The  best workplaces we read about are often signified by coworkers that share the same values and look after each other. In short, they care -- it's in their corporate DNA.

Unfortunately, as companies grow, merge, and the pressure to perform financially mounts, many firms lose the unique identity and the shared values that made them great.

Worse, you start to see an increase in silos, territorial battles, and departments drawing lines in the sand. Employees are affected and no longer care as much as they once did. 

Turning things around

To get back to the days when people enjoyed work and their coworkers so much that it was hard to pull away when the clock struck 5:00 p.m., lets look at how the best teams behave and belong in community.

1. They emphasize the importance of building relationships.

Coworkers in positive cultures invest time with each other to learn who they really are. In turn, this produces great collaboration.

Let me ask you a question: How well do you know the people that work closest to you? Do you know the events of their lives that have shaped who they are today?

If you're going to be spending the better part of eight, ten, or twelve hours per day working alongside your coworkers, get to know them well -- their dreams, goals and aspirations.

2. They listen to each other.

In building up community, I can't stress enough the importance of actively listening to your teammates, and that's what great teams do.

By listening to and seeking different points of view, ideas, and opinions from the whole, it opens up the door for relationships and collaboration to flourish.

Team members in positive and productive work cultures also actively listen to learn from each other, which helps to breaks down walls of division and create more trust.

3. They celebrate in community.

You can't have strong teams if you don't celebrate accomplishments along the way -- big and small. Celebrations can be personal or professional, individual or team celebrations.

Coworkers with the best intentions never stop looking for ways to celebrate life together with their teammates. This is the essence of community.

What have you or what will you accomplish together that's a cause for celebration?  

4. They share the value of transparency.

Transparency is the pathway to trust. What you share with one, you share with all. There's a sense of togetherness there. And it starts with leaders modeling the behaviors of trust and transparency so that those behaviors filter down to the team.​

Hubspot, the global digital marketing automation company, redefined what it means to be transparent in business. They are now being recognized as having one of the greatest company cultures. 

HubSpot co-founder and Chief Technology Officer Dharmesh Shah once published an article on his wiki page called "Ask Dharmesh Anything." And that's exactly what "HubSpotters" did -- engaging in a slew of discussions directly with their CTO.

5. They experience psychological safety.

In an effort to discover the secrets of collaborative teams, Google's own researchers set out to answer one overarching question: What makes a team effective at Google? 

On top of the list was the need for teams to experience "psychological safety" -- a shared belief held by members of a team that the team is safe for interpersonal risk taking, that "members are not seen as ignorant, incompetent, negative, or disruptive, and that no one on the team will embarrass or punish anyone else for admitting a mistake, asking a question, or offering a new idea," wrote the researchers.

In fact, as the study report states, teams experiencing higher psychological safety were "less likely to leave Google, they're more likely to harness the power of diverse ideas from their teammates, they bring in more revenue, and they're rated as effective twice as often by executives."

In closing, the driving point I want to bring home is that there is immense power in building  community with your team and connecting to coworkers in an relational, authentic level to produce results. Why? Because relationships drive human satisfaction and performance -- we are wired for it. When coworkers, along with their leaders, pave the way and model these behaviors, collaboration, productivity, trust and morale will reach new heights.

Published on: Aug 20, 2018
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