The importance of a good team cultureCat McCarthy
The average Australian spends 90,000 hours of their life at work. So being happy at work is more important than ever.
As an Employer, of Point Cook’s best plumbers no less, there are many obvious benefits to creating a positive workplace culture. If employees are happy at work they are more productive in their activities. They will take less ‘sickies’ (deeply inherent in the trade and construction industry), as they genuinely care about their job and their employer. And if they genuinely care about their employer they will in turn treat the company’s clients with respect and ensure they create a positive experience for them. They will remain loyal and stay at the workplace for a long period of time, reducing recruitment costs. The list goes on.
How do you create a good team culture in the workplace? Well firstly, you need to realise it doesn’t happen overnight. Giving everyone a pay rise, while making everyone very happy in that moment, fades in time.
The first step is to have company values. And live by them. Your company values should guide every component of your business, from recruitment to customer interactions, performance management and even team meetings. If a business operation isn’t guided by a value, perhaps reconsider if it is the right fit after all. Employees need to buy in to corporate values, otherwise they are just words and marketing jargon. If you don’t have core values, plan a team meeting/planning day to brainstorm a list together, as a team, and compile a top 5. By letting the team help choose the values, you are getting them to buy in to them as they helped to create them. The same goes in creating a vision for your business, ensure your team are a large part creating your company’s future vision.
Secondly, invest in your team. Include education, training and upskilling in one of your core values. This can include paid industry specific courses, free online webinars, recommending podcasts, attending seminars and even including a staff library in the meeting room. At McCarthy Plumbing Group, Pursue Learning and Growth is one of our core values as we believe we can’t expect to have a talented team member without providing them a chance to grow and thrive.
Always provide feedback, both constructive and most importantly positive feedback. This can be via team meetings and scheduled one on ones. One on ones are important for chatting about KPI’s and payrise discussions, but also finding out team members personal and employment goals and perhaps stamping out toxic behaviours in some team members which can have a serious effect on good corporate culture. Something we have implemented at McCarthy Plumbing Group is a suggestion box whereby our team members can give us feedback in return, anonymously, if they aren’t comfortable with approaching management directly about an issue or information about another team member.
Catch up as a team. Often. Team breakfasts, Friday drinks, family days. We recently held an afternoon tea to congratulate our Operations Manager on his 5 year milestone with the company and handed him a cheque for his loyalty. Celebrate often even the small stuff.
Finally reward and recognize. Give a social media shout out for staff birthdays, chocolate at Easter, Christmas hampers or just a thoughtful card if the budget is tight. Wish your Muslim team members EID Mubarak, and your Chinese team members Gong Xi Fa Cai. Another thing we like to do at our plumbing company is give a monthly Team Culture award to a standout employee who did something extra special that month for the team or for a client.
But the best way to create a good team culture? Actually care about your team and their lives beyond the workplace.