If you look at business news, then you know everyone is talking about its redefinition. Sure, 2020 was a year for the history books. But concerning the business environment, the year accelerated trends that were already in motion.
For instance, companies were already looking into remote working. And, because of the power of artificial intelligence, digital transformation was well on its way. Still, one of the essential ingredients for any business is its people. Although the nature of work shifted considerably, high-performing talent and team culture remain the difference between success and failure.
Problem: 2020 revealed businesses did not have the planning and infrastructure to weather the massive storm. As a result, significant small business closures and job losses occurred. More likely, still, others will follow for a few more years.
Opportunity: As is always the case, during disruptive events, there's opportunity and profits to get created. One of the elements for success is ensuring that your team culture is dynamic. Prioritizing it will inevitably propel your business forward.
Resolution: Understanding how to master team success is one of the essential elements for higher profitability. Creating a culture of learning, for instance, but also challenging the status quo, is what it takes. Learn why it's essential to hire the right people for the right projects to get the right outcomes.
What is Team Culture and Why Should I Care About It?
Team culture has a lot to do with what's said, but also unspoken.
For instance, before companies went remote, culture was that sense you got walking through a suite of offices. In some places, you felt that it was very buttoned-up and corporate. Think of going into a law office, which is serious and staid. However, other times you may have walked through offices where there was a lot of energy, music, and conversation. And, if you looked at the products and services of that second office, you may have seen a lot of innovative stuff. That feeling and way of operating is part of the team culture.
Values, processes, and behaviors define team culture.
You get to see it in action, if you are on the client-side, by how they treat customers. For example, striving for excellence, remaining respectful—no matter the situation, and in how communication happens. After you work with a company for a while, you get a sense of their team culture. Inevitably, you learn if you have a motivated, positive, innovative, and dynamic team. And, depending on your experience, you continue associating with the company, or not.
Leaders create a team culture at the top. How executives think and behave dictates how the rest of the team operates.
Further, in a highly competitive climate, the culture of the group defines team success. In short, if you have a dysfunctional work environment, it's going to come through to everyone, including your customers. Alternately, if you have a dynamic culture, which promotes ideas, challenging processes, and is future-oriented, you will experience greater team success and profits.
How to Hire the Right People for Your Business
While team success and culture start at the top, the people hired for the team also matter. As a result, as a leader, you want to ensure that you recruit the best. Therefore, one of the essential things to remember is that you don't just want people who have the right skill sets. It's more than that. You also want people who will complement others already in your business. So, if you had two top candidates for hire with comparable skills, the best choice is the one who adds value to your team culture.
At this point, you may ask, what skills should someone have to ensure you optimize talent acquisition and performance? First, because of remote working and the nature of the digital age, you need to hire talent with high emotional intelligence (EQ). Average people could out-perform people with high IQs if the latter doesn't have high emotional intelligence. At a time of increased independent and virtual activities, team success needs to have people who have high awareness about themselves and others.
The behavior of people is an essential aspect of team culture, and EQ plays a significant part in the mix.
Second, success, as it relates to team culture, involves continual learning.
The bottom line is that the digital age requires teams to be curious by nature. Thus, you have to hire talent who has an innate and cultivated interest in learning.
You want to hire people who appreciate the culture of learning you create. Third, you want people who communicate well. Irrespective of whether someone is an introvert or extrovert, communication is essential to team success. So you have to have people on board who hold themselves and others accountable in their behaviors.
How to Create an Environment for Team Success
Once you have the right people, team success in culture means you need to ensure the right people work on the right projects.
It is only in doing so that you achieve the outcomes and profitability you want. As a successful leader, you understand you need to have agility and speed. As it concerns your operations, it means continually innovating, testing, refining, repeating. And, that means you need people who come together for projects and then disassemble as needs and opportunities change. In other words, collaboration happens among people with skills specific to a project. Then, for another project, a new group comes together.
Success in business and through team culture in the modern era requires expert teaming. By teaming, your company operates on the fast track with the right people on the right projects. Moreover, because you hire people with high EQ, communication skills, and talent, critical data information gets disseminated quickly. As a result of this continual grouping and reorganizing, you excel at learning and innovation. Creating edge initiatives is one of the best ways to create a team culture of constant ideation. In short, iterative process improvements don't grow profits. However, the repetition of teaming for new opportunities does drive growth.
Once a team culture gets created that is positive, built on trust, and delivering results, you want to nurture it.
Therefore, you want to ensure any toxicity or negativity is resolved immediately. There's simply no room for it in a high-performing team.
One Final Point Concerning Teams in the Digital Age
Finally, as we know, the future of business relies on remote work and teams. Therefore, it's vital as a business leader to learn how to manage remote working. Think about it for a second.
Many business leaders had trouble understanding how to create dynamic team cultures for competitive advantage before remote work went mainstream. And, that's a key reason why many companies failed.
The same things that will make your team successful when working remote will also make you successful in office environments. Location will always be fluid based on role and function, but team dynamics will either push you forward or hold you back.
Make no mistake. Operating successfully with remote teams also requires understanding and knowledge. And, yes, it does impact team culture and success, affecting your bottom line.
Ben Stroup is Chief Growth Architect and President at Velocity Strategy Solutions where he helps leaders design, develop, and deploy smarter business growth strategies. Ben is a futurist, disruptor, and data champion. He leads a team that takes a structured learning approach to business challenges, which allows them to assist leaders in bridging the gap between ideas, innovation, and revenue—taking ideas from mind to market.
Velocity Strategy Solutions is an on-demand, next-generation business strategy and management consulting firm which provides clients with a relentless focus on data, execution, and results that positively impact the bottom line. Velocity delivers integrated people and revenue strategies combined with a disciplined approach to growth architecture that elevates the capacity of leaders, teams, and organizations to succeed and win more.