You know how to create and guide engaged and well-functioning teams. But there is a next step -- advancing the teamwork concept to a company-wide initiative. When a teamwork culture is so intrinsic that it’s "baked" into a company, everyone benefits – the company, its employees and its customers.
So, how do you bake teamwork into your company’s culture? Creating a culture of teamwork is not the same as team building. If you’ve developed strong teams that produce solid results, you can build a case for teamwork culture that can then be pitched to your supervisor, and on up to the C-suite.
According to Randy Slechta, president of Leadership Management International, Inc., a Texas-based organizational development company, an organization that seeks to develop productive team members first has to cultivate a culture that’s positive and open with an environment rich in creativity and challenges. Such a culture will lure and keep employees who thrive at teamwork, he said.
You’ve probably seen companies where each member of the management and staff are engaged, productive and loyal and maybe wondered what it took to get there. To create a teamwork culture in your company, consider these five attributes shared by companies with strong cultures of teamwork:
Creating a teamwork culture is easier when teamwork is promoted, sponsored and supported from the top. However, if teamwork is not currently valued within the organization, it will take time to change underlying beliefs and systems.
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An effective teamwork culture can contain many facets, depending on the size and type of company, industry, or even location. Some of common ingredients to baking teamwork into a company’s culture include:
Gamification, the use of game theory to solve problems, can be a real team motivator. It leverages people’s natural tendencies to compete, strive for status and achieve self-satisfaction to get tasks completed and goals accomplished. The strategy can incentivize a whole team, and eventually, the entire company.
Gamification often involves competition between groups or individuals with points, rewards, and recognition.
To make workplace gamification work, it’s important to:
Baking team culture into your company is no one-size-fits-all endeavor. You need to customize the mix of ingredients for your specific circumstances. Be sure your efforts are aligned with the company’s culture, mission and goals. Otherwise, you could be perceived as someone trying too hard to create change. Remember, securing management buy-in only happens with solid results.