I never imagined I’d be leading an organization that is growing as fast as fit-flavors has been in the last few years. We’ve recently onboarded so many new team members and have many new roles that we’ve never had before still in the interview process.
With so many fresh faces, the question of creating a positive team culture is on my mind. How can I align everyone around shared values and ensure they meet the standards our leadership team has worked hard to create?
Building a strong team culture is crucial for any organization, big or small. It fosters unity, boosts morale, and helps deliver consistent results. Whether you're a business owner, a team leader, or an employee looking to make a positive impact, here’s the knowledge I can share with you to help you foster the kind of team culture you want:
Communicate the Vision: Start by sharing the company's vision and mission with your team. Help them understand the purpose behind the work and the positive impact it can have. When everyone knows where you're headed, they'll be more motivated to contribute to the shared goals. If you don’t even have a vision, learn how to make one. At fit-flavors, we write vision statements for every single project we work on!
Define Core Values: Identify the values that represent your organization's principles and beliefs. These values could be honesty, teamwork, creativity, or anything that resonates with your company's culture. Clearly communicate these values and encourage your team to embody them in their daily work. You can read our core values here. This past year, we added two more: Core Value #6: Take full ownership. Core Value #7: Fiscally responsible.
Lead by Example: Your actions speak louder than words. Be a role model for the team by consistently demonstrating the values you expect from others. Show them how to work with dedication, integrity, and a customer-centric mindset. Leading by example creates a ripple effect throughout the organization. If someone isn’t leading by example, be brave enough to have a private conversation with them and pour into them. Bad culture spreads like a disease. You have to stop that ish in it’s tracks and the only way to do it right is with grace and love.
Set Expectations: Define clear expectations for your team members. Let them know what is expected in terms of performance, behavior, and attitude. When everyone understands the standards, it becomes easier to align efforts and work towards a common goal. Regularly provide feedback and guidance to help them grow. At fit-flavors, we use Asana to define everyone’s roles and the duties they have to perform in order to be successful in their roles and on the projects they’re working on. We foster open communication, so in meetings it’s very collaborative.
Foster Team Connections: Encourage a sense of belonging and collaboration within your team. Organize team-building activities or events that bring people together. Encourage cross-departmental interactions and create opportunities for them to get to know each other beyond work. Building relationships enhances teamwork and improves communication. A lack of focus on team connections will cause silos and “cliques” on your team that can be a barrier to cultivating a positive culture.
Invest in Development: Support the growth and development of your team. Offer training programs or opportunities for individuals to enhance their skills. Help them become experts in their roles and empower them to take ownership. Investing in your team's development not only benefits them but also contributes to the success of the organization. At fit-flavors, we call this resourcing your team.
Remember that building a strong team culture is an ongoing process that requires everyone's participation. You can’t force culture down anyone’s throat. They have to want it. You have to create an environment where they crave to be a part of something. You can encourage them by asking questions and reading body language in meetings and interactions and responding to their signals to help read the room and lay the foundation. When everyone shares the values and standards are communicated well you'll foster a positive workplace culture that drives success.
Reply here if you want more custom advice on how to create a solid team culture. Maybe your question will help me keep improving fit-flavors’ culture!
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