Company culture is indispensable because it influences how your workers and customers view you – and this determines the level of success and sustainability that your business will achieve.
Due to physical distance, developing a strong culture for your remote teams can be a challenge. But in the absence of in-person interaction and with COVID-19 pandemic pushing most companies to mainly depend on working from home to keep operations in motion, building a remote working culture has become more important than ever. Here are 8 tips to help you get it right.
1. Hire the right talent
Adding the right people to your team requires rigorous background checking and intensive vetting. Ensure the individuals you're bringing on board have the right qualifications and character that fit into your company culture.
Suppose you take your time and perhaps even partner with an established international recruitment agency to ensure you only add the best people to your workforce.
In that case, you’ll be simplifying the process of building a remote team culture.
Relevant reading: How to effectively hire remote workers
2. Lay a foundation of trust and mental well being
Setting a strong foundation of trust and mental health is an important step towards building dedicated and productive teams. It helps your teams build professional relationships that are based on trust and mutual understanding.
This means they'll have the confidence to share ideas that can potentially transform how your company operates or speak up when something related to work bothers them. But how can a company build an environment that promotes the mental wellbeing of remote workers? Here are practical tips:
- Behavioral: As a company leader, you must lead by example if you want to cultivate your business's right conduct. Show humility and genuine interest in whatever remote employees are doing. Encourage team members to try new things, make mistakes faster, learn lessons, and move on—request feedback from remote workers mostly via all-hands meetings, one-on-ones, or surveys. Encourage your employees to communicate and interact with each other regularly. Maintaining good behavioral conduct with your employees won’t cost you any additional investment, but can give you better results. Teams who feel happier at work, not only prove to be highly productive but also have peaceful sleep at night without nightmares about work.
- Structural: Always give constructive feedback that is free of vague complaints or blames, and then encourage your teams to do the same. Hold meetings that are specifically meant for giving honest feedback or critiquing work. Always give feedback via video so team members can seek clarification and avoid misunderstanding.
3. Come up with principles of remote communication
When dealing with co-located employees, there are clear guidelines that guide how questions are asked, how discussions are carried out, and how meetings are organized. You should also have clear guidelines in place when dealing with remote teams. But this time you’ll need to use different tools.
Determine the kind of questions and issues that’ll be solved by phone, email, or live chat tools. Identify people who will be responsible for handling questions and issues of a specific area. Document the principles of your company’s remote communication and communicate them to your teams.
Remember a competent international recruitment agency can help you build a top-quality global team that’ll follow your communication guidelines diligently and fit in your company’s culture.
4. Regularly communicate the overall organizational vision and goals clearly
When everyone in your workforce understands the company's mission and goals, building an impressively performing remote culture is much easier.
Describe that vision in a clear and precise way, and then communicate it to your employees regularly. This will serve as a constant reminder of the value of what they're achieving together.
Relevant: How strong company values attract top talent
5. Develop an events calendar
Build a calendar full of all-hands meetings, virtual meetings, one-on-ones, town-halls, and other kinds of events. The calendar can be for a year or at least three months. Meetings and events can give teams working from home a strong sense of connection to other team members. Incorporate any in-person events in the calendar.
Knowing the exact date and place where they’ll meet other workers helps remote employees work through feelings of solitude and isolation. If you must hold an in-person event during this COVID-19 period, ensure all the public health safety guidelines are followed strictly.
Otherwise, it’s safe to wait until normalcy has returned before holding in-person meetups.
6. Build strong rituals and traditions
Families, schools, and groups of friends always engage in some activities that help them build a sense of unity.
Incorporating much-loved rituals and traditions to an already high-performing culture can make remote teams feel like satisfied members of a close-knit community. But if a specific tradition isn't working, let it go and try another one.
7. Use training to build team culture
Regular training can bring together workers from different teams and locations. So don’t underestimate the power of online training in building strong remote working culture. Organize your training well, incorporate avenues for remote teams to work together, and make it as engaging as possible.
All training programs, from induction to upskilling to compliance training, should include opportunities for team members to collaborate. For instance, you can create situations that require problem-solving to help teammates work together toward a common solution. Be sure to use collaborative tools such as webinars and discussion forums so that workers can draw meaningful lessons from each other.
Relevant: Creating employee development plans that work
8. Gather feedback regularly and make improvements
If your company adopted the work-from-home policy after the COVID-19 pandemic, chances are high you haven't gotten everything right yet. Request each remote worker to focus on the process and inform you what's working and what isn't. This information will help you make the necessary adjustments to make the process as effective as possible.
Don't stop collecting feedback after remote teams are fully onboarded. Instead, encourage regular feedback. Request it frequently, think about your efforts, pay attention to your employees' suggestions, and make improvements as necessary.
Building a high-performing remote working culture calls for a more intensive effort compared to physical offices. You need to visualize your culture first, and then build it by hiring the right people, establishing a collaborative environment, setting clear goals and mission, and implementing effective communication strategies.
Relevant: Building (and maintaining) your hybrid workplace culture