Your best team culture – ASAP! 7 expert tips for building an engaged team

When you’re building a great team culture there is no time to waste. Every negative team moment becomes a corporate memory that you need to counteract, while every mountaintop experience builds solidarity and great teamwork.


How can you form a strong team dynamic, rather than an eroded team culture?


If you want one quick tip, it is to build trust – in an ongoing, continual kind of way.


Trust is legendary in its ability to motivate employees.


To some, it communicates a basic level of respect that is foundational to their job satisfaction.


To others, it inspires them to achieve great heights, as they thrive on being given responsibility.


In fact, most people are much more motivated by being given responsibility and support than control and supervision.


Here are 7 tips on how to quickly build trust to create a highly engaged team culture, based on the national flexibility toolkits I established for the Australian Government:


  1. Ensure that each team member’s role is crystal clear.   Your team members should know exactly what their role entails and that you share the same expectations.  Have a back-and-forth conversation about this, rather than quickly confirming the contents of a document.
  2. Give every team member a fair chance to live up to your expectations.  Be fair, because anything less is horrible and who ever wanted to work somewhere horrible?
  3. Avoid micromanaging your team. Micromanaging erodes trust and is highly demanding of your time and resources.
  4. Facilitate clear, fair and open conversations between your team members. Let them know that ‘clear, fair and open’ is the style of communication you want to characterise your teamwork. Some of your team members may take this as permission to make unsolicited or insensitive comments, so make sure you emphasise the importance of being objective and reasonable.
  5. Keep progress reports updated, so people can see the results being delivered. 
  6. Stay consistent in your words and actions. It can be tempting to think that a lie here and there is harmless, but even if there are no visible short-term implications, lying undermines trust.
  7. Don’t ignore poor performance. Generally it is obvious to a person’s peers if they are not pulling their weight. Continuing to tolerate poor performance can quickly undermine team culture.


How is your teamwork going?