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Great Eight Practices for Creating a Winning Team Culture

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Creating a "winning team corporate culture" is all about effectively managing your team members’ attitudes, behaviors and actions. Here are my great eight practices for creating a winning team culture that supports world-class sales and customer service objectives.

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• Unengaged Employees Don’t Create Engaged Customers: While this is more of an affirmation than a practice, it’s really important you keep this fact at the forefront of your efforts to create a winning team corporate culture. If employees are displeased at work, you can bet some of that displeasure is spilling over into their customer interactions. All of the following tips foster and build employee engagement.

• Set the Bar: Do you have documented values and best practices that set standards of performance and state clearly what your organization stands for and what is expected of employees in order to achieve it? Remember, a goal without a plan is just a wish. Communicating your organization’s commitment to excellence through values and best practices ensures everyone is on the same page and that there is no confusion with your winning team culture mission. Establishing values and best practices is integral.

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• Demonstrate Care: A winning team culture can only survive and thrive in a caring and supportive environment. When employees feel like machines, not human beings, they become emotionally detached from the business and tend to go through the motions to get through the day. To build a winning team culture, managers should always treat their team of employees exceedingly well. Do you treat your employees in a manner that is consistent with the way you want them to treat customers? Most managers do not, yet they expect their personnel to excel when it comes to positive customer interactions. Managers should initiate contact with team members on a regular basis, both formally and informally.

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Taking time with employees to show an interest in their work, and listening to their issues and experiences demonstrates that you value their contribution and builds morale and motivation.

• Communicate Well: Can you hear me now? Too often, employees don’t feel like they have a true voice in the company, that no one is really listening and that their opinions don’t matter. Winning Team Cultures encourage information sharing and promote an environment of open communication where employees are comfortable contributing their feedback and ideas.

• Live “Winning Team” Every Day: Creating a winning team culture is not something that happens at the corporate headquarters behind closed doors. It’s in the stores, the service areas, the warehouse, and everywhere else employees interact with customers and each other. Managers need to be physically – and mentally – present in the workplace to consistently communicate the winning team message with employees, reinforce a commitment to excellence and promote continuous improvement for individuals and the company as a whole.

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• Be a Champion Cheerleader: Perhaps nothing builds a winning team corporate culture better than recognition. It’s amazing what can be achieved when people feel appreciated. Recognition and praise go a long way toward building positive team spirit and morale.

Managers should always seek out opportunities to acknowledge both individual and team efforts and celebrate jobs well done. Make saying “thank you” a habit and always let employees know when they have performed well. This reinforces proper behaviors, builds your personal relationship and strengthens the culture.

• Encourage Growth:
The old adage fits here, “If you’re not growing, you’re dying.” It’s the same with employees and corporate cultures: they must move forward or they will deteriorate over time. Managers need to make progress a priority. Whenever possible, take the opportunity to encourage the next phase of employee and team growth. Engagement and productivity improve when employees know how they are doing and what they can expect in their future.

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• Have Fun: Okay, I admit it – this is my favorite one. As I discuss in my Pinnacle Performance training, having fun at work is a business strategy. It gets back to practice No. 1, unengaged employees don’t create engaged customers. There’s a reason so many market-leading companies are also considered to be the best places to work. They know happiness matters and they create a culture of fun in the workplace that improves employee morale and productivity.  

Steve Ferrante, CEO of Sale Away LLC, is the producer and host of the Pinnacle Performance sales and customer service training program for the tire/auto service industry. He can be reached at 866-721-6086 ext. 701 or [email protected].

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