Create a Culture Others Clamor to Join
How to avoid a sterile team environment
Leaders are keepers of culture. Great team cultures require deliberate effort to cultivate a healthy environment. Teams will work better with one another, go above and beyond the call of duty, invest themselves personally, and own their wins and their losses.
How to Avoid a Sterile Environment
Healthy environments are characterized by leaders who value integrity; intolerance for discrimination; robust systems, policies, and procedures; and organizational alignment that promotes shared goals and achievable results.
But healthy cultures go one step further. They find ways to capture the spirit of the organization. They have identified the “personality” of the organization, and they express that personality with color and vibrancy to what could otherwise be an active but sterile team environment.
Bicycles and Bowling Alleys
Google is known for its corporate culture, and the company was ranked number 1 in Fortune Magazine’s list of The 100 Best Companies to Work For in 2014. When I moved to Silicon Valley, one of the first places I visited was the Google campus. I had heard rumors of the great megaplex in Mountain View, California. My quick tour lived up to the hype.
Everything about the Google campus was designed to inspire open communication among employees reflecting a desire to keep the culture of a start-up organization. From inspiring meeting places to bicycles and bowling alleys, the facility encouraged team interaction in fun and innovative ways.
The “Wow” Factor!
Zappos, an online retailer, aims to “deliver WOW through service.” Zappos carries that wow factor into the culture of their staff. The managers refer to their staff as family and have ten core family values that they believe put the “zap” in Zappos. Among them, you’ll see phrases like “create fun and a little weirdness” or “be adventurous, creative, and open-minded.”
Several years ago I toured the Zappos offices. On our tour the other visitors and I were made kings and queens for a day, complete with throne and regalia. The group was challenged to a hula-hoop contest, and we received a free book from the company’s family library. We paraded through a sea of cubicles where staff, or “family members,” were bustling with energy and productivity. Zappo’s spirited culture made me briefly consider a career change.
What Kind of Culture are You Creating?
In the book “Spiritual Leadership,” Henry and Richard Blackaby state,
Today’s workplace is a forum for people to express themselves and to invest their efforts into something that contributes positively to society.
People no longer choose jobs based merely on salary and benefits. They seek companies with corporate values that match their personal values.
Great team cultures should cause people to clamor to join your organization, your division, or your company. People aren’t afraid to work. They fear a toxic workplace that drains the life out of them. As a leader, you can create a vibrant and healthy environment that inspires your team and increases creative productivity.
Keep leading well!
** Are You New to The 4Sight Group? **
As leaders, we’re full of ideas and initiatives. We see potential and opportunity all around. We can almost taste the outcome, but often we get bogged down by how we’ll get from here to there.
The “how” can be overwhelming and discouraging so we give up on our goals or fail to build a plan to help us actually achieve them.
These five steps will get you and your team on the path to moving from ideas to action! We’d love to have you join our community and access this free PDF!
Jenni Catron is a writer, speaker, and leadership coach who consults churches and non-profits to help them lead from their extraordinary best. She speaks at conferences and churches nationwide, seeking to help others develop their leadership gifts and lead confidently. As Founder and CEO of The 4Sight Group, she consults with individuals and teams on leadership and organizational health.
Jenni is the author of several books including Clout: Discover and Unleash Your God-Given Influence and The 4 Dimensions of Extraordinary Leadership.