How To Build a Team Culture (With Steps and Tips)

Updated February 27, 2023

Companies benefit when teams have high employee satisfaction and greater productivity. By building a company that values teamwork and developing a strong team culture, organizations provide a strong foundation for their future success. Management often models the behavior employees follow, so if you show you value teamwork, your employees are more likely to form teams and perform well in groups.

In this article, we discuss why culture team building is important, what impacts it, how to build it and some tips on improving it.

Why is culture team building important?

Building a great team means establishing a team culture that encourages collaboration and development, which benefits both employees and the company. Teams can often accomplish more together than the individuals in the team could alone.

Groups also benefit from a variety of perspectives, levels of experience, skills and ideas. A company that supports teams tends to have happier employees with a positive regard for their company. A team culture shows the team why they are working and how their contribution helps to meet a goal they believe in.

Related: How To Build a Team Environment

What impacts teamwork?

Many factors impact teamwork, including the employees' personalities and the company's culture, communication style and team dynamics, such as employees who are new and those who have worked at the company for years. Consider how the company's structure could affect teamwork.

For example, if an employee receives a bonus based on how well their team does, other employees will want to contribute more to a team. If the CEO supports teamwork and joins teams, employees may do the same.

To support a company culture that encourages teamwork, consider promoting people who support their teams and encourage collaboration. When you evaluate employees, include a section on teamwork and how well they contributed to their team. When employees see that management values teamwork, they often value it as well.

How to build team culture

Creating a team culture takes time and careful planning. If you want to build a team culture for your group, follow these steps:

1. Learn from others

Research other companies to find out what kind of culture they have and how they built it. Consider reading advice from other team leaders and meet with them if you can. You can find many resources, such as books and speeches from top leaders, that will help you decide what kind of culture you want for your team and how to build it.

2. Create a vision for your team

People often want to contribute to something they believe in. You can create a team culture around a shared vision that motivates you and your team to achieve a goal. Clearly define this vision to your team so that everyone knows and understands it.

Continue to reinforce this vision and explain how everyone fits into it so that your team remains motivated. Some examples might include a vision of satisfying every customer that your team meets or creating a product that will improve the local area.

3. Set a regular meeting time

Meeting with your team builds rapport, ensures everyone knows what to focus on and offers the team a chance to communicate questions or concerns. Tell your team about the meeting schedule and what you plan to discuss in advance.

Consider finding a time that everyone agrees on so you can ensure your entire team can attend. Try to use the meeting time wisely and assign team members to roles, such as taking notes or leading the meeting.

Related: How to Plan Meetings (With Tips)

4. Build relationships with your team

Consider celebrating your team's successes and personal achievements, such as arranging a party for a team member's birthday or taking time during a team member to recognize a team member who ran a marathon. You can share lunch with your team or arrange an optional activity after work, such as a potluck dinner or an evening playing board games together.

By understanding your team members on a personal level, you can understand their strengths and how to work with them more effectively. Consider asking your team what activities they would enjoy outside of work hours with an email survey or during a meeting.

5. Give constructive feedback

Telling your team what they are doing well and how they can improve can help build a team culture. Consider tailoring your feedback to the individual when you can. Recognize your team's successes often so they know you are only interested in helping them when you correct something else.

Listen to your team's feedback and tell them you want to hear their feedback as well. When possible, give more positive feedback than negative. You can provide an anonymous or one-on-one way for team members to give you feedback if you feel that will help them give you more honest feedback.

Related: Best Practices for Giving Constructive Feedback

6. Set an example

Follow your vision consistently and ensure your actions reflect the culture you want to create in your team. Modeling the team culture at all times shows that you value your team and the culture you have asked them to take part in. It also shows that you are willing to do the things you ask your team to do, which often helps to build strong relationships with your team and increase trust.

7. Support your team

Give your team the resources they need to complete their tasks and be available when they need help. Consider training when your team needs it, such as setting up access to resources that will educate them in the skills they need. This can include conferences, recorded lectures, books or mentoring sessions with you.

Tips for building team culture

Even after you have established a team culture, these tips can help you and your team improve:

  • Hire people who fit your vision and have the skills you need.

  • Create a team with people who can each contribute unique skills that will benefit the group, such as employees from different departments.

  • Build trust between team members and with you.

  • Involve your team in the planning process so they can make an achievable plan they feel invested in.

  • Make your expectations clear.

  • Encourage open communication between team members, particularly if any team members have a disagreement or conflict.

  • Be honest with your team.

  • Respond with kindness when someone makes a mistake.

  • Be humble.

  • Empower your team where possible and allow them to make decisions on their own when you can.

  • Measure how productive your team is and communicate this regularly.

  • Encourage mentorship among the team, particularly with new members.

  • Assign team members to tasks where they can use their strengths.

  • Give team members a chance to learn other roles to expand their understanding of how each part of the company works.

  • Be inclusive.

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