Trying to Build a Strong Team Culture? You Need Buy-in from All Directions

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As a team leader, you may wish you could design a perfect culture, inform your team members, and then quickly watch your business flourish with a brand new attitude. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work like this. Culture can’t simply be assigned from the top. However, culture also can’t be created from the bottom-up without buy-in from leadership. 

If you don’t have equal buy-in from team members of all levels, there’ll be an imbalance of support for new culture initiatives. This could eventually lead to a divided culture where team leaders and team members are on different pages. To create a truly sustainable and productive culture, everyone from the leadership to the interns should be a part of designing and implementing the culture.

Why You Need Support from the Top

When a team realizes they need to revamp the culture, it’s essential that the leadership on the team is on board. While a big part of culture is behavior and attitude, a lot of it is also shaped by the policies and activities at the company. Culture-shaping policies and activities are typically created or enforced by leadership. 

Daily huddles, for example, are one of the strongest tools you can use to implement and maintain a positive culture on the team. Huddles need full team participation, though, so it helps to have leadership create a policy of total team attendance. 

Other culture-building activities, like a holiday party or a team lunch, aren’t difficult to get people to attend, but these events are more likely to be successful if your team leaders are on board. When you have the support of leadership, including a willingness to allocate both budget and time to culture-building events, your team will be able to craft culture more successfully. 

The attitude of team leaders is contagious. When leaders show they care about living by the values and culture of the company, the rest of the team will be more likely to follow their example. 

Why It Can’t Just Come from the Top

Culture is a group effort. Even the newest hires can have a huge impact on team attitude and behavior. Culture isn’t just something that is stated. It is something that is lived. While leadership can post the core values all throughout the organization, if team members don’t live those values, the culture hasn’t changed. 

To ensure that both new and old team members believe and support the team culture, allow people from all levels of the organization to participate in defining and implementing the culture. Get different types of team members to champion the cause, encourage their teammates, and think of ways to help the culture spread. 

Why Intention Matters

Culture exists whether it’s created intentionally or not. It’s important to spend time considering what types of behaviors, beliefs, and attitudes you want those policies to support. Team members will start to share a certain culture, even if no one ever told them to. Your team will function so much more smoothly if you create awareness and intention about culture, rather than let a culture form without direction. 

Negativity and tension are contagious, so when the team isn’t intentional about shaping a positive culture, it’s common for attitudes to devolve and unproductive habits to form. 

At Workman Success Systems, we coach agents to build rockstar teams. To learn how we can support you in creating a culture of productivity and success with your team, schedule a free consultation with one of our business analysts. 

About the Author:

Rachel is a writer, marketer, and content creator at Workman Success Systems. After obtaining her Bachelor’s degree in English, she taught high school students about writing, persuasion, and creativity. She then took her passion for people and communication into the marketing field as she pursued an M.B.A. with a marketing emphasis at Utah Valley University. After obtaining her M.B.A, Rachel has focused on writing and marketing within the real estate industry.