The team culture within your organization is a two-way street.
On one hand, your employees are the culture. They’re all basically “inside” men and women who collectively determine the vibe and efficacy of the workforce from within the workforce. Very 007, really.
Since team culture, as well as the overall company culture, are driven and fostered from the inside, this makes your employees your most valuable asset.
Within an effective team culture, their engagement, attitudes, and motivation align with the mission, goals, and core values of the organization.
On the flip side, the same engagement, attitudes, and motivation are also heavily influenced by how aligned they are with your leadership style, their working environment, and the common goals of their colleagues.
A prime factor is whether they feel valued and appreciated in their roles. When employees feel like their time, talents, and hard work are respected, they’re more invested in the organization and committed to its success.
“A positive workplace culture is one that is built on meaningful work, open communication, and core values. And lucky for employers who have one, once an employee is embraced by a strong workplace culture like this, they don’t have many reasons to leave.”
Essentially, employees who feel empowered, appreciated, supported, and informed are much more likely to promote a healthy and positive team culture. Why?
Here are a few reasons:
✅ There’s ample exchange of recognition.
✅ They know where they fit and how important their influence is on their colleagues.
✅ They’re clear on the shared goals of the organization so they’re able to establish their shared purpose.
✅ They’re happy.
Your company’s team culture is the make-or-break ingredient in the success of your organization. Making some improvements within your workforce will reflect in your employees’ day-to-day interactions. You’ll see their decision-making and problem-solving skills evolve, teamwork and collaboration will improve, and your retention rates will rise.
So why not make 2023 your year to make the moves that change the game?
Get some clarity on the current state of your team culture and how to show up and show out in 2023 and beyond.
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What is Team Culture?
Culture is defined as “the set of shared attitudes, values, goals, and practices that characterizes an institution or organization.” It’s not something you can touch. It’s an energy. A mindset. A vibe that circulates like oxygen through the air.
But the keyword is shared. Team culture is all of these attributes being shared across an organization by a collective group of people.
Team Culture Examples
Your organizational culture doesn’t just show up one day like an extra intern. It’s intentional. Culture is determined by design. Or… by a lack thereof. If you’re not taking action to build trust and promote a good team culture, you’re inadvertently creating the opposite environment.
1 Employee Engagement
Genuinely engaged employees are high-performing and display greater levels of motivation, involvement, and productivity. They’re committed to their roles and they support the company’s ethics and core values.
2 Employee Recognition
This is arguably the most important building block in the foundation of a healthy, positive team culture. Recognizing your employees shows them they’re seen and appreciated even when they don’t think anyone is actually watching.
3 Rerks, Benefits, & Lifestyle Tips
Keeping the perks and benefits you offer in alignment with your company’s and employees shared values, sends a message of consistency to your workforce. These little extras support the collective attitudes and desires of your teams so they’re rewarded with things they care about.
4 Remote Work
Staying connected and keeping your teams engaged while working remotely can be challenging. Creating an effective remote work plan offers your employees the flexibility and freedom to do their best work in the environment of their choosing.
5 Office Breakroom
Water cooler chats have long been a staple of great team culture. Of course today they may be “espresso machine chats” or “smoothie bar chats,” but the breakroom is still the connection hub for meet-ups and catch-ups.
6 Meeting Dynamics
Meetings aren’t just about exchanging information. Starting your team meetings off with an icebreaker or quick team-building exercise changes the dynamic of the meeting and energizes the whole group from the start.
5 Team Culture Ideas For 2023
1) Celebrate birthdays with group gifts
Birthdays are an excellent time to get together and connect with your colleagues. this team culture idea is based on the entire group planning a special birthday celebration for this upcoming milestone. Whether this involves a birthday cake in the breakroom or signing a digital birthday card, there is no end to the different ways you can build camaraderie between peers.
Why this idea helps to create team culture: Since birthdays will pop up from time to time on your team, it gives you the opportunity to all get together on a consistent basis to celebrate a coworker, talk about things outside of work, and hopefully relax with your colleagues. This can help to break the ice and encourage all employees to get to know each other a little more.
2) Create a shared Slack channel for #bonding
A virtual space at work, for everything BUT work. A place to coordinate happy hour drinks, plan coffee meet-ups, share the latest binge-worthy series, and discuss common, non-work-related interests. Social connections essentially strengthen professional ties and working relationships.
Offering your employees a space to be themselves at work, and discover their commonalities, lets them see each other as people, not just coworkers.
Why this idea helps to create team culture: Bonding over shared common interests builds stronger working relationships, improves communication and teamwork, and results in a more deeply engaged workforce.
Pro-tip: You can work with a team culture tool like Caroo to make it possible to reward your employees with personalized ecards, corporate gifts, care packages, and more!
Explore the Caroo platform, sign up for FREE, and start learning more about the ways you can engage with your staff this year!
3) Open up a suggestion box for team culture
Remember, your employees are the culture. Who knows better than the stakeholders what’s working and what’s not? A suggestion box gives them endless opportunities to provide constructive feedback that improves their workplace, their team performance, and their day-to-day employee experience.
Why this idea helps to create team culture: Cocreating your team culture means receiving feedback and acting on it. Listening to your employees’ concerns and considering their suggestions shows them their voices are heard and they have a direct impact on their work environment.
4) Celebrate holidays at your company
Celebrate ALL the holidays! Within your workforce, there are many different cultural and religious backgrounds. Honor them all by expanding celebrations beyond just the “traditional” US calendar holidays.
Why this idea helps to create team culture: Diversity and inclusion are requirements for a healthy and strong team culture. Celebrating everyone’s traditions gives employees opportunities to learn more about each other and supports a successful team mentality.
Looking for ideas coming up? Try out a few crowd favorites:
|Scavenger Hunt||🏃🏼♂️ Holiday Scavenger Hunt||Holiday Hunt|
|Virtual Murder Mystery||🎬 Hollywood Murder Mystery||Murder Mystery|
|Virtual Holiday Party||🏠 Gingerbread Houses||Gingerbread|
|Virtual Beer Tasting||🍻 Seasonal Beer & Cheese Pairing Experience Boxes||Beer Tasting|
|Virtual Trivia||🎅🏻 Holiday Trivia Fun||Holiday Trivia|
5) Establish a work anniversary program
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics reports the average person stays at a job for 4.1 years. Long-term milestones are less common than they once were, so acknowledging each work anniversary is arguably more important.
There’s so much growth and success to be acknowledged in those in-between years and they ultimately add up to the “big” ones.
Why this idea helps to create team culture: Celebrating work anniversaries will make your employees feel honored every year and they’ll continue to invest their time where they’re most valued and appreciated.
6) Revise your PTO policy
Be sure your PTO process is easy to navigate and your employees always know how much time is available to them. Then, remind them – often – that these days are itching for a block on their calendars. Leading by example and taking your PTO also sets the expectations from the top down. Everyone needs a break!
Why this idea helps to create team culture: Encouraging employees to take their well-deserved PTO reduces burnout, increases motivation, and improves your employees’ relationships in and out of the workplace.
5 Ways To Build A Stronger Team Culture
1) Utilize employee rewards
Recognition and rewards go together like avocados and whole wheat toast. Using an effective recognition and rewards program not only highlights employees for the value-added things they do to support their colleagues. It also allows everyone to show their appreciation to their coworkers with some action that backs their encouraging words.
Tip: Finding the right full-circle recognition software puts all the culture-building tools at your employees’ fingertips and further supports that cycle of recognition we mentioned in #1.
Celebrate wins at work this year with digital gift cards!
Simply log onto the Caroo platform, select the gift card category of your choice, and a digital gift will show up in your employee’s inbox. Just a few clicks and you are utilizing employee rewards in a way that employee will care about.
👉 Explore the gift card platform for more ideas!
2) Build recognition into your work
Peer-to-peer recognition can start a snowball effect, in that it begins small but makes a significant impact. Creating a recognition program for your employees to show their appreciation to any and everyone in the organization makes even the smallest gestures praisable.
Tip: Using a proven recognition platform gets your snowball rolling and begins a continuous cycle of recognition within your organization.
3) Find little ways to promote team bonding
Creating opportunities to connect coworkers with similar interests can open doors and strengthen the working relationships of your team members. Office games, 5-minute icebreakers, and team lunches can all be easily integrated into your regular check-ins.
Tip: Create Slack channels for different interests like cooking, climbing, pet parents, cigar lovers, artists, whiskey enthusiasts, geocachers, and the gazillion other things your employees may be into.
4) Review which employee perks you have, which perks are popular, and which can be cut
Your employee perks are only perks when they’re effectively impacting the employees. Do an inventory of your employee perks to find out which ones are most appreciated, and which ones are gathering dust and should be cut from the roster.
You also want to conduct a review of the types of perks offered to remote employees who are more likely to feel out of the loop and disengage if not properly included in the team dynamic.
Tip: Send out a survey. Let your employees tell you which perks should stay in the starting lineup and which ones should be replaced.
5) Provide resources for your team
“Resources” cover much more than a toll-free number for insurance benefits and HR support. Productivity tools, mental health resources, mentoring opportunities, benefits software, and continuing education are just a few of the supportive services your employees may be lacking.
The best way to meet your team members’ needs is to educate yourself on what those needs actually are.
Tip: Even if you think you already know, take the time to find out what resources your employees want and need. They’ll know what they’re lacking more than anyone, so giving them a voice will help you zero in on your next moves.
Signs Of An Unhealthy Team Culture
We’ve covered some of the benefits of and ways to create a healthy workplace culture.
Now, let’s take a quick look at a few detrimental symptoms of not promoting a better team mentality. In case you’re not sure what to look for, the signs may include:
- Low productivity – Your metrics don’t lie. Seeing a decline in your productivity measurements may not just be a cyclical hiccup.
- Absenteeism – An increase in random call-offs may be a sign that your employees simply don’t want to be there. Don’t ignore this red flag.
- Presenteeism – Having team members who are physically in the building but mentally “out to lunch” is a clear sign of a lack of employee engagement.
- Burnout – Factors leading to burnout are stress, long hours, excessive travel, and unmanageable workloads. Pay attention to the balance of your expectations.
- High turnover – If you’re collecting badges and then churning out welcome packets regularly, there’s likely a bigger problem to focus on.
Our best advice? Stay ahead of the curve. Don’t wait until you see evidence of a toxic culture before you start to support great leaders and promote a strong culture within your organization.
People Also Ask These Questions About Team Culture
Q: Why is it important to promote team culture in the workplace?
- A: It’s important to promote team culture in the workplace because happy employees are productive and loyal employees. When people work in a healthy culture where they feel valued and appreciated, they’re more motivated, engaged, and likely to stay with that company longer.
Q: What are a few best practices to follow when promoting a healthy team culture at work?
- A: A few best practices to follow when promoting a healthy team culture at work are showing appreciation, offering effective employee perks, peer-to-peer rewards options, and transparent communication.
Q: Are there any strategies you can use to build a more positive team culture?
- A: To build a more positive work environment, some strategies you can use are implementing a rewards and recognition program, providing social opportunities for organic connections, and surveying your workforce to find out what they want, straight from the source.