The power of workplace culture: fostering team collaboration and productivity

 | Culture & change|Teams
Five women standing together outdoors

When you think of great places to work, good old Google is usually one of the first companies that springs to mind. They’re known for their innovative, supportive and positive workplace culture.

With a great company culture, your business can attract talent, inspire its employees, spin profits and do great things. Case in point: it’s hard to deny Google’s success!

One of the key things the culture at Google and other leading businesses today fosters is team collaboration. But why is collaboration so important? And what can you do to make your people work better together?

What is work culture?

First, let’s take a quick at some work culture basics.

Workplace culture is a tricky concept to describe. Essentially, it’s the collective personality of your organisation. It includes the values, belief systems, attitudes, and behaviours shared by your employees, and it shapes your workplace atmosphere.

You can feel when it’s good—and know when it’s toxic!

A strong and positive work culture is essential for any business. It sets the right tone for how your employees interact, how they feel about their work, and, therefore, how effectively they perform.

Elements of a positive work culture

So, what does a great workplace culture, such as Google, look like?

A positive workplace culture is experienced as a supportive, engaging, and fulfilling work environment. It’s a culture where employees feel valued, motivated and inspired to perform at their best.

Here are some key characteristics:

  • Clear values and beliefs
  • Open communication
  • Trust and psychological safety
  • Empowerment and autonomy
  • Teamwork and collaboration
  • Diversity and inclusion
  • Learning and development
  • Good work/life balance
  • Recognition and appreciation
  • Innovation and creativity

A positive workplace culture builds team collaboration by promoting trust, open communication, shared values, and a sense of purpose.

Related: How can we create mentally well workplaces?

The importance of team collaboration

Team collaboration offers many organisational benefits, including:

  • Better employee engagement
  • Higher levels of motivation
  • Enhanced problem solving
  • Improved decision making
  • Increased innovation
  • Knowledge sharing
  • Business-wide synergy
  • Greater adaptability
  • Customer centricity
  • Better project management
  • Greater quality assurance

These benefits play a vital role in driving overall productivity and performance. In fact, one study cited in Forbes found companies that promoted collaborative working were five times as likely to be high performing!

Collaboration gives you that competitive edge and leads to business success. Because of this, ensuring your workplace culture fosters a team collaboration mentality should be high on your to-do list.

How to build a highly collaborative culture

So, what do you need to do to shift your company culture to be more collaborative? Here are some ideas you can put into practice.

Share your brand mission and purpose

Communicating your brand’s mission and company’s values is essential for building a cohesive work culture. When employees understand and connect with your organisation’s purpose, they’re more likely to work together towards a common goal. It’s not just about earning a buck; it’s about contributing to a bigger cause. 

Communicate that you expect collaboration

From day one, make it clear that collaboration is integral to your company’s culture. During the onboarding process, emphasise the importance of teamwork and the role each employee plays in achieving shared objectives. Plus, incorporate collaboration expectations into job roles and performance evaluations.

Define and communicate your team goals

Setting clear and achievable team goals is a biggy. When team members are aware of their collective objectives, they can align their efforts and work together more effectively. Ensure you communicate these goals regularly so everyone stays on the same page.

Tap into individual strengths

As well as fostering teamwork, recognise and celebrate individual strengths. Each team member brings unique skills and qualities to the table. By acknowledging and using them, you can boost team collaboration and productivity by optimising task assignments and responsibilities.

Create strong community bonds

Create a workplace that feels like a little community. Have daily huddles and regular team meetings, and plan offsite activities where employees can get to know each other better. Social gatherings and team-building events can help employees bond and work more in sync when they return to the workplace.

Foster honest and open communication

Encourage open and honest communication by creating a psychologically safe environment. Employees should feel comfortable sharing their opinions, ideas, and concerns without fear of judgment or repercussions. When everyone has a voice, collaboration and productivity thrive.

Related: Why teams that disagree together stay together

Encourage creativity

Collaboration is often at its best when creativity is encouraged. So, inspire team members to think outside the box and share innovative ideas. This leads to more innovative solutions and strengthens collaboration by valuing diverse perspectives.

Related: Fostering cultural creativity in the workplace

Share knowledge, insights and resources

Promote a corporate culture of knowledge sharing. Encourage team members to share insights and resources that benefit the entire team. Whether it’s best practices, industry trends, or helpful tools, sharing knowledge enhances collective wisdom and productivity.

Lead by example

Leadership sets the tone for your entire organisation. Leaders should exemplify the collaborative behaviour they want to see in their teams. When employees witness management actively participating in teamwork and demonstrating the desired culture, they’re more likely to follow suit.

Celebrate and reward successful teamwork

Rather than just recognising individual successes, recognise and celebrate successful team collaboration. Create a system of rewards and recognition for teams that meet or exceed their goals. This can motivate employees and reinforce the importance of teamwork in your organisation.

Invest in collaboration tools

Online collaboration tools can boost productivity by up to 30%. So consider Investing in the right tools that fit your organisation’s needs and encourage use among teams. Some of our faves include Asana, Trello and Microsoft Teams.

Shift your culture to drive success

Infusing these ideas into your workplace culture can help create an environment where team collaboration and, in turn, productivity flourish.

A great organisational culture isn’t built overnight. It’s a continuous process of nurturing values and behaviours that empower employees to work together towards shared objectives.

When people are motivated, feel valued and can collaborate effectively, your organisation is well on its way to long-term business success.

Could team collaboration in your organisation do with a boost? Get in touch to learn more about our co-created team development workshops.

Contact the Seed People Consulting team to discuss how we can support developing your diverse culture today!

Meet the author: Stacey Kelly

Stacey brings extensive industry experience and knowledge, as well as the energy, passion and inspiration of a great leader. She previously held senior people/cultures roles in private and public organisations, including Hunter TAFE and Insurance Australia Group (IAG).

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