Appreciation: The #1 tool for your team in 2020 🙏

minutes to read

When we choose a new role, chances are we consider the team we’ll be working with. Why? Because we understand that the only way to cultivate creativity is by working with a great team. In this blog post, we look to the team culture honing experts like Google and LinkedIn to uncover the best characteristics of a winning team. We’ll also look at the ways you can leverage these learnings as tools for your marketing team in 2020. 

Great teams have a vision

We’ve all heard it before, “your company needs a vision, mission and values statement”. Although somewhat cliché and habitual to the brand marketer in the room, there is merit to this process. But setting a vision exceeds the realm of brand marketing; it’s setting the direction for your business. Having a clear vision for the organization is the simplest way for businesses to get laser-focused on the things that matter most. It also paves the path of having teams and individuals align their responsibilities to the company’s north star. 

We know that purpose drives passion. Research from looks to a LinkedIn survey that suggests that employees long for meaningful work and that sense of purpose in the workplace improves job satisfaction and employee engagement. The research indicates, “when an employee is aligned with their company’s purpose and is driven towards doing purposeful work, sentiments and performance improve. As statistics show, employees report “1.7 times higher job satisfaction” and “1.4 times more engagement” at work. Furthermore, according to LinkedIn’s Purpose at Work Global Report, 73% of professionals who identify as purpose-driven are satisfied with their jobs.” 

By having a team-driven organization, employees are empowered to take action and to perform better. This creates a foundation to help team members create a positive impact but plays into the human desire to be part of something larger than ourselves, a key takeaway from Rise’s report.

They make it a point to take ownership 

Defining and taking ownership is a necessary component of any successful team. Although it sounds simple, it’s a common frustration and proves to be very challenging to implement for teams across varying industry verticals. But the best teams do this well. It’s a simple question at the start of any project, it’s embedded in processes and most importantly, it’s top of mind for everyone—who will be responsible for success? says, “being accountable is about being responsible for the result. Ownership is about initiative, accountability is about follow-through. It’s not just about the individual and their goals or commitments, it’s about acknowledging that your actions affect other team members’ abilities to accomplish their goals.”

They appreciate one another

Appreciation is possibly the most important characteristic of any successful team. Google set out to find what makes the “perfect team” and they called their 2 year long examination of over 180 active teams, Project Aristotle. Although “appreciation” didn’t exactly make Project Aristotle’s list for commonalities of a winning team, the sentiment did. Google found that the best teams had a sense of “psychological safety”. What this meant was that team members felt safe enough to take risks and be vulnerable in front of one another. They found that removing protective barriers through team member acceptance was the leading characteristic responsible for better and more efficient member interaction.

A highly regarded tool to increase psychological safety is really and truly founded on appreciation. We learn the value of appreciation in a team setting as children in little league sports. When we appreciate our team members for what they bring to the table, we increase our connection with them and create openness to each other's perspectives. Teams that celebrate wins together are more likely to collaborate together and be open and upfront with each other about victories, challenges, and mistakes. It’s the magic that occurs when humans feel supported. 

The final (winning) word

If we learn a thing or two from Google, it’s that who is on the team isn’t the key to building a successful team. In fact, the perfect team doesn’t mean finding the perfect blend of people at all—it means cultivating the right values and characteristics. Who is on a team matters less than how the team members interact, structure their work, and view their contributions, a summary from the Project Aristotle researchers themselves.

So if you’re ready to do your part in creating a winning team, start with setting a vision, defining ownership and simply appreciating one another and let the winning follow.


Looking for ways to help your team run more efficiently? Get in touch with us to see how Papercurve’s content approval software is helping teams across North America level up their creative review game (with all the stakeholders) 💪