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How to Implement and Foster a Values-Based Culture in Your Web Development Team

Web development teams are of great importance to companies. They turn visions into working websites and mobile applications. However, even the most skilled teams can encounter challenges. These may include misaligned goals, communication breakdowns and a need for more unification. Obstacles like these may prevent positive progress and lead to decreased team morale.

One solution to this problem may be building a culture that helps your web development team succeed. Many companies that run into these issues consider building a values-based culture. This is because instilling a shared set of beliefs allows your team to collaborate more effectively.

What Is a Values-Based Culture?

A values-based culture is where everyone in your web development team follows a set of shared beliefs and principles. The values you set for your culture are the core ideas your team agrees upon, and uses to guide their daily actions and decisions. Everyone understands and respects these values, making them a central part of their daily work.

When you and your team share the same values, everything is consistent in how the team approaches tasks, communicates and collaborates. This consistency helps the team build trust, work efficiently and create a positive working environment.

In a values-based culture, how you and your team do your jobs should reflect your shared beliefs. This approach strengthens the team’s identity and helps them achieve goals that align with the organization.

How a Values-Based Culture Will Help Your Web Development Team

Adopting a values-based culture in a web development team brings a host of benefits:

  • Increases productivity: When the department operates with a clear set of shared values, there is less confusion and indecision. Everyone knows the priorities and the right approach, leading to more efficient work processes and less wasted time.
  • Empowers employees: A values-based culture gives team members a sense of ownership. Your employees’ morale will increase, driving their motivation and project commitment.
  • Improves working relationships: Shared values form strong bonds between team members. They have a common language and understanding, creating mutual respect within the workplace and smoother collaboration.
  • Enhances customer satisfaction: When a team consistently upholds its values, the quality of its work often improves. As such, products and services become more reliable, which leads to happier customers who trust what the team delivers.
  • A positive impression on stakeholders: Partners, investors, and company leaders appreciate consistency and integrity. A team that operates under a values-based culture shows commitment and stability. Therefore, the organization becomes more attractive and trustworthy in the eyes of the stakeholders.

How to Build a Values-Based Culture

Knowing the benefits of a values-based culture to your web development team, you may be eager to start building one. Following the steps below will allow you to create a value-driven workplace culture.

1. Identify Your Values

Before you establish a values-based culture, the first step is to know your values. Identifying your values means understanding what is most important to your web development team. This way, the things you hold of great significance will guide your team’s actions and decisions.

To identify your values, start by gathering input from all team members. Discuss what beliefs and principles everyone feels are crucial to the team’s success. Gathering diverse perspectives ensures the values you settle on resonate with everyone.

Once you’ve gathered this feedback, narrow the list to the most essential and universally agreed-upon values. These will form the foundation of your team’s culture.

2. Establish Norms Reflecting These Values

Once you have identified your core values, the next step is to create norms that reflect them. Essentially, they will be rules for your team to follow — they describe the expectations of behaviors and ways of working.

You may establish this by getting buy-in from your team. Have a meeting to discuss the best way to set these norms. Then, it helps to document and share these “rules” to instill company transparency. Consider creating a document that explains your business’s culture and sharing it with the team.

Be sure to check in with your team as it grows. That way, you ensure the norms you set still align with the team’s values and current needs. If not, you can always adjust them as you see fit.

3. Train Team Leaders to Be Role Models

Cultural change starts at the top. Therefore, team leaders must be a part of your organization’s daily efforts to embed a values-based culture. Remember — actions set the tone for the entire team more than words do. That is why leaders must understand and behave according to the specified values.

The best way to accomplish this is to train your team leaders with sessions focusing on the core values. Consider creating practical scenarios so they understand how to apply the values in different situations.

Once your team leaders know how to embody these values into their behavior, they should model them consistently in their messaging. Ensure your leaders communicate the importance of these values by weaving them into team meetings, feedback sessions and decision-making processes.

4. Continuously Reinforce

Building a values-based culture is more than a one-time event. It is an ongoing process that requires continuous reinforcement. To ensure your values remain at the forefront, consider having regular team discussions. Incorporate beliefs into daily meetings or monthly reviews. This keeps the values fresh in everyone’s minds and provides opportunities to talk about their ongoing relevance.

It also helps to recognize and reward. Celebrate team members who demonstrate these values in their work. Whether through formal awards or simple shout-outs, acknowledging their actions makes them feel important.

Lastly, it is crucial to implement systems where team members provide feedback on how the company practices its values. This way, everyone stays accountable and determines the values’ effectiveness in the team environment.

5. Have Patience

Establishing a values-based culture may be rewarding, but it takes time and patience. Typically, cultural change takes several months for the organization to integrate into its environment fully.

Team members need time to understand, adapt to and internalize these values. Plus, every individual is different. While some may embrace them quickly, others may need more time or support. Therefore, it is important to expect occasional hiccups.

You will have moments when the team steps away from the values. Instead of seeing them as failures, view them as learning opportunities and address them constructively. It also helps to celebrate small wins. Short-term achievements motivate your team and show how much they are making progress.

Overall, be patient by giving your team the time and space to live out the values. This way, you guarantee a lasting and impactful cultural transformation.

Building a Values-Based Culture Successfully

A web development team’s success relies more than on its technical skills. It also has much to do with the strength of its shared values. By fostering a values-based culture, teams can solve problems and produce exceptional results. Consider implementing it with these tips to maintain excellence. Upholding these principles will allow your team to grow and achieve results like never before.

Eleanor Hecks is editor-in-chief at Designerly Magazine. She was the creative director at a digital marketing agency before becoming a full-time freelance designer. Eleanor lives in Philly with her husband and pup, Bear.

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