Healthy team culture is something that we care deeply about at BlueSky. Our Team Development programs are designed to help organizations foster an atmosphere within their team that is cohesive, inclusive, productive and empowering.
So what is team culture? This concept refers to the shared values, beliefs, attitudes and behaviors that shape a team. Imagine a tree. There are roots under the ground that represent values and beliefs. These values and beliefs inform the attitudes of a team. Then the attitudes lead to a certain behavior, which is what we actually observe. So when the values and beliefs are healthy and constructive, that leads to healthy and constructive attitudes and behaviors.
Having a positive team culture is important because it impacts employee motivation, team unity, productivity, and commitment to the mission and vision of your organization. So what does a healthy team culture look like and who is responsible for fostering it?
WHAT DOES A GOOD TEAM CULTURE LOOK LIKE?
A healthy team culture cares about results, but also about each individual on the team feeling a sense of belonging within the group. It fosters true buy-in of the mission and vision of the organization, with each individual employee sensing that they are contributing to something larger than themself. If a team doesn’t actually believe in the vision and mission of an organization, but are only there to get a paycheck, that will come out in their behaviors eventually. A healthy team culture also supports team members with care, treating them as whole, worthy human beings who are not simply cogs in a machine.
A healthy team culture also embraces difference and respects diversity, seeing it as the best way to have a balanced team where everyone is able to operate within their strengths rather than seeing it as a point of conflict or competition. When we have the idea that we are all contributing in our own way, each with our own strengths and weaknesses, we become greater than the sum of our parts.
RESPONSIBILITY OF LEADERS
The leadership of an organization plays an incredibly important role in fostering a healthy team culture. Because of their position, a leader often has more capacity to influence the culture as their mandate is to cast vision and set the pace. It is important for leaders to model how they want the rest of the organization to behave, embodying the beliefs and values in their own attitudes and actions. Regardless of what a leader says, it is what they do that sinks in with the rest of the team.
Most importantly, the leaders are responsible for fostering an environment where leadership can come from anywhere, where every good idea is considered regardless of who it comes from. Everyone can have a leadership role in an organization, whether it is official or not, and leaders should always be learning from their employees.
RESPONSIBILITY OF EMPLOYEES
Leaders are not the only ones who can influence team culture, however. Although employees may not have as much control as a leader, they have a very significant role to play.
It is important for employees to ask how they are contributing positively to the culture of their team. This means choosing to buy into the mission and vision and see their purpose as beyond simply getting a paycheck. It means supporting leadership and playing their individual role in order to support the entire team. It means caring for their coworkers and modeling acceptance of those who are different than themselves. Even a single employee can have an incredible impact on their team culture.
HOW BLUESKY CAN SUPPORT YOUR ORGANIZATION?
BlueSky Team Development supports organizations to start building a healthy team culture. Our programs, from team building sessions to leadership summits, have been thoughtfully developed over time, with a foundation of expertise and a wealth of knowledge from our curriculum and facilitators. And while we focus on fun and adventure, we also go deeper, helping your team determine what their values and beliefs are and how that affects their attitudes and behaviors. We are not there to teach you, but to facilitate a conversation where you can discover the best way forward for your organization.
If you’re interested in learning more, we hope you’ll reach out!