10 Tips to Improve Your Team Culture in 2019 {with Murray Guest}

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It is easy to find excitement and pizzazz in your StrengthsFinder team workshop — it was a fun, engaging, outside the ordinary kind of day, right?! Yet, from experience I know, it is even easier to lose that fizz the moment you walk out the doors. Many of my clients ask something like, ‘How in the world do we make this stick — to make this strengths perspective a part of our team culture, beyond the shiny, fun workshop day?’

Murray Guest is a global strengths consultant and coach whose unique corporate experience and ongoing company engagements have positioned him as an expert in building and maintaining a Strengths-based team culture.

Today, Isogo is honored to once again partner with Murray as he shares his insights on building team culture. {Don’t miss his 2018 tips for living life to the fullest, if you haven’t seen them!}

As an individual trying to impact change or as a manager of a team, with these 10 tips about improving your team culture, this year can truly be unlike any other.

10 Tips to Improve Your Team Culture in 2019

1 :: Set up Team Agreements

Take time at the start of the year with the team to define your team agreements. These are the agreed ways of working.

How will we communicate, ask for help, offer support, celebrate, prioritize our work etc? Defining “how we will work”, is just as important as the work you do.

2 :: Focus on What is RIGHT

As a strengths-based coach, I firmly believe in the power of the work of Don Clifton. One of the simplest strategies is for the team to truly embrace and live the intent of his famous quote “What will happen when we think about what is right with people rather than fixating on what is wrong with them?”.

This is a mindset that can bring energy, inspiration, innovation and collaboration to the team.

It is an approach that acknowledges and encourages team members to apply their strengths. Also beyond that, it is about giving up the need for being right and encouraging the different perspectives and uniqueness of each team member.

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3 :: Let It Go, Let it Go

This is a simple and very powerful mindset, yet sometimes challenging to achieve.

To move forward we need to let go of the past. Let go of past grudges, perceived wrongdoings, missed opportunities. When you hang on to these past infractions, it creates a culture of below-the-line behaviors: of gossip and judgement.

4 :: Create a Safe Space

Create an emotionally safe space for people to share how they are feeling, — to be heard, share their thoughts, feel appreciated and voice their concerns.

As a leader, provide support through coaching, opportunities to safely discuss their concerns and guidance to seek additional support if needed.

5 :: Run Better Meetings

Ineffective meetings are one of the biggest costs for organizations and frustrations for team members. This year, reset team meeting processes and expectations.

To improve your meetings, create ownership and set standards for the meetings. Ask the team, “What would make our meetings better? What’s working now? What do you want from our meetings?”

Meet regularly with a clear purpose, aligned with the rhythm of the work of the team. For agility and clarity, it’s always better to meet more frequently with short meetings. For example meet weekly for 15 minutes, instead of monthly for two hours.

6 :: Acknowledge and Celebrate Each Other

You know that awesome feeling when we celebrate something? Birthdays, anniversaries and competition wins. Imagine that feeling being part of the culture in your team on a daily basis.

Celebrate more, the little wins.

One simple way to do this is to include a standard agenda in weekly team meetings “What went well in the past week? What can we celebrate?” Celebrate personal and professional wins, team members are more than the person at work each day.

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7 :: Provide Crystal Clear Clarity

A frequent frustration of team members is not knowing their role and the part they play in the team’s success.

Set your team for success in 2019 by providing greater clarity to remove frustration, provide focus and direction. Do they understand the organization vision and the team’s role in achieving the vision? Do team members understand the requirements of their role, priorities and how they will be recognized?

Take the time to explain and explore these areas and others to increase clarity.

8 :: Find Development Opportunities

Look to provide opportunities for team members that are aligned with their strengths and talents. This will increase their engagement, productivity and the benefits for the organization.

Opportunities might be… presenting information to another team, writing a summary with key learnings from a conference, working on a cross-team project, investigating and improving a process problem.

Invest and develop your team, and they will feel honored and continue to bring their best.

9 :: Remove Common Frustrations

Ask the team “What’s the dumbest thing you have to do in your role?”
Then look to improve it, replace it, remove it, stop it.

{Be prepared with an open mind for this one!}

10 :: Invest in CONTINUAL Team Development

Teams do not train once in the pre-season and expect to win the championship. Continue investing in your team culture throughout the year.

Take the time to regularly (e.g. quarterly) to check in on the team agreements, how we are working, what’s working well, what we could do better. Invest the time to review, acknowledge and improve team communication, collaboration, trust and relationships.

{Thank you, Murray Guest of Inspire My Business, for your discerning and experienced insight about inspiring a thriving team culture in 2019!}

If you don’t know Murray Guest or his work, sign up for his newsletters over at inspiremybusiness.com and be sure to follow him on Instagram @murrayguest.

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