How To Maintain a Great Workplace Culture In a Remote Model
By DBOS | Feb 19, 2021
A company’s culture is the heart of any organisation. It isn’t built overnight, but instead, it involves the participation of employees, HR, and leadership. HR cultivate an environment of belonging that unites the entire team together wherever they may be around the globe and boosts productivity.
You don’t develop a productive and happy team culture by chance. If you’ve done a great job of building an amazing office-based culture you might be wondering how to keep it up even when everyone now works remotely.
In this article, you will learn how to continue growing a positive company culture with your remote team even when scattered around the globe.
When people who use to work together now work separately, some will feel fine with it. They will still connect with their colleagues perfectly. But others won’t. New members on the team might not have had the chance to build a rapport as the old-timers have. Ensure you check in on everyone’s needs. Run surveys, ask questions. Introduce ideas that foster inclusiveness, implement them so everyone can feel they belong.
Welcome New Employees In Front Of The Entire Team
As a follow up to the last tip, help new employees blend in by welcoming them in front of the team just like you would when everyone was in an office setting. One way to do this is to ask the new hires questions about themselves, then circulate the answers to the team through email, along with a welcome message.
Encourage new employees to have one on one meetings with the team members. This way, they can get to know one another and start building some rapport.
Encourage Open Communication And Feedback
Promote transparency by keeping communication channels clear and open. It encourages team connection which is vital to any organisation. Everyone should have a voice in the team, not just the loud extroverts. Reduce any formality or red tape that may keep some employees quiet. Depending on your team size, the more casual and laid-back you are with team communication channels, the more open and honest they typically are.
Set Expectations On Communication Methods
Clearly defining what purposes each communication channel serves helps to make communication flow better. For example, you may want serious documentation by email, whereas casual team discussions by Skype or Slack.
You can provide a simple guide about where and what to post, so everyone is on the same page. And when new members come in, let them know right away the communication and collaboration tools you use, so they don’t have to email the team to find out.
Keep The ‘Water Cooler Effect’ Going
The ‘watercooler effect’ refers to a common phenomenon in the workplace when employees gather around the office water cooler to chat. It describes the gathering and connection building between people in a certain environment. Like a physical office, this should also be encouraged virtually. You can consider creating a channel for this on your company-wide text tool. You may have to lay ground rules on content, organisation language, humour, so no one gets offended.
Great workplace culture is built on communication. Get it wrong, and the culture you seek won’t stick.
Set aside specific and regular times weekly for an all-hands chat if possible. You can arrange two meetings if time zones prevent this. Go over what the team is working on. Provide details on decisions that might affect the team, and stress on feedback and free flow of communication. These kinds of meetings help disseminate news and get the team motivated.
With regards to the chat software, maintain an always-on policy, even if you may not be at the desk always, someone should be able to message you, so you can see it whenever you get back. Discourage round the clockwork, as this can lead to burnout and breed contempt.
Hold meetings through video conferencing, as this allows everyone to recognise each other, see facial expressions and reactions. Body language is very effective in communication. And finally, try to have regular (or at least) annual face to face meetings.
Related article: Why Leaders Need to Embrace Employee Motivation
Whether you are thinking of adding a new remote team by going the offshore staffing in Manila route or looking to transition your organisation from an on-ground team to a remote one. You need to be equipped with the knowledge on how to preserve the team culture to enable an environment of trust, transparency, and confidence that will keep moving your business forward.