Updated September 26th, 2023
An engaged team member is a productive team member. And a happy team member provides outstanding service.
These are great reasons for making it your goal to build a strong team culture a priority.
Of course building a strong team culture is not easy and it requires a very intentional set of steps.
Here are 5 important steps you should take if you are looking to create a strong team culture.
Before moving forward, I highly recommend downloading my FREE Guide to Being An Effective Team Leader, where you’ll learn the five actionable steps new managers must take to gain clarity, build relationships, and lead their new teams effectively.
Your team culture starts with the words that YOU use as the team leader.
It is undeniable that words carry emotion and yet in work spaces we often forget to carefully choose the words we use so that we are conveying the messages we want to project.
Even if you are not speaking to them directly, when speaking in general you want to make sure you are using collaborative language so that it becomes the norm for you.
Start by asking yourself:
Do I use words that make my people feel as though they are a resource to me? Such as “staff” “direct report” “under me”.
Do I use words that reinforce that I see them as human beings who bring expertise and uniqueness to the table?
Here are a few shifts to make in your words:
Poorly trained managers create toxic work environments by over indexing on either driving performance or engagement.
When a manager’s sole focus is on performance here are the toxic symptoms that will manifest on the team. The team will look like this:
❌Lots of rules
❌People are treated as resources
When the focus is solely on engagement, here are the toxic symptoms that manifest on the team. The team will look like this:
❌Lack of accountability
This is why it is imperative that you find the balance between the two:
Finding the balance between these two starts with you calling yourself to excellence first by developing yourself as a leader so that you can do the following effectively:
✅Reward and recognize in a way that lands
✅Develop your team
✅Release team members that don’t belong
Many new leaders fall into the trap of being people pleasers and this has to do with the fact that they are new. When we start something new we are always looking for validation that what we are doing is acceptable.
While yes, you want your team to respect you and trust you it is not advantageous for them to always like you.
I know it sucks but that’s actually the test of if you’re doing a great job.
Whenever I consult a team that is ALWAYS happy & ALWAYS high energy ‘ .
A people-pleasing leader creates an environment where all team members believe that pleasing one another is more important than the outcomes.
This is why as the leader, you have to put down the need to be liked and instead wear the torch of integrity. It’s a far better pursuit and provides better fruit 😉
Know this: gifts, games and activities do not build trust.
Consistency, honesty and competency builds your team’s trust in you.
Oftentimes managers want to take the lazy route to trust building by hosting semi-boring (sorry!) activities and then wonder why no one on their team cares about the outcomes as much as they do.
It’s because you haven’t given them a reason yet.
✔️ Lead with authenticity
✔️ Build rapport
✔️ Give trust
✔️ Share your intentions
✔️ Become effective
If you want to become an effective, motivating leader capable of creating a positive and collaborative environment then I want to invite you to encourage you to learn more about The New Manager Accelerator and how this intensive coaching program designed for new managers can help you create an environment that you can be proud of click here to learn more.
February 4, 2020