Team Building

Creating, enhancing, and celebrating teamwork is at the heart of every successful company culture. A culture of teamwork focuses on team accomplishments rather than on individual accomplishments, encourages collaboration, and allows for tasks to be completed in a faster, better, and more efficient manner. One of the most common misconceptions about teamwork is that the success of a team is based on the personalities of the team members. The truth is that while personalities that work well together certainly make teamwork easier, the real success or failure of teamwork is derived from structure. Teams need to know what the expectations are and what the roles and rules are. Those need to be reinforced and clarified to all team members, and once this structure is in place, teamwork becomes much easier.

Cultural sensitivity is the awareness of practices and cultures that are different from your own. A culture that embraces diversity has an awareness of different cultures, of how these cultures should be properly approached, and how to communicate with them accordingly. Leaders and team members evaluate how certain cultural differences affect how people work, communicate, and interact without judging, making assumptions, discriminating, or stereotyping.

A company culture that embraces diversity is centered on tolerance and acceptance of others, which fosters teamwork and a general sense of collaboration.

Successful company cultures always offer their employees opportunities for growth, both in terms of training and in terms of their ability to grow as individuals or as teams — acquiring new skills and, as a result, new possibilities. It’s the manager’s job not only to obtain the best possible performance from employees but to obtain the best possible performance from them while at the same time helping them to grow. Opportunities for growth are an incredibly determining factor in employee engagement, and there are various types of growth opportunities that companies can offer employees.

Position-based growth

Motivated people who work hard would typically expect to move forward and upward in terms of their position. If they do not see any possibility for position-based growth at any point, it may decrease their engagement, and in some cases it may cause them to leave.

Professional growth

Engaged and motivated employees would also seek the opportunity to enhance their skills and improve their knowledge. People desire to feel that they are progressing as professionals and that their workplace allows for that growth.

Financial growth

Financial growth is important to employees, as it can act as an indicator of their value and worth to the company — and of course, they hope to increase this over time. Lack of financial growth is perceived by employees as lack of growth in terms of their own value for the company, which may lead to disengagement and even increased staff turnover.

Employees perform best when the environment is growth-oriented, which is an essential characteristic of successful company cultures.

Employee engagement is a hot topic at the moment, and raising employee engagement has become one of the highest priorities for organizations around the world. The problem is that while leaders have come to appreciate the importance of having a fully engaged employee, they often have a very limited understanding of what really drives employee engagement and of how to actually maintain or even increase it. In the 1990s, William Kahn, professor of organizational behavior at Boston University, introduced the term “engagement” based on his observation that people have a choice as to how much of themselves they’re willing to invest in their jobs. Kahn discovered that employees were far more emotionally and physically engaged when they experienced the following:

  • Psychological meaningfulness: a sense that their work was worthwhile and made a difference.
  • Psychological safety: a feeling they were valued, accepted, respected, and able to perform their job in a positive work environment.
  • Availability: routinely feeling secure and self-confident in terms of their ability to perform their job.

Nearly twenty-five years later, these three elements remain at the heart of most theories of employee engagement. The most interesting fact as far as engagement is concerned is that pay isn’t even on the list! While fair compensation will always be a key component of job satisfaction, the research shows us that it’s not necessarily a day-to-day motivator of engagement. The conclusion for organizations everywhere is this: Employee engagement can never be bought; it must be earned.

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