Team alignment is a must-have for any business. But sometimes getting the members of your team or company working together can feel like herding cats. The answer? Focus on a team-friendly culture. Read on for 5 research-based company culture ideas that support successful teams.
5 Company Culture Ideas for Teams
1. Clear and Measurable Goals
In Gallup’s 2017 Performance Management report , 40% of employees could link their personal goals to company or team goals. When their managers help them align their goals to company goals – productivity increases by 56%.
In addition, in our market research for the Employee Experience Quantified, 3 out 4 employees stated that they could deliver a better customer experience when they understood the impact their work had in the company. Clear goals help employees understand their impact.
According to the New York Times’ How to Build a Successful Team, most companies will set as many as 8 to 11 different priorities – which makes it difficult to know the correct path to follow. Clearly and regularly communicating a smaller number of clear priorities to a team (and repeating them!) helps individual team members keep moving in the same direction.
Company culture Ideas for living out clear and measurable goals.
- Create only 1 – 3 priorities.
- Communicate core values and key goals publicly and daily.
2. Have a Shared Scoreboard
If you have a company where everyone has their own ways of keeping score, you’ll get incessant fighting and arguments, and they’re not even arguing about what to do. They’re arguing about how to keep score.
— Adam Nash
Team members, especially high performers, like to win individually. Having a common set of metrics is critical to keep each part of your team moving to a common target.
In addition, celebrating wins as a team can build team performance. Research has shown that creating incentives that reward a whole team, rather than just individuals, can reduce competition and create better overall performance.
Company culture ideas for a shared scoreboard:
- Give timely, specific, public recognition for behaviors that embody core company values.
- Recognize and reward both individuals and teams for moving forward on the shared scoreboard.
3. Show Respect
Employees are going to have different opinions. Sometimes they will have disagreements. The question is – how do you handle them?
Google’s Project Aristotle — a 2-year study of their highest performing teams — showed that psychological safety was the single characteristic shared by all their high performing teams. Every employee on those teams felt encouraged to share ideas – even bad ones.
How do you create that environment? Start with management. Encourage employees to share ideas and take small risks. Celebrate their wins. And then encourage employees to do the same with each other.
Then, focus on communicating about behavior rather than interpretations. For example, saying, “I notice you’re coming in late, and it’s having an effect on your work,” is a different conversation than, “Don’t you care enough about work to come in on time?”
Company culture ideas for building respect:
- Use a public peer-to-peer recognition program for positive behavior.
- Celebrate and learn from small mistakes. If they’re still in line with core values, they’ll build employee and team performance.
4. Hold Everyone Accountable
It’s hard to show respect and work off the same scoreboard when everyone isn’t bringing their best. If one person isn’t pulling their weight, it can bring the whole team down.
So, at the same time that you’re celebrating team wins publicly, hold people accountable privately. Communicating how an individual team member is doing and redirecting them toward the group goals is key for keeping everyone working well together.
However, that doesn’t always mean you need to hold everyone to the same standards. Research shows that, often, high-performing teams contain one member who could perform higher on their own – but they use their skills to make others successful. This person is critical for overall success.
Company culture ideas for accountability:
- Clearly link individual goals to company goals.
- Try to set up a team so that employees can work on projects that let their skills shine.
5. Have the Difficult Conversations
It’s hard to hold people accountable without having difficult conversations about what isn’t working, or what they aren’t doing well. Many managers tend to avoid these conversations until employee performance or morale has gone into the tank.
However, stepping up to have the difficult conversations becomes easier in a culture of respect, shared goals, and accountability. Regular communication and a balance with positive feedback makes it easier to give that feedback.
Company culture ideas for encouraging the difficult conversation:
- Have regular one-on-ones between managers and employees, so that difficult feedback isn’t the only time a manager talks to an employee.
- Routinely communicate the positives. Positive reinforcement reinforces positive behavior. It helps make a difficult conversation a redirect rather than a crisis.
By implementing these company culture ideas, you can set up a culture that supports high-performance teams.
Kazoo is the employee experience platform powered by the science of motivation and the mission of improving the lives of employees everywhere, one company at a time. Founded in 2013, Kazoo grows company culture and improves bottom-line performance metrics through its robust engagement platform that delivers recognition, rewards, incentives, and team insights. Named to Entrepreneur Magazine’s list of Best Company Cultures in 2017, the Austin-based SaaS company and its technology platform are built on the four pillars of employee experience: connection, meaning, impact, and appreciation. To request a demo, visit info.kazoohr.com/demo-request.