When working remotely, communication, one-on-one meetings and KPIs become the indicators you rely upon. When an employee says that something is really bothering them, they’ve probably been thinking about it for a while. A good company doesn’t have unreachable communication barriers between employees in any directions, regardless Debugging of how different positions they’re in. Will the strategies companies have traditionally used to instill culture and engagement work in the digital age? We asked remote work experts to share their insights on company culture for distributed teams, how to boost engagement and ways companies can foster culture remotely.
You can reduce the confusion about what to post where by having a simple guide, and ensuring everyone is across your thoughts. If you were all in one large open plan office, you wouldn’t hesitate to spend a few minutes welcoming a new hire in front of the team. Just like this example, a remote team is not an excuse to ignore this. This company culture should be constantly reassessed as you grow or change as well. Don’t just spend copious time on it, and then shelve it somewhere inaccessible by everyone. Having a distributed team means that your culture is going to be more difficult to grasp for new team members, when there is minimal face time with the team. See our previous article, 190 brilliant examples of company values, for inspiration on creating your own company values.
Foster Trust Through Strong Communication
Take time to discuss and understand employees’ challenges – some may have specific reasons to work remotely that require sensitivity and a nuanced approach. In these sessions, find out what prevents employees from taking leave, and work toward solutions so that they can get some R&R . But to turn colleagues into teammates, you need a healthy team culture in the workplace. At my company, Peak Support, we have Skype channels for each team, the whole company, and affinity groups like yogis and video game enthusiasts. We use these channels to communicate about work–and to check in, say good morning, and share emojis and gifs. We also use carrot.io to share shout-outs to team members, birthday announcements, and company news. Leaders will need to communicate which purposes and values are at the heart of the culture they want to create.
Some people like words of affirmation, but some members of your team probably appreciate physical gifts more. Using rewards in addition to recognition, can help you reach out to a broader number of your employees. If you want a way to automate recognition and make it easier for everyone on your team to give each other props and gratitude, use Nectar’s recognition tool.
Tools To Help With Managing Your Remote Team
There are a number of education resources available that teams can sign up for, such as storytelling, writing, coding and more. The courses could be work related or not, but it provides a chance for people to learn together and share their new skill sets with the team. If your company offers an education stipend, it can be an incentive to take the class without having to front the cost. Pictures really are worth a thousand words, and there’s a number of different directions you can go with photo sharing. You can encourage people to share pictures of their favorite memories, travels, closest friends, loved ones, pets or remote office setup.
- Workspace AnalyticsGain insight about your company’s meeting frequency, productivity, and feedback culture.
- If you’re only delegating and not giving team members the chance to show the initiative, it’s likely that your team will start to feel like task monkeys.
- From a mental health standpoint, when you have an entire company that embraces that, we’re all given a little more breathing room to do really deep work that requires long periods of uninterrupted time.
- These meetings are a great method to get to know everyone on a personal level, as well as gain a deeper understanding of who is responsible for what, amongst your team.
- With a distributed team you know going in that culture will be hard to build.
- Twice a year, the entire Zapier team gets together for a retreat where we work on projects and participate in team-building activities.
Gone are the days of cubicle farms or even centralized organisations, where every employee works out of the head office, or a few satellite offices across the globe. Now it’s becoming more popular to have some of the team working from co-working spaces or their homes, whether it be in the next street or the other side of the world. In the next chapter, we’ll look at how to evaluate remote employees.
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There are a number of different ways you can create remote team scavenger hunts. You can create a list of common household items and ask small groups of people to work together to find as many items on the list that they can in a certain time. Everyone’s got some level of competitiveness in them, especially if your team is largely sales driven. Bring out your remote team’s drive to win with some of these fun ideas for friendly competition. Sure, you know the sales team sells your products and services, but what’s the difference between an account manager and an account executive?
But during the pandemic, this changed as employees successfully worked from home. As a result, up to 95 percent of organizations are offering remote and hybrid options to their employees moving forward. Reach out if you need help to build a strong remote workplace culture. Teams can create a more human environment by using asynchronous tools. You can record a video to explain a challenge the team needs to solve, brainstorm on virtual whiteboards, and comment/ vote on ideas asynchronously. Remember, when working with distributed teams, everyone should share the pain – leaders included. Considering the different time zones – and rotating meeting times – ensures every teammate gets their fair share of convenient meetings, late nights, and early mornings.
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The risk of doing things the other way around is that your remote workers will feel like they’re left out of the loop, and be less engaged and productive as a result. If you don’t have much experience running a remote team, chances are you won’t get everything right the first time.
This may include tools for communication or project management, training, trips to meet with the team. It’s about a group of people getting work done and recognizing it is harder, lonelier, more difficult sometimes to feel productive. The effective culture recognizes this and invests in whatever it takes to overcome these deficits. They don’t splurge on gimmicks but they do identify what is holding them back and build culture in team invest in experimentation to alleviate and improve their concerns. A strong work culture is crucial for your remote team to perform exceptionally. Making sure that the people in your team build strong bonds with one another is a priority of a leader. The steps that I’ve mentioned in this article will help you create a productive work environment for your remote team while ensuring effective team collaboration.
The Downside Of Remote Teams
Leaders should be cognizant of this and act swiftly if there’s a noted drop in outward gratitude or transparency in communications. On this page, we’re detailing how to build, communicate, and reinforce a sustainable culture in a remote environment. When asked to describe the vision of the company in their own words, many new employees may be caught off-guard. Rather than having new recruits memorize the mission statement from the website, take the time to make sure your vision is authentic. By actively communicating vision and explaining it thoroughly, you will foster a more passionate buy-in from the team.
But dodging the daily commute and working in their slippers has a darker side. Encourage employees to share their experience with others by creating a remote “lunch and learn” schedule. Invite the members of each remote team to meet over video chat during lunch once every two weeks. Or give each member of the team an opportunity to present a theory or idea to their team. Soon, employees will come to appreciate the skills and wisdom of each team member.
Leverage Employee Feedback
You can also help your remote employees create growth plans that align well with their career goals. It will develop a sense of belonging among the team members, and they’ll work happily knowing that their interests are being taken care of. Building a strong work culture for your remote team is critical for its growth and success. There are so many moving parts to consider, especially if you want to do more than the bare minimum.
Building a strong culture with a remote team starts prior to an employee's first day, and if the new person is in a position of authority, they must understand how remote teams are different from teams that work in a physical office together
— Francois Formet (@FormetCh) December 16, 2021
Here are just a handful of the companies that encourage the concept of telecommuting with their teams. It should clearly articulate the company culture to everyone in your organisation, new and old, right from day one. It should be clear about expectations, how performance is measured, how you assess employees for cultural fit, and the like.
Hybrid Organizations Are The Future
There’s no watercooler at home, and in-person interactions may be limited. Implement creative slack channels, opportunities for shoutouts, after-work happy hours, lunch break activities, and virtual team building games to preserve the fun you had in-person. You could try things like having people give a virtual office tour to share the context that they’re working in.
Innovation facilitator Grace Lau shared with me her experience with new, virtually-formed teams. Team members who live close to the office deliberately decided NOT to meet face-to-face.