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Culture is not Synonymous with Office

6 Tips for Building a Positive and Engaging Team Culture

Culture matters. It reflects the behaviors, mindsets, and beliefs that shape how (e.g., the practices and norms) people work together in the workplace. Research has repeatedly shown that a strong, positive culture attracts, engages, and retains talent.

With the definition of ‘workplace’ shifting over the past few years from a predominantly in-office concept towards a both remote and hybrid reality, the presumption that people need to be in the same physical location to build and feel culture has been challenged. In fact, research by Gallup found that hybrid workers feel even closer to their organization’s culture than do fully on-site workers.

I have recently coached several leaders who have said that they and their teams do not feel a sense of culture since their company moved to a hybrid workplace. We have discussed that, rather than contemplating leaving, they take a more deliberate leadership approach:

  1. Define and role model your desired team values and culture – what commitments do you make as a team regarding how you will work together, communicate, collaborate, recognize each other, and address conflict.

  2. Get to know one another - strengths, interests, motivators, aspirations, and what matters most to each team member.

  3. Crystalize vision, purpose, strategy, and goals – how each team member contributes and make a meaningful impact.

  4. Prioritize belonging and well-being – what increases feeling of inclusivity and decreases stress for each team member and the team as a whole.

  5. Communicate transparently and frequently

  6. Provide feedback, coaching, and development opportunities

Where employees are working is not the root cause of the issue. In fact, enabling employees to work in their preferred environment (remote, in-office, or hybrid) may lead them to feel that their organization cares about and trusts them, which can ultimately lead to increased engagement and retention. The underlying message in this for leaders is for them to change their mindset. It is within each leader’s control to build a team culture which attracts, engages, and retains great talent, regardless of where the employees are located.

If you would like to discuss how you can build a strong, engaged team culture, please contact Francine Esrig, Ph.D. at or visit

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