Maintaining a strong company culture is challenging for any remote team. In a conventional office setup, employees naturally assimilate the goals, values and unique personality of the company through day-to-day interactions. Replicating this in spite of the unavoidable separate created by remote working requires a careful, considered approach.
With this in mind, this article proposes five ways to build a strong company culture across your remote teams. From investing in the right software to adopting a fully transparent approach with your staff, there’s a lot you can do to help build and maintain a positive company culture even when your employees are working from home.
Software is essential for remote work. Communication, community and collaboration are the building blocks of a positive company culture, and without the right tools to support them, your team could become disconnected and disillusioned. This is where project management platforms, collaborative software and video calling come in. Of course, having the right software only provides you with the foundations. Once you’ve invested and shown that you believe in your remote teams, there’s still the tricky task of getting everyone else to buy into your vision and commit to upholding it – the remaining four tips should help you out with this.
2. Set communal goals
To create a culture of hard work and ambition, you should set clear goals and reward those who achieve them. Every member of your organisation needs to be target-oriented, hitting their own personal goals, but they also need to understand how this fits into the company’s overall performance. Introducing shared objectives and team-wide KPIs helps to encourage collaboration and create cohesion in the workforce. If communal goal-setting is woven into the way you do things as a business from the ground up, you’ll ensure that everyone shares the same positive mindset and motivations. The tools you’ve already invested in will help to make this happen, facilitating cooperation across remote teams and enabling you to set targets that are visible to everyone.
Remote working can be a lonely experience. Regular face-to-face interaction with colleagues plays an important role in terms of maintaining morale and employee wellbeing, so it can be helpful if the business sets up virtual social events. This could simply be a quick quiz via video call or even a game that takes place after work. These sessions present a great opportunity to position the firm as a fun and friendly place to work. Building a strong company culture is not just about conveying the right image to the general public, but also to your own employees; remember that one of the key benefits of a positive culture at work is increased employee retention.
4. Be transaparent
When you’re looking to build a strong company culture, it’s important to start by taking a transparent approach with your staff. Getting everyone on board with your ideas requires cooperation and mutual respect, which you can promote by being completely open with employees about important issues like their career progression. If you don’t have one already, create an information hub that outlines payscales and provides details of how progression can be achieved at every level. Employees tend to be more receptive to your ideas and willing to get involved if they feel like they are being treated fairly – and this level of transparency is especially important for remote teams.
It’s impossible to build a strong company culture across remote teams without understanding what each team requires in terms of management. Some employees may benefit from extra contact with their line managers when working from home, whereas others may prefer to work independently most of the time. The only way to learn about the needs of each team is to listen to feedback. Encourage line managers to ask their teams if they think that the current approach is working – they may find that some employees need more encouragement or a more thorough explanation of tasks. Listening and responding will help to shape a culture that works for everyone.
Sam Hill, Head of People and Culture at BizSpace.