Culture & Community | By Tom Murphy,

How to Build a Culture of Collaboration

Finding and hiring the right people is integral to the success of your organization. But no matter how capable each staff member may be, if your teams aren’t working together, you won’t get the results you’re hoping for.

Yes, you want to have high value contributors on staff, but successful companies also need successful collaboration, communication, and teamwork.

Wondering how to build a great company culture, even as you add new employees to the mix? Take a look at your current team strategies and practices to see what’s working and what isn’t. Then get brave enough to make the changes you need.

Here are several ways to ensure you’re building the kind of team you need, and the kind of team your employees want to be part of.

It’s all about the “why”

When you’re the one creating the company vision, it can be easy to fall into the trap of assuming everyone in the organization understands why  you’re doing what you’re doing, and why it’s so critical.

This isn’t necessarily the case. The truth is, you can never explain in too much detail what gives you your fire and drives your organization. You can never tell that story too many times.

Bottom line: Once you help your team understand the “why” behind your vision, you may be shocked at how quickly and efficiently they will be able to execute on the “how.

Stay focused

You have a vision for where you want to go and how you want to get there. But creating and communicating that vision isn’t enough. You’ve got to commit to it 100%. Or more.

Recruit, hire and promote with this vision in mind.

Unfortunately, sometimes you’ll have to let people go with this vision in mind as well. If you have team members who aren’t willing or able to help execute the vision, cut them loose. Don’t kid yourself into thinking you’re taking care of your people by hanging on to employees who are no longer a good fit. Doing so destroys your leadership credibility and weakens the team, and that’s not fair to anyone.

Bottom line: The sooner your entire team is aligned, the sooner you can get moving in the right direction.

Keep your best and brightest

As you begin let go of those employees who are no longer a good fit for the organization, be careful that you don’t inadvertently lose some of your golden nuggets. Change is disruptive by nature, and it can test employee confidence and loyalty. Never assume your best employees will easily pass that test.

Look for opportunities to reinforce your confidence in your top performers. Let them know you recognize and appreciate their capabilities, and help them see how they fit into the changing picture.

Be sure your compensation program is designed to motivate and incentivize, not deflate and desensitize. Realistic goals, genuine appreciation, and healthy dose of positivity will go a long way here.

Bottom line: The more valued your employees feel, the more secure and loyal they will feel.

Get connected

Horizontal connections are often ignored in companies ripe with silos. There are silos that separate departments, teams, and even individuals.

More importantly, there are silos separating leadership from everyone else.

Make sure your leadership team remains in touch with people at all levels in the organization. Every great employee and incredible leader had to start somewhere. Ignoring certain segments of the organization can cause you to miss out on innovative ideas and future stars. Today’s entry level staff person could be tomorrow’s CEO.

Build bridges between teams and individuals to allow the transfer of knowledge, ideas, and confidence.

Bottom line: Whether your employees have been with you a week or a decade, they will appreciate feeling connected and being part of something bigger.

Inspire communication

Keep communication channels open, not only between leadership and staff, but across teams and between employees.

This should be a top priority and part of your overall company culture and commitment to employees. Make communication part of your onboarding process and embed it into everything you do.

Bottom line: Transparency is one of the best ways to build trust. Establish clear communication patterns and lead by example.

Admire your work

The kind of team and culture you create will determine the kind of employees and customers you attract— and how loyal they will be to your brand.

Make sure your organization embodies your values from the ground up. If you’ve built a solid framework, more people will willingly jump onboard.

And that is a thing of beauty.


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