Consider the Long-Term Goal

When you ponder the question of what it will take to reach short-term objectives, intermediate milestones, and long-term goals in a sustainable way; the type of workplace environment that will be most conducive for that work is the foundational consideration.

The thought that great work would occur with regularity in a toxic environment is an absurd notion. The idea that the very best work of the team would take place in an environment of indifference and mere compliance, is at best wishful thinking. What we know both intuitively and through research, is that a high-functioning workplace culture that encourages collaboration, provides active support, and growth opportunities for its team members are required if the goal is to reach maximum sustained levels of creativity and productivity.

The workplace culture, which is so vital to attracting top talent, retaining team members, and growing future leaders, is foundational for the sustained success of any organization. Understanding why the workplace culture is so often an afterthought rather than a daily investment on the part of leadership is vexing. The culture within the work environment is quite simply the factor that will have the greatest impact on the long-term success of a business or an organization.

Why Being on a Great Team Matters So Much

Society often uses the measure of wages, salary, and benefits to calculate the worth of a team member to a company. The logic is then applied in reverse so as to credit these factors for why a person will choose to remain with a company and give their very best efforts.

While it is true that compensation is an important part of the equation with regard to team member satisfaction, by far the most compelling reason for a team member to become invested in the future of the company is the sense of genuine belonging, accomplishment, and support they receive.

Being part of a high functioning team that prioritizes the well-being and growth of its team members is the factor that generates the greatest loyalty toward leadership and an organization. When a company considers the time and resources that it will commit to the creation and continuation of its culture, the realization that the investment is the strongest one that can be made. When you’re able to step back and evaluate the impact on the future productivity of your team members, you’ll see that investment in your culture is a necessity. If the desire of the business is to ask a lot of its team members with respect to creativity and effort, ensuring that an exceptional environment exists to support these intentions, is simply a must.

Recognizing Contributions and Rewarding Shared Ownership

If you wish to further the strong sense of support and belonging that is essential for high levels of sustained productivity, consideration of how excellent performance will be rewarded and recognized is also very important.

When combined with outstanding workplace culture, authentic recognition, and thoughtful practices that reward contributions can serve as a catalyst to move very loyal team members to a place of considering themselves family.

Authentic recognition differs from mere adulation in several ways. It recognizes the specific actions that are linked to the accomplishment of a clear goal. While a general “attaboy” or “attagirl” will be met with polite appreciation, a remark from a leader or a peer that conveys the noticing of a specific contribution and relating its value to the overall success of the project will fuel the receiver of the compliment for future endeavors. Authentic recognition supports the feeling of belonging to a great team because the work is sincerely noticed and appreciated.

The value of a workplace culture can be authentically measured when the leader observes the collective act of work moving from a compliance exercise focused on tasks, to a duty of shared ownership. Team members who have developed a very high level of loyalty and trust with an organization, move clearly to a place where the quality of the effort and the results become far more important than the amount of time spent. When a team member is more concerned about their work contribution from the perspective of not wanting to let their fellow team members down, the transformation to shared ownership in the outcome has begun.

Truly successful teams, in whatever endeavor they undertake, are defined by the willingness of each member to put their self-interest second the shared goal of the team. Trusting that their contributions will be honestly and willingly recognized, they are able to consider the overall goal with clarity and resolve.

By developing and nurturing a positive workplace culture, the foundation for sustained success is in place.

Learn more about transforming your own workplace culture by downloading our free guide, The Innovative Leader’s Guide To Transforming Company Culture…Starting With Yourself.