the team, you need to keep on repeating it. A team meeting is not the only way to remind the team, you can use different mediums to get the point across. You can use e-mail to talk about it or tell stories that are related to that value or habit. You can even build a company event around it. Be creative and fun when going about it. You may sound like a broken record, but you will achieve the results that you are aiming for.

Lead by Example

You are the leader and the team culture is not something that is posted on the wall or a fancy presentation. It’s your team’s core values and attitudes on how you face challenges. If you want the team to adopt a new value or remove an existing one, then you as the team leader should lead by example. Show them how you live by those values and how to apply them.