Culture is not just about fostering connections between employees and the organization. It takes intention, mindfulness, and rethinking to figure out how employees work best together. How do great teams cultivate a positive culture? Keep reading to find out.
WHY CULTURE IS ESSENTIAL
Company culture is essential because it affects how customers and employees perceive business leaders. And this greatly determines how your enterprise will function.
Since most remote teams operate away from each other, building a culture is one of the biggest challenges. An organization that lives up to its core values will transform the lives of its employees and enrich their physical and mental wellbeing.
Since the pandemic is forcing people to work from home, having a strategy and process will help in building a relevant remote team culture.
BUILDING A REMOTE CULTURE
In the workplace, culture can evolve organically through team collaboration, activities, and shared experiences. The time that team members spend together helps them gain a sense of purpose and belonging. According to college paper writing services, building a remote team can happen organically too. However, it takes deliberate thought and energy to shape. As you build your remote team, you’ll need to rethink several processes which include recruitment, career paths, tools, performance reviews, and managing projects.
1) Set a foundation of psychological safety and trust
This is one of the most important factors in the workplace. A good company culture offers an environment that is characterized by mutual respect and trust.
According to Harvard Business School, psychological safety is a sense of confidence that employees will not reject, embarrass, or punish someone for speaking his or her mind. This is not a small thing. Fostering psychological safety pays off in spades.
How can organizations create a psychologically safe environment with employees working remotely? Here are a few simple ways:
- Behavioral: It all begins from the top. The leader needs to show up with interest, humility, fallibility, and curiosity. Leaders should be proactive and encourage their employees to make mistakes. You need to ask for feedback from your employees while conducting virtual meetings. Ask your employees to ask each other for feedback as well.
- Structural: Your team has to learn how to give constructive feedback without criticizing and blaming. You need to set up meetings and encourage everyone to give their honest feedback. Ensure that feedback is directly given through video call so that employees can talk it over face to face and minimize misunderstandings. This will help in boosting the engagement levels of your entire team.
2) Improve the onboarding process
When you hire people, it is your responsibility to ensure that they have all the resources they need to succeed in their role. Some of the steps that you can take to support your new hires and improve their performance include:
- Developing a plan: It takes time for full-time remote workers to onboard. Coming up with a plan and setting all meetings will eliminate the stress and anxiety that new hires might have. It also allows you to introduce them to the right processes, people, and projects they need immediately.
- Start small: Come up with a plan that helps employees know what the onboarding process will look like after thirty or sixty days. Assign them small tasks at first and be there to introduce them to their partners and help them when they get stuck.
- Onboard groups: This is one of the best ways to minimize redundancies and effort during the onboarding process. It also creates a sense of togetherness among new hires. Some of the best performing organizations hire in groups and appoint a veteran to welcome and support the new hires.
3) Communicate goals clearly
It’s easy to create a positive remote culture when everyone in the team understands the vision of the company. Come up with a clear way of describing the mission and communicating it to your team. Always reinforce it to remind your team of the importance of what they’ll achieve.
4) Be flexible
Flexibility can mean a wide range of things to different people. How many hours should your employees be online every day? Will they need to go to the office regularly? You need to include your expectations in the job description so that candidates know what they’re getting themselves into.
5) Prioritize important work
In remote teams, most people feel like they need to respond to requests on the spot to show that they are active and engaged. However, you need to agree with your team that everyone has time to do meaningful work that requires their full attention. You need to create boundaries in remote teams to boost productivity and performance.
6) Define how the team will work
Different team members will have different ideas about what flexibility entails in the working environment. Communicating with your team regularly to assess their needs and expectations is important. Additionally, studies show that teams that are connected emotionally and engaged work together harmoniously.
According to UK best essays, you need to set a clear process for communicating and collaborating. You also need to acknowledge differences in how people work and learn. It’s always important to take personality tests and even write brief biographies to help your employees know each other. Give your remote employees time to talk about non-work topics and know each other.
7) Schedule face time
Meeting face to face is essential for building relationships. If possible, leverage offices to bring your team together during the onboarding process. You can also schedule regular in-person meetings or trips. If your business is operating on a lean budget, you should avoid hosting people in expensive locations.
You should consider renting a co-working space in your local area for holding in-person meetings. Holding meetings regularly using apps like Zoom and Microsoft Teams is one of the best ways to promote a sense of togetherness.
8) Collect honest feedback regularly
If you’ve never run a remote team, chances are you’ll make mistakes. Ask your remote employees to focus on the process and inform you about the things that work and fail. This will allow you to improve your hiring processes. Don’t be afraid of gathering criticism once employees are fully on board. Ask for regular feedback because it will indicate that you listen to your employees and are ready to make adjustments.
9) Come up with ways to keep employees engaged
Keeping your remote team engaged is one of the best ways to promote a positive culture. Host a breakfast session or happy hour where people from similar or different fields can talk about their challenges. At times, you don’t need to hold an entire meeting for this – you can easily incorporate games into your calls or even start a channel to exchange your pet photos.
Building a positive remote culture requires a lot of time and effort. You need to have a vision and implement it through the goals you set, your hiring process, and how your team communicates.