13 Tips for Building a Positive Team Culture

Every company culture is uniquely created because of its leadership and the employees that make up the company. While every company’s culture looks different, there are some tell-tale signs yours is fulfilling and joyous.

Signs you have a positive team culture:

  • Laughter happens daily on the job
  • Candidates eagerly await job openings
  • Employees are regularly engaged and excited
  • Workers feel more like family than employees

So how do you build a positive team culture?

Gallup research shows that employees who feel cared for by leadership perform better. Forging solid relationships by making time to authentically connect is just part of the equation. Several qualities contribute to a positive team culture that gets team members excited about work. Below, we dive into those.

Here are 13 tips for building a culture your employees all love:

1. Foster Connection Opportunities

How can you connect your teams and departments? Ensure your team members are getting to work together and meet others within the company. Have team leads connect them with others in the organization so they can support one another. This makes it easier for workers to ask questions of seasoned workers when they might be stuck. Open cubicles, conference rooms, and open-air meeting tables are perfect areas for pairing off and collaborating — set up your workplace to foster that!

2. Be Welcoming and Take Notice of Workers

Leadership and employees should frequently interact with one another to create a culture and experience of cohesive teamwork. While leadership may have different duties on a regular basis, at a minimum, ensure that team management is checking in to ask people how they’re doing. Asking about employees’ families, hobbies, and interests in a sincere manner makes a difference.

3. Enjoy Team-Building Together

There’s no “I” in team, right? Come together for specific training exercises that play upon team strengths and weaknesses while having a little fun. Whether you do these monthly or quarterly, it gives team members something fun to look forward to breaking up the work day.

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4. Create Stability

The world is full of unknowns right now. From inflation to navigating a new post-pandemic world, it’s important for employees to feel stable in their careers. Keep them in the loop of any department changes, upcoming leadership changes, and other challenges your company may be facing. Assure your employees how their roles are a key part of continued success.

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5. Uphold High Expectations

Make it clear what your company expects when it comes to behaviors, roles, matters of importance, and expectations all around. But with those high expectations, let employees know it’s okay to fail, too. This creates trust and workers will feel safe bringing their ideas into the light. Reward those who bring their ideas forth by implementing them and praising their efforts. This instills a growth mindset and will help your top workers achieve better job satisfaction. Don’t let things get too comfy or growth will be inhibited.

6. Keep Everyone Accountable

When clear expectations are laid out by department heads and leadership (see #5), it makes it easier for individuals to know what their roles are and how to stay on top of them. Accountability is simply keeping structure and holding to it. Most people thrive knowing that they have someone (a colleague, manager, etc.) holding them accountable for their work. Provide feedback in a constructive way to positively impact your team’s reliability and efforts.

7. Respect Team Members’ Personal Lives

There’s life beyond work. Remember that when it comes to your team and their time off. They’ll be grateful for managers who don’t micromanage their time away from the workplace. Skip emails on weekends demanding work or short turnaround deadlines that would impede weekend activities. Everyone needs a break to refresh and reset.

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8. Practice What You Preach

If you truly want a company that gives off a positive cultural vibe, it’s essential that what you say and do align as a leader. Your credibility is shot otherwise if you don’t follow through on what you say your company’s values are and what you believe as a leader. Aside from building a culture of positivity, when leaders showcase their personal and professional interactions align with the words they speak, they build trust and strengthen relationships, too. 

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9. Offer Praise

Speak joy and positivity to your staff. Too many people hear about their mistakes and errors. Due to evolution, our minds tend to hang on to the more negative things said or done to us. Make it a daily practice to praise your staff while also offering a healthy dose of constructive criticism to ensure they continue to strive for excellence. An example? Say one positive phrase, followed by constructive criticism followed by another praise. It makes the criticism easier to manage.

10. Define Success

What does success look like for your company? What does it look like to the professional (and personal) lives of your employees? Speaking about the future and setting up goals is exciting. Do it on a quarterly basis in a way that allows your team to gather together for a major brainstorming session. Doing so is inspiring and rewarding, especially when team members see they can meet their goals together by outlining what successful steps they need to take to get there.

11. Collaborate Often

Do you value teamwork? If so, allowing your team to work together as often as possible to piggyback off one another’s talents and experiences is a must. Even if your team is a hybrid model, there are simple ways to connect these days. Invest in technology that brings them together like Zoom, Slack, and other collaboration tools. Don’t make it an obstacle for team members to be together. There isn’t a single app or platform that will be the answer, so try a variety to see what works and get team feedback on it.

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12. Make Kindness Essential

Even when work gets overwhelming and stressful, staying kind and calm shows workers that humanity matters, too. As a leader, showcase kindness to your workers and fellow leaders and show it doesn’t need to be sacrificed in the name of stress. This kind of attitude helps people persevere and adds greatly to building a positive team culture.

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13. Be Patient

This goes right along with encouraging colleagues to be kind to one another. But also be patient when it comes to building a positive work culture. There may be transitions and times when the wrong team member for the group inches their way in. Take note of productivity, and employees’ general attitudes, and survey how your team collaborates. It takes time and effort to create an ideal culture, so ensure you’re in it for the long haul for the biggest impact!

Build a Positive Team Culture for True Success

As a leader, you want to see your team excited to come to work every day. Cultivating and maintaining a positive culture can play a huge role in that. When employees feel supported, happy, creative, and engaged, they’ll thrive in more than one area. Employees don’t want just a paycheck; they want a positive work experience, too.

Some extra reading to enjoy on company culture:

One recent IDC survey found 85% of business owners agreed that a positive employee experience and increased employee engagement meant better customer experiences and more revenue. So why wouldn’t you treat your employees to an overall more positive work experience? It helps them and your bottom line thrive.

What’s the best way to foster a positive work culture? Share your insights in the comments below!

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