Remote Team Company Culture
(How to build culture for your remote team)
The importance of company culture
Company culture is the values and attitudes of employees in the business.
Company culture is the personality of the company, it’s made up of the work environment, value, ethics, the people working there that are all apart of.
A good company culture values everyone, regardless of their job duties.
A good company culture makes a job more than just work = pay cheque.
A good company culture helps make the workplace environment an enjoyable place to work.
It also helps improve job satisfaction, employee retention, worker morale, encourages employees to be more invested in what they do and the company.
Why this is different when working remotely?
As we said above, part of what makes the company culture as is the work environment and people.
This is different when working remotely as, the atmosphere that’s built within the office isn’t there, your work environment is where you choose to work and our colleagues — all working elsewhere, rather than alongside you.
This lack of a physical office, means that some of what makes a natural company culture is lost.
This however, does not mean you can’t foster company culture for your team, regardless of where they work.
Unfortunately there is no definitive plan, or way to replicate culture, but if you invest the time and effort, you can start to build toward a great company culture.
How to build company culture for a remote team
Introduce new employees to the team
When someone starts a new job, their first day in the office they’ll normally be introduced to the team they’ll be working with.
This way they meet know who’ll they’ll be working with and who to turn to if help is needed.
For a remote team, without telling employees about a new colleague, they can be completely off the radar, with no one knowing of their existence.
You could send an email round, informing everyone, but it’s fairly impersonal and some people may not see it straight away.
To properly introduce a new team members, get everyone together on a video call to introduce them, have them share a little about themselves and introduce them to who they’ll be working with.
This helps them feel part of the team, then have everyone share what they’ll be working on for the next few days to help acclimate to the way of work at your company.
Create a water-cooler effect where people can share
The water-cooler effect is defined as:
This is easy in an office due to the close proximity of other colleagues, but how can you have this when the only thing connecting your employees is an internet connection?
For us, one thing we have is a Slack channel called water-cooler, where we share general things we’ve found.
They can range from interesting things such as what the Amazon, Google, Facebook logo’s were when they started out.
To funny meme’s we’ve seen.
It helps simulate that water-cooler effect and gets people interacting with each other.
See your team, face-to-face (where possible)
As with the water-cooler effect, part of what builds company culture is spending time with the people you work with.
If your employees all work within a travel-able distance, arranging meet ups, team building activities and events are a wonderful way to get everyone together.
It helps everyone get to know each other better, builds team trust, helping foster a good company culture.
If meet-ups are difficult, the other solution could be a to arrange company retreat, where everyone gets together in a different location to work/hangout together for a couple of weeks.
One of the things we do everyday is use our tool PukkaTeam, to have a visual presence and create a virtual office.
It lets us know who’s available and working and stops people from being ‘out of sight, out of mind’.
Recognise and appreciate your teams achievements
Public recognition of a job well done is one of the most motivating ways to get your team more invested in the company, it shows that their work is appreciated and their contributions recognised.
It has been shown that recognising the hard work can increase happiness and satisfaction in the job.
When you have, either your team or individual catch ups with employees, thank them for their recent work accomplishments, it shows you recognise their hard work and it’s appreciated.
We also have a Slack channel where we can share accomplishments, so the rest of the team can see there success, otherwise these can go missed and unrecognised without it.
Get everyone working with each other
One thing you have in the office is you get to learn other people habits, likes/dislikes because you’re around them for a large portion of the day.
But when working remotely, this is all missed, employees are not working alongside colleagues.
It lets everyone get to know each other, build trust, familiarity and helps improve team culture.
Have a policy of open communication
Like we’ve mentioned, an office has people, turning to the person next to you to talk about the latest episode of Game of Thrones, might seem like a quaint or trivial thing in an office.
This however, is not there when working remotely, so the lack of an office means you need to help bridge the communication barrier.
Encourage open communication within your team, for employees to talk to each other throughout the day, this will help:
Feel more comfortable asking each other about issues
Build trust and familiarity
Improve work culture
Remember, with no office and employees working from different locations, encouraging people to talk will help improve collaboration.
Trust and transparency is key to building company culture
Out of all things, this is one of the central points that holds the rest together, without this;
Why would people communicate?
How will the effectively work together?
Why would anyone trust their colleagues to get things done?
Building a company on trust and transparency helps work get done better, problems found sooner, more efficient collaboration, this is not something you can teach, you have to lead by example.
Demonstrating that you trust your team, which will then help them trust you and be more transparent.
Building company culture is not something that can be controlled, your employees will be part of what shapes it, but putting some positive, re-affirming actions into place can help build towards a company culture that people will want to work at.
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