How to build a strong culture with a Remote team: 8 Ideas

Manali Mehrishi

24th Jan'23
How to build a strong culture with a Remote team: 8 Ideas | OpenGrowth

Company culture refers to the sum of a company's values, vision, goals, and guidelines. It fosters collaboration and anchors the employees in a system. A strong culture makes a company unique and attracts employees who value culture and share common beliefs. 

In today’s remote work environment, it's quite challenging to collaborate, communicate and integrate, hence it's crucial to build a culture within the organization to bring together virtual teams. Building strong culture with virtual teams will foster employee engagement, increase productivity, retain top talent and create brand value. 

Strong company culture also defines the relationship between the management and employees, performance metrics, employee recognition system, and aesthetics. There are certain ways to build a strong culture with remote teams to give them a defined framework to work with and to cultivate a sense of belonging. So let’s get started with some of the most effective tips to develop a culture within virtual teams.

 

8 Ways to Build a Strong Culture with Remote Teams:
 

  1. Define and communicate your company culture

Ways to build a strong culture with remote teams

Share your company’s mission, purpose, and vision with your employees in a mailer, a document, or an infographic on a centralized portal or knowledge hub where anyone can access and refer to it anytime. All the information should be clearly defined, and the practices, values, and beliefs of a company give employees a structure to work with. It enhances their ability and gives them a purpose to align their work with company values.

You also need to keep evaluating and modifying your values with changing times and as per employee feedback. Any changes should be reflected on the common knowledge portal and must be viewed by everyone. 

 

  1. Encourage employee participation

Enabling employees to share their suggestions, grievances, and feedback creates a culture of trust and bonding in the workplace. It also promotes employee loyalty and a higher retention rate.

Employees must be able to voice their opinions without any fear. Encourage employees to speak up during virtual meetings. Train managers to have frequent check-ins with employees to make sure they are not feeling burned out, left out, or facing any other issues at work. Not all employees feel comfortable speaking up so the manager or HR department can have one on one virtual meetings with employees once in a while.

Questionnaires and surveys through the mail are another great way to gather feedback while maintaining the anonymity of the employees.

 

  1. Have a comprehensive onboarding process

To make your new employees feel comfortable and part of the team, give them an induction explaining company culture and vision. Teach them how to use the company portal to connect, collaborate and access resources. Have an introductory video meeting for the new hire with their team and allow them to give a brief introduction. Teach them about the performance metrics and what’s expected from them. 

 

  1. Promote work-life integration

Ways to build a strong culture with remote teams

 

Remote work promotes flexibility and work-life balance but an organization must send out a clear message to its employees that they care about their work-life balance. Follow flexible work arrangements like flexible hours, compressed work weeks, or extended vacation as per employee requirements. Measure performance by the quality of work rather than hours locked in. Providing flexibility increase employee engagement and productivity. 

 

  1. Create an effort to communicate 

The biggest issue in remote work is the lack of communication. In an office environment, employees used to bond over lunch breaks, coffee breaks, or watercooler chats to connect with like-minded people and create meaningful professional relationships but this aspect is missing in remote work. To ensure employees don’t feel lonely and disconnected take 10 minutes during video calls to have informal chats and check in with each other.

In a remote working environment, a proper communication channel must be established where the employees can communicate with each other and keep track of ongoing and upcoming office activities. There are various tools and software also that offer seamless communication and collaboration.

 

  1. Reward and acknowledge

Everyone needs encouragement to work hard and produce quality work and research suggests recognition is the biggest motivator. Depending on the work an employee must be rewarded adequately, it can be a shout-out during a meeting, an appreciation mail, or a monetary raise. 

A company must make its employees feel valued and appreciated. Acknowledging and celebrating an employee’s work should be defined in company culture, especially in remote work as employees might feel unheard and invisible.

Along with recognition, a company must make small efforts to celebrate birthdays, anniversaries, marriages, or the birth of a child, etc to show care and how much they value their employees.
 

  1. Support professional development

To make your employees feel valued and appreciated, you must support them in their career development. Offer financial support and paid/unpaid leaves for higher education. You can also provide virtual training, webinars, and certification programs by market experts to upskill your employees. It will not only benefit your employees but your organization as well. Investing in your employees is a mark of great leadership and solid organizational culture. 
 

  1. Organize team bonding activities

Team bonding activities are essential for virtual teams to feel like a part of the organization. Additional efforts must be taken for team bonding and collaboration during remote work.

  • Have an occasional virtual celebration on let's say Christmas or new years.

  • Organize virtual coffee breaks and fun online quizzes.

  • Along with fun activities, you can offer wellness programs, where employees can learn about taking care of their mental health while working virtually. 

  • You can have virtual exercise sessions like yoga and aerobics with a trained professional. 

Employees need to feel that they are being taken care of. Conducting fun and wellness activities establishes a team bond and has a holistically positive impact on the employees.

 

Other aspects that need to be taken into consideration while setting up a company culture are the dress code, office calendar, promoting inclusivity and equality, as aesthetics and behavioral norms are also part of the culture.

 

Conclusion

Remote work can cause isolation and loneliness in employees, and this can hamper their productivity and mental health. It's an organization's responsibility to make its employees feel visible and appreciated. A strong culture not only gives employees a sense of direction but a purpose to work in alignment with company values.

We hope our tips and ways to build a strong culture with remote teams help you build a solid company environment that fosters employee engagement, productivity, retention, and growth.

 

We at OpenGrowth, are committed to keeping you updated with the best content on the latest trendy topics from any major field. Also, both your feedback and suggestions are valuable to us. So, do share them in the comment section below.

Manali is a content creator, author and life coach. A coffee lover, who also loves to read, write and travel. An observant person who seeks value, clarity and simplicity in all aspects of life.

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