5 Killers of Team Culture and How To Reverse Them Effectively

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Team Culture is the buzzword. To align any organization’s best resource = People towards a greater, commonly shared goal, with each team member empowered to serve with their best skills put forward, encouraged to take ownership with laser-focused intensity and driven by unstoppable momentum –  is the dream of every leader.

More often than not however, do we hear of quite the opposite being the case. Here are five of the most common team culture killers and how to reverse them effectively.

1. Lack of Commitment to the Organization

Coming in late and getting ready to leave on the dot is just one small sign that signifies lack of commitment to the organization. Are your people sold and completely on board with the vision and direction of the company or do they simply show up for a paycheque? Do you have the right people on the bus? Have you been putting off getting rid of the wrong people on the bus? Would your people say that they are paid well for what they do for the organization? The answers to these questions may hold some actionable responses.

2. Gossip

Gossip is a “casual or unconstrained conversation or reports about other people, typically involving details that are not confirmed as being true” (Google Dictionary)
People want to be heard, valued and needed. Gossip is one of the ‘adverse reactions’ when these things are rare or absent altogether.

People who gossip might actually have some good ideas, suggestions or improvements. They might have given up voicing these ideas because they have never been heard. Although still no excuse for gossip, how about you start making an even greater effort of listening to your people? The ones that are in the trenches usually have the best suggestions for improving the current systems and procedures because they are actually doing them every day! Channel energy, creativity and the desire to share towards a positive, common goal or project. State expectations clearly. Walk the talk. Do what you say you will do. Nothing demoralizes more than sanctioned incompetence.

3. Lack of Trust in Leadership

Trust, honour and respect cannot be demanded. They must be earned. If a leader plays the position card rather than making an effort of earning permission to lead via his actions, a leader’s trust, honour and respect will crumble. Are you worthy of your team’s trust, respect and honour? Have you earned their trust by doing the right thing even when you think no one sees? People typically fear change and uncertainty. If your actions cause them to doubt your ability to provide stability and continuity, they will likely distrust your leadership ability. The golden rule applies here, too. To put yourself in your people’s position and feel their concern might give you the insight you need to start rebuilding trust and gaining respect and honour again.

We spend trust in $100 bills and earn it back in $1 bills. ~John Maxwell

4. Negative Attitude

Some people just can’t be helped. They are determined to find reasons why it won’t work and why they don’t like the change. If you want people on your team who have a positive attitude, there is only one thing you can do about it. Hire people who have a positive attitude. Why would you pay someone to be negative? They’ll do it for free….somewhere else.

5. Bad Morale

Frankly, if you demand from your team what you do not do yourself, morale will plummet before you know it. If you expect people to be at work on time but consistently arrive late yourself, you are setting the precedent for your true expectations. It’s the little things that eventually escalade, right? Your people watch what you base your decisions on, how you treat people on the phone, how you handle petty expenses, how you speak about others while they are not around etc. etc. etc.

Everything rises and falls on leadership. ~ John Maxwell

Question: What other lessons have you personally learned from being or following a leader?

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