Some of the most important relationships we have are in the workplace. We spend most of our weekdays with our teammates in some form or fashion (even if only virtually). This is why it’s so important to make sure all team members feel comfortable with the company culture that we all help to foster.
The Fjords Trend 2022 Report indicates that many people are reevaluating the relationships in their lives, including those with coworkers and employers. This shift in perspective serves as an opportunity for workplaces to adjust company culture to better meet the needs of a changing workforce. The value of the collective is no longer a given—it must be demonstrated. The question for companies now is where to start.
Building Company Culture with Shared Values
When it comes to building cohesion within a team, it’s a good idea to start by identifying shared values. These may be different from company values, which tend to relate to the mission and goals of the company. Instead, shared values amongst team members have more to do with how members of the group treat each other and support one another. They help cultivate a feeling of camaraderie, motivating coworkers to worth together. Shared values set the foundation for stronger connections between coworkers, and stronger connections lead to happier teammates, unity in the pursuit of goals, and ultimately more productivity.
So how do you identify shared goals? A good place to start is with a team assessment. There are a several tools available. The CliftonStrengths assessment by Gallup is a popular tool for companies of all sizes. It helps determine individual and collective strengths among team members. Another popular tool is the Enneagram assessment, a more personality-based test.
You may also discover shared values through team-building activities. Escape Rooms, for example, are the perfect way to bring people together in a problem-solving activity. (Plus, you don’t need to travel far to find one—simply utilize a virtual Escape Room instead!) Or you can try one of these team-building games to learn about your coworkers and find your foundational shared values.
Effective Communication is Essential
In addition to sharing similar values, an essential key to a healthy relationship, work or otherwise, is good communication. In a virtual environment, this is even more important. Good communication can reduce conflicts in the workplace, avoid mistakes or misunderstandings, and increase engagement.
The workplace standard of communication often starts at the top. When leadership chooses to be open and honest with their team members, it fosters an environment of camaraderie. Team members will feel like they’re part of the bigger picture and not merely siloed to their job description. Likewise, developing lateral friendships within the workplace can help team members feel supported and part of something bigger than themselves.
Communication in the workplace takes a number of different forms, from emails and direct messages to phone calls and face-to-face conversations. In an increasingly digital world, it’s also come to include video conferencing calls. With all these forms communication can take, it is essential that team members know when and how to communicate certain things. Perhaps time-sensitive information needs to be communicated in a direct message or by video conference. Something that has more runway (for example, approval of a document) may be received better by email.
It’s also helpful to have a platform for non-work-related communication, a la “water cooler” talk. For Vuepoint, this has meant developing a non-work Slack channel where virtual team members can swap memes, personal stories, and pictures, and cultivate friendships outside of the work we do.
Win Together, Celebrate Together
Lastly, a team with a positive company culture celebrates the wins, big and small, together. Complete focus on work all of the time often leads to burnout and lack of energy and motivation among team members. Taking the time to celebrate victories together is a great bonding experience for workmates. Teammates have the opportunity to be recognized for their work and share that moment with others. It also serves as a chance for leadership to express gratitude to their team for the work they do.
Celebrations don’t have to be a big affair either. It could be as simple as a team lunch at a nice restaurant, or verbal recognition during a group meeting. The Vuepoint Team takes time every Friday afternoon to share “victories” in our weekly “Wind Down” meeting. It’s a chance for all of us to end the week together on a high note. The most important aspect of celebrating together is simply sharing the group’s success with friends.
Company Culture That Everyone Loves
Everyone wants to work in an environment where they feel comfortable. Building a strong company culture goes a long way toward making all team members, both veterans and newbies, feel welcome.
Are you interested in joining the Vuepoint Team and our awesome company culture? Check out our current open positions and send us your resume!