94% of executives believe that distinct business culture is essential to success. And 88% of employees agree.
But despite that, many companies still struggle with finding the right balance between leadership and collaboration, assigning rigid roles to their employees and making collaboration more complicated than it could be.
And that can have significant implications on a company’s future.
Bad business culture not only hinders progress but also makes people less likely to want to work there. And over time, that can make keeping up with the competition very difficult.
So, to help you take the right steps towards better company culture practices, let’s explore what it is, what are the different styles, and why team-oriented business culture makes so much sense.
What is Team-Oriented Business Culture?
As the name implies, team-oriented business culture is all about collaboration and working together, to the point where roles can become blurred in favor of overcoming problems collectively and effectively.
In other words, you have a work environment that encourages working together while also making it a priority to nurture collaboration as much as possible.
But you may be thinking – why wouldn’t everyone be developing a team-oriented business culture by default?
Well, the problem lies in the fact that going through projects and accomplishing tasks can get messy.
Managers and leaders have a lot of pressure to get results, which can sometimes end up causing a lack of trust and a more rigid work environment. That way, some managers feel like they can better control the outcomes, but that rarely turns out to be the case.
Meanwhile, team-oriented leadership takes a bottom-up approach and tries to remove some of the barriers between superiors and subordinates.
Let’s explore some of the main differences between team-oriented and task-oriented leadership styles below.
Difference Between Team-Oriented and Task-Oriented
On the surface level, it might not be entirely clear how these two styles differ. Every company needs to meet its goals and have a hierarchy of who’s in charge, and every company has tasks that need to be completed on time and as well as possible.
So, how can you differentiate between team-oriented and task-oriented?
Well, let’s look at two scenarios that can illustrate the differences.
In scenario A, a manager has a big deadline for a task coming up in just a few weeks. Knowing that the team is facing some challenges, the manager feels under pressure to get people to push through it.
He starts being more involved in micro-managing different project details, putting pressure on the team members to complete their tasks and get things done.
On the other hand, we have a manager that uses a team-oriented leadership approach.
She’s also facing a tough challenge and needs to find a way to motivate her team. But instead of exerting more pressure, she goes in a different direction and tries to get to the bottom of why the project is stagnating.
Perhaps the assigned roles were not a good match? Maybe the project’s scope is too big? Or perhaps some team members just need a bit of help getting through a particularly challenging obstacle?
By addressing these questions and keeping communication lines open, a team-oriented leader can accurately assess the project’s progress and where the biggest pitfalls might await.
At that point, they can use that knowledge to relieve some of the pressure from the team, help them overcome challenges, and restructure the task in a way that complements people’s strengths as well as possible.
Simultaneously, a team-oriented leader will usually give more autonomy to the team, allowing people to find their own path towards solving a problem and encouraging them to experiment.
Because the leader is always encouraging collaboration, employees will be much more willing to work with each other as well, which can help them feel less isolated and move through problems much faster.
Benefits of Team-Oriented Business Culture
Even though the direct benefits of team-oriented business culture become apparent when looking at the above example, the advantages it can offer stretch way beyond that.
Let’s explore some of the most powerful benefits of team-oriented leadership below.
If you want to empower your employees, you must create an environment where they feel engaged and interested. Most people have an innate desire to solve problems and do good, so one of the most important roles of any leader is to nurture those traits and help them flourish.
By creating a team-oriented environment, your employees won’t feel isolated when taking on complicated tasks and will enjoy the challenge because they can solve it with others.
Team-oriented leadership also means collaborating with your team and putting them in a position to succeed, and an invested and participating leader will always drive up employee engagement.
In the end, every leader needs their team to be somewhat independent if they want to succeed. And a bit counterintuitively, that’s precisely what team-oriented business culture can offer.
Even though team-oriented leaders are usually much more involved and open to collaboration, they also provide more freedom and autonomy to team members when they can handle it.
Over time, that results in people becoming more confident and self-sufficient, enabling them to solve problems they struggled with before with much less effort.
That’s because employees know they can always fall back on their colleagues and the leader if they need help, which can provide a confidence boost and prevent workers from becoming overwhelmed.
In the end, a good leader’s primary role is to help team members become more productive. And with team-oriented business culture, collaboration and increased ability to overcome challenges can significantly boost productivity.
As team members start understanding how they can rely on one another when tackling different tasks, that can transform the entire company culture, helping find better ways to deal with issues and find more efficient workflows.
Since employees are under less pressure to always deliver perfect results, even failures can be used as growth opportunities, greatly impacting how the company operates.
How to Promote a Team-Oriented Business Culture
Now that we’ve figured out why team-oriented business culture makes sense for most companies, let’s go over some of the ways you can start making the shift towards a more collaborative and fluid office.
Encourage Informal Teams
One of the first things you could do is remove some of the rigidity surrounding team structures. People should have more say in how teams are put together, who they can work with, and how different tasks are assigned.
You should also make sure to allow team members to switch tasks or even entire projects if they feel they would be more productive elsewhere.
Provide the Right Tools
A good leader should also strive to provide all the resources their team needs for getting the job done. If you want your team to perform, you must help them succeed by removing as many barriers as possible.
Whether that means training, additional software, or even a new team member, always keep the communication lines open and encourage team members to share ideas on how work could be improved.
Be Open to Feedback
The only way to improve as a leader is to be open to feedback. Your employees might have unique insights or ideas about how things could be done better, so instead of using strict roles, you should allow people to take over certain areas if they feel confident and are capable.
That also means that if someone has something to share about your own processes, be open to criticism or suggestions and embrace change when it makes sense.
Instill the Right Values
A good office culture should begin from the first day at the job. Otherwise, employees will develop bad habits that will be much harder to change in the future.
Think about how to onboard and train new employees with the values you want to achieve in mind. With team-oriented business culture, you want them to trust you enough to come with any feedback or suggestions, know they can collaborate with anyone they want, and not be afraid to experiment or try new approaches.
If you’re trying to move towards a team-oriented business culture in your company, changing old habits will take time. To combat that, you could reward employees for working together, incentivizing collaboration, team achievements, and good ideas.
This way, people will become less worried about their individual benchmarks and more focused on achieving the bigger goals the company strives for.
It’s impossible to have a team-oriented business culture without a group of people not being cohesive as a team. And a great way to build closer relationships within your team is to celebrate when they achieve something.
That not only builds a feeling of camaraderie but also reflects the company’s vision of striving towards common goals and collectively reaping the rewards for the achievements.
Even though team-oriented business culture can be hard to implement in some situations, the rewards it can offer are hard to ignore. And if you take small but significant steps in the right direction, you will almost always achieve the desired shift in how your team operates over time.
How do you think team-oriented business culture impacts results? And what are some of the approaches you have found to be the most effective? Share in the comments below!