What Is Team Culture and Why Does It Matter?
The term “team culture” is a popular buzzword. It’s a selling point for numerous companies, and you’ve likely heard businesses say, “We’ve got a great culture here!”
Regardless of whether or not you focus on your team culture, every company has one. It’s based on your social and psychological environment. And, depending on how much effort you put into understanding, creating, and enforcing that culture, you can decide whether it’s strong or weak.
A strong team culture happens when there’s an alignment between what you say and what you do. In these workplaces, an organization’s environment lines up with its goals. There’s an overarching sense of cohesion as employees act consistently with their company’s mission, values, vision, and strategy.
Much like a compass, a strong team culture helps employees navigate through the workplace—guiding their behavior, actions, and decisions. Within these environments, team members understand their company vision and strategy, they agree with those practices, and they’re committed to upholding them. Employees don’t question what’s expected of them, and because of that, they can operate with a high level of trust, autonomy, and efficiency.
When a culture is weak, it works against business goals—leading to a break between what an organization practices and what it preaches. Within these workplaces, managers and team members tend to either disagree with, feel uncommitted to, or not understand their company’s core values and goals. And, as a result, there’s a disconnect among staff members about what’s expected, which makes behaviors unpredictable and prone to personal preferences.
In weak cultures, employees tend to feel unmotivated (since there’s no common purpose), collaboration becomes difficult (since everyone has vastly different approaches), and customers tend to have inconsistent experiences. As a result, these organizations often require precise rules and ongoing overhead to ensure that employees are guided in the right direction.
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