10 Oct 2013 – Ben Poulton – Featured –
Many businesses are only as good as their front-line staff, and one way to ensure that your staff perform at their best is to create a positive team culture.
With the spring selling season now well underway, there’s no better time to take stock and examine whether your employees are working together to maximise their results. To assist this process, here are four pointers for creating and maintaining a positive team culture.
1. Don’t avoid the “tough” conversations: if certain team members are struggling or under performing, it is important to be proactive and address these problems before they get out of hand. Why? Because under performing employees can sometimes have detrimental impacts on team morale, which may affect the performance of other staff members. If a team member isn’t pulling their weight, try having an open discussion with them about their performance issues. It is possible that the under performing employee could simply need guidance or support, but may be unsure of how to access it;
2. Provide leadership: leadership isn’t always a simple question of pulling long hours, making decisions and offering the occasional motivational speech. Effective leadership often means building strong connections with staff and proactively developing their teamwork skills. The ability to work effectively in teams is something that can be taught and improved upon, but only if you’re willing to invest the time and effort to do so;
3. Establish goals: during busy periods, team members may lose sight of the bigger picture as they chase short-term outcomes. Setting long-term goals with staff, such as achieving a record number of sales over the spring period, may provide a motivating influence when business and teamwork becomes challenging;
4. Have fun: employees who enjoy their working environment are generally more likely to be productive and create value for a business. Conducting “fun” team building exercises every now and then may help to not only bring staff together, but also motivate employees on an individual level. Think about the types of activities that you staff might enjoy partaking in – perhaps it’s a communal lunch or engaging in a team sport. If you find yourself stumped for ideas, you might consider asking staff to vote for a team activity that they’d like to participate in.
Developing a strong team culture in the workplace isn’t always an easy task – but it’s certainly not impossible. Often, all it takes is a willingness to try out some different strategies and take into account the collective and individual needs of your employees. Be proactive in building a sense of unity in your office, and you’ll likely see some positive results.