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  • Startup Leadership Done Right

    Game Plan

    In-Depth

    How to Create a Culture of Teamwork

    Successful companies have at their foundation a supportive atmosphere, where employees are motivated and feel appreciated, listened to and empowered. As the leader, it’s up to you to create that culture.

    Include employees in decision-making.

    Empowerment is critical. By including employees in decision-making, they’ll be more likely to feel involved, be motivated and buy in to the company culture. Create a team-oriented organization by rewarding people for cooperating and collaborating. Invite employees to contribute. Let them know you value their ideas and efforts.

    Be open to feedback and respond positively.

    Shedding your ego and creating an ongoing hierarchy and feedback loop set the groundwork for teamwork. A flatter management structure and more open atmosphere will encourage it. Your responses to feedback and employee suggestions will go far in letting them know they’re appreciated. As a result, they’ll be more likely to bring more of themselves to the company and be part of the team.

    Be supportive of others and ask how you can help.

    As a leader, model good teamwork habits. Nurture employees. Give them support and actively show them you’re there to help them. Ask them what they need and how you can help. Those gestures could go far in establishing a strong sense of teamwork and a more motivated workforce.

    Encourage everyone to take risks, and be supportive even when they fail.

    Risk-taking often takes courage. It can also help to bring your company to the next level, as long as the risks are calculated and offer plenty of potential reward. Encourage your team to take risks and make sure you support them should they try and fail.

    Game PlanGame Plan

    Game Plan

    As leader, you can have the greatest impact in creating a team-oriented culture. Your actions will speak much louder than your words. And if it’s just talk, it won’t happen. Lead by example. Show how you value employee input.

    Next steps:

    • Ask employees for their thoughts and opinions about key issues.
    • Reward people for collaborative behavior.
    • Create a culture that discourages putting others down or trying to further one’s self at the expense of others.
    • Encourage various departments to communicate with each other regularly and to solve problems together.
    • Read articles on teamwork, such as this one on 10 qualities for future leaders. It focuses largely on teamwork, collaboration and creating a supportive, non-hierarchical culture.