16 September 2022
5 October 2022
In every team, there are unwritten rules and guidelines that define what is acceptable and what is not, in the way we work together.
When clear standards are established, through a team code, it becomes possible to correct behaviors that go against them. This eliminates the inconvenience of everyone interpreting the rules when they are not explicitly established. As a result, you get a more aligned team. Finally, we obtain the most successful conditions for effective collaborative work.
Do you want a more fulfilled and successful team? Try the team code experience!
For a team code to be powerful, it must be established as a team, based on the values shared by the members. However, before being able to define these common values, each member must take stock of their personal values.
Perhaps you have already lost confidence in a work team because your personal values were violated? By thinking of moments that have destabilized our deepest values, we can give ourselves a way to list them.
So what are the values that drive us?
Establishing and becoming aware of your individual values is the starting point for rich discussions about shared values among colleagues.
In your work, what values are most important to you?
Is it fairness, respect? Is humor an important value? What about transparency? What about friendliness or productivity?
What do behaviors look like that would exemplify these values?
The elements needed to co-create a team code are in place when all team members have done this personal reflection.
In a team context, the values that are most important to the group may differ from the individual values of the members. This is why the more we value the coherence between shared values and personal values, the more we allow team members to feel committed and confident. Such feelings also allow them to grow and perform well!
Taking stock of these values and determining which ones can be cultivated as a team is beneficial for strengthening the desire to work together in the long term.
Once the shared values have been defined, it is not yet time to rest on our laurels! Indeed, there is still one important step to be taken: making a list of behaviors related to these values. By noting the characteristics of these behaviors, as precisely as possible, we can agree on what is concretely expected from all team members. This eliminates the anxiety related to uncertainties.
As an example, if one of the values chosen is respect, the associated behaviors might be:
Just because we have established team norms does not mean that we are suddenly rid of all behaviours that run counter to those norms. Indeed, it is useful to have predefined reinforcement measures to allow the team to grow together in their new ways of working.
Be careful, we don’t want to set up an authoritarian climate. On the contrary! Humor is the best ally to help us change our reflexes as a team. The measures must be amusing, because the final objective is to be more fulfilled and perform better, together.
What fun measures come to mind? There’s no need to go into complex measures; simplicity is often the key! One way to do this is to have a small amount of money, such as $0.50, to be paid when the team code is violated. The accumulated amounts will be used to enhance a future group activity. So, if a team member engages in behaviour that has been established as being against the standards, such as interrupting a colleague during a meeting, they are gently reminded that they need to contribute two quarters to the pot! You can even name this team piggy bank to make it fun. It’s up to you to choose what will help you maintain this team code!
Being creative and ensuring that all members adhere to the values of the team code by being consistent with the reinforcement measures, allows for best practices to be put in place in order to adopt good habits, build trust and live your values fully.
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