The global work environment has recently made a massive shift towards remote workforces. It’s becoming increasingly popular to have some (if not all) of your team working from co-working spaces or their own homes.
In traditional office spaces, company culture can be built organically through team building, collaboration and shared experiences within the office space. Whilst building a company culture within a remote team can also happen organically, it requires a bit more forethought, planning and hard work to shape.
Managers and business owners are facing a new obstacle: how to create an environment of positive behavior and grow a strong, positive company culture throughout a remote team?
Here are five tips for building a strong, positive company culture whilst working remotely:
- Set a Foundation of Trust
Any great company culture provides a work environment characterized by trust and mutual respect. Employees need to feel comfortable that they can share their crazy ideas, or speak up amongst the group without being ridiculed or harshly rejected.
Managers and group leaders need to create the understanding that it’s alright to make mistakes, and should be proactive, and promote participation by asking employees for feedback and opinions during meetings. Teach your team members to give honest, constructive feedback that doesn’t blame or make things personal.
- Set Clear Mission And Goals
Workforces and teams show much higher levels of performance when every team member knows and understands the company’s vision. It’s important to create a clear and precise mission and goals for the company, to communicate this to every team member, and to continuously reinforce it. A clear company vision creates a nice reminder of what your team members are accomplishing together.
- Define How You Work Together
Different people within a team may have different ideas about what a remote working situation entails. Have a conversation with your team about their needs and expectations, and develop working terms that are reasonable.
It’s important to acknowledge the different ways that people learn and work within a team. It could be a good idea to do exercises such as personality tests or writing personal declarations to help team members understand one another. This will assist with collaboration and communication within your remote team.
- Collect Feedback Regularly
Every team is different and many teams are constantly changing; chances are that you won’t get things right the first time. Ask for feedback from each of your remote employees so that you can adjust and improve the process for the future.
Ask for feedback often, even from the more established team members. Creating a culture of constructive feedback will help you refine your process, and help your employees feel like it’s safe to speak their minds and be heard within the team.
Building and maintaining a remote culture requires a more concerted effort than in a traditional office space. It’s important to remember that communication is key: listen to your team members and ensure that they are listening to each other.
- Find Ways To Keep People Engaged
Keeping remote team members engaged is a great way to foster a positive company culture. Developing creative, fun ways for team members to engage with one another can help foster future collaboration and understanding within the team.
Hosting virtual team breakfasts or lunches is a fun way to bring your virtual team members together where they can discuss their challenges. You can even incorporate some team building activities into your regular virtual meetings to keep employees engaged and collaborative.
It’s important to remember that every team is different, so you will need to find ways of communicating and engaging that are effective within your remote team.
Building a great company culture is difficult in the best of circumstances, and can be even more difficult when your team is working remotely. Armed with these tips and tricks, you should feel more confident in creating and maintaining a positive, productive and profitable business with a remote workforce.