Some of the best leaders go by the title of project manager. They recognize the critical need for creating transparency and understanding in a positive environment to capitalize on team strengths and overcome weaknesses.
Successful project management depends on effective leadership and the leaders who excel in their workplace focus on team culture. A good project manager will always focus on what the team members require for success.
Team culture bias is the most significant risk to successful project completion.
Why management depends on eliminating team culture bias
If jealousy is a green-eyed monster, then bias is the more dangerous cousin. When allowed to grow, bias impairs decision-making and destroys team culture.
The destruction may begin as benign cancer, but it can infect the workplace with toxicity. The manager who judges team member strengths differently alters the team culture. For example, without realizing it, a manager may value college degrees over workplace experience for women but not for men. Or a manager might assume that older team members will be less tech-savvy. Any of these biases affect team culture.
Perceptive team leaders must avoid bias. Be willing to listen, avoid judgment based on non-related characteristics, trust the team, and encourage collaboration.
When the team cultures changes, so do the management outcomes. Failure to eliminate team culture bias can stop a project in its tracks.
Identifying and removing biases
If positive team culture is critical for your project, how can you ensure you aren’t chipping away at it? These ideas may help:
- Make sure job postings are specific and non-gendered.
Write the job description so that any person with the qualification could see themselves applying for the position.
- Refrain from establishing picky company policies.
Dress code, reporting a late arrival, and even procedures for requisitioning supplies can affect the team culture. Improve work conditions rather than restrict them.
- Provide equitable benefits.
Do all employees have access to the same benefits (i.e., family leave)? If not, the company benefit structure may affect team culture.
- Give everyone a voice.
Teams hear ideas from extroverts most often, but introverts have great ideas, too. Whether someone is too shy to speak up or participates remotely, find ways to include their opinions.
- Cater to team needs.
Your team members have different needs. The new mother or father may need more work from home days. Even seemingly small things like dietary restrictions such as being vegetarian can separate teams.
Furthermore, reliance on technology such as AI screening can be one of the best ways to eliminate bias and improve team culture.
Your ability to enhance team dynamics in multiple ways can get you noticed by companies seeking to build and sustain a team culture crucial for successful project management.