Employee Engagement & Retention
Building a Positive Workplace Culture with a Remote Team
By Amy Truesdell
Creating a positive and productive workplace culture demands thoughtful planning and consistency. It requires going so much further than hosting virtual coffee chats, because an authentic and positive company culture is the result of presenting your core values and inspiring your team members to do the same.
The active effort of strengthening and maintaining your organization’s governing set of beliefs and behaviors may require forethought, planning and persistence. But, when you work to create a positive culture in your workplace, your good habits will pay off in spades. Company culture directly affects how internal and external audiences perceive you. It drastically influences team member satisfaction and retention, and it provides everyone one in your organization with a way forward when navigating conflict and complexity.
Why Remote Work Culture Is So Important
Since transitioning – and remaining with – the work-from-home model, many organizations have experienced a decline in workplace culture. What this looks like for some is a lack of engagement, a decrease in ingenuity and idea sharing, burnout and team member exodus.
Creating remote work culture is a powerful antidote to these consequences of allowing your sense of community to break down due to physical distancing. Reminding both your team leaders and their team members what is really at the heart of your organization will reinforce the how and why behind what gets done, which will improve the quality of outputs and their sense of belonging and achievement.
How to Establish and Maintain a Positive Remote Work Culture
Workplace culture is constantly shifting, but it’s important to recognize and nurture a few key attitudes and principles that are key to your organization. Here are some effective ways to build a meaningful remote work culture and enhance buy in from your team members.
1. Demonstrate Workplace Trust
Don’t just tell people you trust them. Demonstrate that belief in big and small ways every day. Trust is the single most important component of workplace culture. Without it, your team members will feel disempowered and unwilling to take productive risks. Building trust requires relinquishing micromanagement tendencies and creating safe spaces for team members to fail.
2. Establish Efficient Communication
Remember effective communication skills are KEY, but great communication doesn’t require over communicating. When we can’t “pop in” to someone’s office to follow up on something, we can tend to feel more anxious about things like progress and work quality. This may lead to overbooking meetings and overzealous emails. However, continuously checking up shows you lack trust in your team members’ diligence and delivery.
Proactively agree upon timelines and adhere to them. Of course, if a deadline is missed, email or pick up the phone, but do not over insert yourself when the project is moving forward as planned.
3. Build Effective Communication Skills
Choose the right means of communication to foster team building and trust. Remote work can create a sense of separateness. In response to this, team leaders have the tendency to host more meetings than they ever would have within their in-person work setting. While meetings can be great places for strategic thinking and social interaction, before booking one, consider if an email would suffice. If a meeting is required, ensure everyone has all the information they need ahead of time, so you don’t end up hosting a meeting to set up another meeting.
4. Listen Attentively and Be Positive
Be cautious about tone and always treat your team members like people first. With less face-to-face interaction inherent in virtual work, it can be easier to misinterpret the tone of a pithy email. Do not forgo the kindness and politeness that defined your in-person work culture.
How Can I Be a Positive Communicator?
When relying on emails as your main form of communication, ensure you are humanizing them with “How are you?” and genuine sign offs. This will help reduce unnecessary anxiety and enhance your company’s sense of community from afar.
5. Address Workplace Conflict
If you sense or are approached about a conflict, do not let it linger. Bring together the necessary parties to bridge any gaps in understanding and ensure everyone’s perspective is heard and valued. Use positive, outcome-focused approaches to conflict resolution and always provide constructive framework for avoiding similar situations in the future.
6. Celebrate your team members.
Don’t let work anniversaries, birthdays or big wins go unrecognized simply because we are not together to share cake and balloons. If your team has achieved something extraordinary, brought on a big new client or shown remarkable perseverance during a project, ensure they know and don’t be shy about sending out an all-team email OR hosting a little virtual get together where you provide gift cards for coffee.
Remote Work Culture Strategy to Keep Your Team Engaged and Connected
Our Learn2 professional development and employee engagement experts would love the opportunity to help you build a vibrant virtual company culture. We will provide you with suggestions you can easily implement, or more in-depth communication and team building programs. These effective initiatives will be customized to your corporate values and day-to-day operations, so you can reenergize and reunite your teams in their excitement for achievement.
Reach out to us today and let’s talk about how to enhance team effectiveness and satisfaction wherever you choose to work from.
DISCOVER YOUR NATURAL COMMUNICATION STYLE.
Each person has a natural communication style. Understanding yours can and will impact how effective you are when dealing with friends, co-workers and clients.