A team’s culture is critical to the success and performance of the organization. In the course of a restructuring of a department, I have done workshops with more than 90 employees and 8 teams to find my own vision and values. I would like to introduce this one here and offer the slides for download.

Tip: Download the slides to the workshop

What is team culture?

I mean team culture, the

  • Processes
  • Habits
  • Traditions
  • Knowledge and
  • Experience

a group of individuals.

What are the types of team culture?

I believe that there are different teams in the company and that also has good sides. On the one hand, there are teams that have a high orientation towards the relationship with each other and who actually don’t care what work you do. They just have fun together. This is a great thing, especially for tasks that are not so exciting!

On the other hand, there are teams that do not have a close relationship with each other but work together through the exciting project. These are so-called purpose teams. Since not every employee wants to be friends with his colleague, this is also an important constellation. You will notice this later by the values and guiding principles. Purpose teams don’t rate helpfulness and empathy as highly as cuddly teams.

If both dimensions are given, then you have a real high-performer team!

Types of team cultures

What are success factors of team culture?

A group at Google has also investigated this question and has interviewed more than 200 Google employees and observed more than 180 teams in two years. The success factors for a good team culture are:

  • Psychological security (error culture)
  • Reliability (can be relied on)
  • Structure and clarity (roles and objectives)
  • Importance of work (vision, values and guidelines)
  • Impact of Work (Value)

In this article and workshop I would like to dedicate myself to the “importance of work”!

Find a team culture workshop

It is the employees who can influence a team culture both positively and negatively through their behaviour. Imagine a new employee with a rather negative mindset coming back to the team and suddenly flipping the team culture or an employee with an agile mindset turning an entire team around.

This is precisely what vision, values and guiding principles are important for, which I explain below.

Agenda of the workshop – Finding team culture

Finding vision

First and foremost is the vision. She tells us why we go to work every day! It expresses a high goal or a desirable state in the future, is formulated in as few words as possible and is formulated in the present tense. A vision is simple, utopian and emotional.

Task: Have the student work out a sentence that describes a state to be reached in the company.

Examples:

  • We deliver what the customer needs tomorrow!
  • Your specialist of tomorrow – already today!
  • We implement ideas in projects!
  • Leading the way through automation!
  • We bring new technologies to the company!

Find values

Imagine a football team that prefers to celebrate rather than train, or a doctor who doesn’t pay attention to hygiene? Values shape the behaviour of teams and form the basis for the cooperation of the team members and are a central field of action for successful teamwork.

Task: The team should select 3-5 values, which are absolutely important for the team. For example, quality is generally important for every team. But is it specific to this team one of the top 5 values or is appreciation more important, for example, among executives?

Examples:

  • Mobility
  • Helpfulness
  • Courtesy
  • Motivation
  • Loyalty
  • Respect
  • Tolerance
  • Liability
  • Appreciation

Find guidelines

The guidelines differ from the vision in that they do not describe a state but an order. They are more aimed at customers and colleagues. So imagine asking someone in the company what they think about your team: What would you want that person to say and what do you want customers to say about your team?

Task: Formulate 3-5 guidelines. Tip: There should be a concrete guideline for each value, e.g. quality: What we deliver also works!

Examples:

  • We always deliver products in time and budget!
  • We pay attention to the structure of our software code!
  • We are open to new technologies!
  • We document our work cleanly!
  • We build setups sustainably for operation!
  • We do what we build!

Conclusion and download

I really enjoyed the workshop and Made sure that every team puts the vision on a banner on the door as well as in the internal wiki. Everyone from outside should be able to look at the vision, values and guiding principles of the teams.

Overall, the team culture has improved sustainably, as everyone is reminded of the guiding principles in the event of gross violations by their colleagues. I often hear: “No! This is not in line with our mission statement!” By the way, it is important for the team leaders to re-evaluate the mission models annually, whether values have changed or new ones have been added.

Tip: Download the slides to the workshop

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Gender note: I have used the male form for easier reading. If no explicit distinction is made, women, miscellaneous and men as well as people of any origin and nation are always meant. Read more.

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I blog about the impact of digitalization on our working environment. For this purpose, I present content from science in a practical way and show helpful tips from my everyday work. I am a manager in an SME myself and I wrote my doctoral thesis at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg at the chair of IT Management.

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