When we think about company culture, we often focus on what it is not: negative, toxic, angry. In reality, company culture is made up of many different components, and it is a lot more complex than you might think.
Although good company culture starts from the top, it also needs to be baked into the daily process of work. When working with a remote team, you must plan to make communication, feedback, and positive interactions a priority so that everyone feels valued, supported, and happy.
How can you make a positive company culture when your team is remote? Well, you make things work in the following ways:
- If there is a new employee, welcome them in front of a team. The first and most vital step in any company’s culture is to actively welcome new employees before they even start their first day of work. There is a lot of evidence to show that this is actually what new employees want to hear and that they will stay with a company in which they are warmly welcomed as a new member of the team.
- Improve your company values. Every company has its values, and it is important to understand your values and how they can be applied to your business. This can be done in several ways, from the way you communicate your values to how you operate and lead your team.
- Communicate with the expectations on the company culture. We all want to work in an environment based on respect, trust, teamwork, and communication. Many business owners look at remote teams and think they can’t make the same kind of impact, but that is simply not true. For instance, those who work remotely may be based in a rural area, in which case internet connectivity can be a problem. This can be detrimental to their efficiency. It might be possible for companies to look for internet options for rural areas and provide employees with better connectivity so they can work uninterrupted. This can be an example of the few challenges faced by remote workers, which business owners can address. For a long time, business organizations have mostly resorted to using a VPN network to improve speed and security. However, with advanced solutions like SD-WAN (visit https://www.fortinet.com/resources/cyberglossary/sd-wan-explained for better clarity), for instance, they are able to expand their processes and provide better options to their employees. Given enough time, you and your team can develop a great culture and form a culture of trust and communication. You can set up a great company culture that reflects your company and is a driving force in your company.
- Make it to the point to learn about every member of the team. Everyone’s team is different, even when they’re working remotely. Positive company culture means the employees are all on the same page and that the company can support them so they can do their jobs best. One way to encourage this is to make it a point to learn about everyone as a person-to understand what motivates them and what their goals are. It’s a lovely way to show team members that you care about them and their work. In addition to learning about your employees in detail, check up on their health every now and then. Remember that if an employee is sick, he cannot perform to his fullest. This can, in turn, affect your business. Take as many initiatives as possible to keep your employees healthy in the workplace. If need be, read up on blogs similar to https://www.edenhealth.com/blog/why-employee-health-wellbeing-matters/ that can provide knowledge on how to improve employee health.
- Inspire a work environment with open communication as well as feedback. One of the ways to keep the workplace productive is by encouraging an environment that is safe and supportive of open feedback and communication. Employees want to know what is going on, and they want to know what their teammates are thinking and feeling. One way to do this would be to incorporate team building activities for all the employees, which can help strengthen communication amongst the members. This can be done through online corporate team building activities that work well for a remote work environment.
- Understand the Water Cooler Effect. The “water cooler effect” is a term often used to describe the desire of employees to discuss what they are working on and how the company is performing. It is important to strike a balance between a healthy, supportive culture and the reality that some tasks are more important than others and that there are certain times when you must push aside the everyday conversations for more important discussions.
- Set expectations on what communications methods to use. One of the most important types of communication between co-workers, especially when working from home, is the email, or in this case, the email chain. We have all been there, you start an email chain, and then almost all the participants do not reply. Since it is not always possible to have everyone together, it is important to set expectations on how frequently and how long you expect to receive communication.
- Encourage everyone to communicate, communicate, and communicate. Communication is the key. Communicate with your team members daily so that your team is aware of each other’s progress, staying on task, and supporting each other.
Most companies have internal policies that outline how to treat team members. Some are great, some are terrible. Most are somewhere in the middle. What your team needs most from you is that you have clarity about how to treat them, that you have a team culture that you are proud of, that you provide opportunities for team members to grow and to have fun, and that you provide opportunities for team members to thrive.