Building a great team culture

Internal auditors may be used to auditing the corporate culture within their organisation, but it’s also important for CAEs to consider the culture within their own teams to ensure they build and maintain a positive working environment.  

A great team culture is central to all successful and effective internal audit teams as it inspires employees to be more productive, while enabling them to collaborate, share ideas, support and trust one another, and achieve common goals.

What is team culture and why is it important?

Team culture can mean different things to different oranisations, but in essence, it is the behaviours, values and beliefs shared by the team that determine how they interact and communicate with each other and the organisation as a whole.

Creating a strong, unified team culture is important because it is enables success, promotes employee engagement, boosts job satisfaction, drives performance and attracts and retains talent.

In most situations, it is important for the culture of the internal audit team to reflect the culture of the organisation, because team members perform better and are more engaged when they understand their specific role and what is expected of them, and they have clarity on how the internal audit function contributes and fits into the organisation’s goals, missions and values.

There may, however, be certain situations where the internal audit team culture does not always mirror that of the company. This is because internal auditors tend to be slightly removed from the business due to issues around close friendships and breaching the requirement of independence and objectivity. Also, internal audit will often have difficult meetings when seeking to agree action or perhaps when investigating a fraud or financial anomaly. There are therefore occasions when the internal audit culture may not reflect the culture of the rest of the business,…

"When workplaces are designed with a clear understanding of the nature of the work being carried out; the nature of the collaborations and human interactions that unlock value; the needs, expectations and wellbeing of the workforce itself; and the need for flexibility, adaptation and growth - all underpinned by an appreciation of the organisational culture – that’s when the magic can happen."

- Peter Cheese, CEO of the CIPD