The culture of a team is crucial for the success and efficiency in the organization. In the course of restructuring a department, I did workshops with over 90 employees and 8 teams to find your own vision and values. I would like to introduce this here and offer the slides for download.

Tip: Download the slides for the workshop

What is team culture?

I understand team culture as 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 there are also good sides to them. On the one hand, there are teams that have a high level of orientation towards 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 their colleague, this is also an important constellation. You will usually notice this later in the values and mission statements. Purpose teams do not value helpfulness and empathy as much as cuddle teams.

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

Types of team cultures

What are the success factors of team culture?

A group at Google pursued this question and surveyed over 200 Google employees within two years and observed more than 180 teams. The success factors for a good team culture are:

  • Psychological security (error culture)
  • Reliability (being able to rely on each other)
  • Structure and clarity (roles and goals)
  • Importance of the 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 behavior. Imagine that a new employee with a rather negative mindset comes into the team and suddenly the team culture changes or an employee with an agile mindset turns an entire team inside out.

This is exactly why vision, values and guiding principles are important, which I will explain below.

Workshop agenda – find team culture

Find 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 expressed in as few words as possible and is formulated in the present tense. A vision is simple, utopian, and emotional.

task : Have the participant work out a sentence that describes a state that is to be achieved in the company.

Examples :

  • We deliver what the customer will need tomorrow!
  • Your specialist of tomorrow – today!
  • We implement ideas in projects!
  • Advantage through automation!
  • We bring new technologies into the company!

Find values

Just imagine the following: A soccer team that prefers to party than train or a doctor who does not pay attention to hygiene? Values shape the behavior of teams and form the basis for cooperation between team members and are a central field of action for successful teamwork.

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

Examples :

  • agility
  • Helpfulness
  • courtesy
  • Motivation
  • loyalty
  • respect
  • tolerance
  • Commitment
  • 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 that you ask anyone in the company what they think of 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 specific guideline for each value, e.g. quality: What we deliver also works!

Examples :

  • We always deliver products on time and on 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 operate what we build!

Conclusion and download

I really enjoyed the workshop and made sure that each team put the vision on a banner on the door and in the internal wiki. Everyone from the outside should be able to look at the vision, values and mission statements of the teams.

Overall, the team culture has improved sustainably, as everyone is advised of the guiding principles by their colleagues in the event of gross violations. In the meantime I often hear: “No! That does not correspond to our mission statement!“By the way, it is important for the team leaders to re-evaluate the mission statement every year to see whether values have changed or new ones have been added.

Tip: Download the slides for the workshop

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Gendernote: I have used the masculine form for ease of reading. Therefore, unless an explicit distinction is made, it always refers to women, diverse as well as men, and people of all origins and nations. Read more

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Image-Source Titlepicture: Fotolia.de 2016 – buyed License

Author

I blog about the influence of digitalization on our working world. For this purpose, I provide content from science in a practical way and show helpful tips from my everyday professional life. I am an executive in an SME and I wrote my doctoral thesis at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg at the Chair of IT Management.

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