We hear a lot about culture these days. There’s almost universal agreement that without a good corporate culture, businesses fail, be it real estate or other industries.
Culture is the intangible thing that means that talented agents want to come and work for you and, just as importantly, that they want to stay working for you. It’s the glue that holds together high performing teams and it’s what makes your people excited about going in to work every day.
Everyone in your organisation is responsible for building and protecting the culture but there’s no doubt that good culture can thrive or die at the hands of team managers. Here are our top 5 tips for managers to cultivate and maintain a positive team culture.
1. Know your people
And we mean, really know them. People who go to work every day are exactly that; people. Their work lives don’t exist in a vacuum. Make it your business to know about their lives; their family’s names, their pets, about how they like to relax on the weekend.
Making your team feel seen as individual people is absolutely crucial in building a welcoming team culture.
2. Make time
Make sure you carve out time, even on your busy days, to chat with the team. It doesn’t need to be an extensive amount of time – it can even be a standing appointment in your calendar if needed – but being visible and available for questions, idea generation and problem solving will engender a sense of camaraderie among the group.
3. Don’t micromanage
We’ve likely all experienced an overly interfering manager in our time and know firsthand how damaging micromanagement can be to work relationships and team culture.
Instead of obsessing over the details of how members of your team are working, seek to build a culture of inclusion and freedom – where you allow people to do things their way. Think of it this way; ‘catch your people doing something right rather than waiting for them to do something wrong.’
Ensure your people are aligned in understanding the vision and values of the team and broader organisation, including on the importance of culture and understanding that team culture is just as important as an individual’s job description.
With a shared vision and clear expectations of how everyone contributes to the team, there’s no need to micromanage.
Make sure that opportunities to bond together as a team are inclusive and accessible events that involve all members of your team.
4. Think outside the box
Here at Gill & Hooper we firmly believe in the importance of changing up routine to maintain team engagement.
Meetings are often conducted while walking around the lake, or over a coffee. Getting out of the office is key; there’s an opportunity to be active plus it has the added benefit of minimising distractions.
How can you change up the standard meeting to make sure everyone is engaged, invested and interested?
5. Team bonding
Team bonding events are a non-negotiable part of building a positive team environment. Make sure that opportunities to bond together as a team are inclusive and accessible events that involve all members of your team (hint: ensure team get-togethers don’t always involve alcohol). Many organisations now have dedicated People and Culture specialists who are dedicated to cultivating and maintaining a great team culture.