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Organizational culture. What is it and why does it matter so much?  One of my favorite team culture descriptions comes from Richard Perrin: Organizational Culture is the sum of values and rituals which serve as ‘glue’ to integrate the members of an organization.” The reason I love this definition is that it speaks to both the WHAT (rituals) and the WHY (values) of team culture in the workplace.

Why does organizational culture matter?

When team members of an organization feel safe, valued and aligned with the company’s overall vision and mission, the glue that holds them together is strong. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize the positive impact that culture has on efficiency and productivity!

How do we take intentional action toward creating a positive team culture?

Here are ways you can get started today:

  • Create space and opportunities for your team and members of your organization to connect outside of formal meetings. A study conducted by MIT’s Human Dynamics Laboratory found that the energy and engagement level of a team can be greatly increased by simply structuring coffee breaks so that all members of the team can break together.
  • Deal directly with policies, processes and people that propagate negative experiences that are destructive to a healthy culture. Though this is far from pleasant and desirable, the consequences of addressing issues with a passive, or blanket approach – or worse yet ignoring them – are far greater than the discomfort of tackling them quickly and head on. A productive way to approach these difficult situations is through meeting facilitation, which we offer at sparkspace. Our expert facilitators can help you and your team smoothly navigate any conflicts or issues.
  • Empower your people. Nothing builds trust like providing your people with the direction and resources they need to be successful and then giving them the space to do what they were hired to do. This doesn’t mean you have to be totally hands-off. It means you allow people to do their thing and serve as more of a guide, rather than their (micro)manager.

In what ways have you effectively created and/or strengthened the culture where you serve, work and lead? Please share with us by commenting on this blog post. In addition, plan your next offsite meeting or retreat with us here at sparkspace.

About mike clouse

Mike is the Lead Facilitator at sparkspace. He guides individuals and teams to greater awareness and clarity around where they are, the vision of where they most want to be and how to navigate the journey. He is an experienced team coach with a facilitation style that makes everyone feel safe to contribute. His upbeat personality adds to the fun of your meeting as well!