22 Feb How to Build a Strong Culture With a Remote Team
Building culture in remote teams
Today we share some practical strategies for managers on how to build a strong culture with a remote team.
1. Create and communicate team values
Values guide and sustain culture. A clear set of values helps employees to understand what the company or team stands for. Even the process of creating or refining team values can help to bring a remote team together.
Lead your team in a brainstorming session and agree on values and goals as a team. Get everyone involved. When the team determines values, each individual understands what they are trying to achieve. This is incredibly motivating.
Team values should align with organisational purpose. Being clear about purpose keeps employees motivated and engaged. It’s important that each employee understands why their work matters to the organisation, and why it matters personally.
Once you’ve created or refined your team values, document them in a values statement. Be clear on how they apply to the team, and what employee behaviours are expected to reflect the values. Make sure that your values statement is easily accessible to the team. When new people join the team, show them your values statement.
Lastly, you should periodically review values together to ensure that they’re up to date.
2. Create a safe environment
As a manager, part of your role is to support your employees. A strong culture is built on trust.
When you show care and empathy to your employees, you create a psychologically safe work environment. Psychological safety is essential for getting the most out of your employees. Employees who feel safe are more likely to contribute, understand each other’s point of view, and support each other. If someone needs extra support or training, give them access to the right tools and skills for achieving their goals.
3. Create opportunities for feedback
Creating an atmosphere of open communication and feedback is essential for sustaining a strong culture. Schedule regular feedback sessions with your team, both individually and as a group. Check-in with your employees about how they’re going with remote or hybrid work.
In team meetings, encourage everyone in your team to contribute to discussions. Remember to ask quieter team members for their thoughts. This will help to build an inclusive workplace culture where everyone’s contributions are equally valued.
Try using more casual communication channels in your team. Use tools like Microsoft Teams for instant messaging and discussion channels. The more informal your internal team communications are, the more comfortable people will feel to contribute. It’ll feel more like a face-to-face chat, so people are more likely to be open and transparent.
4. Open communication
In remote teams, the success of your company culture depends on effective team communication.
Set clear expectations for how performance will be measured. Remote working makes it easier to focus on results, rather than inputs.
Ensure team communication actively involves all staff. Schedule regular team meetings with the whole team and keep employees informed about any decisions that may affect them. Share news, give project updates, and invite suggestions for making the team work better.
Hold team meetings using video conferencing wherever possible. This allows people to see body language and facial expressions.
5. Have some fun!
When people work in an office, there are plenty of opportunities for fun social interactions. These informal interactions build camaraderie, which is hard to replicate in a distributed team. As a manager, create opportunities for team members to interact other than for work reasons. This is an integral part of growing your team culture, as it encourages social connection and team bonding.
For example, try some online trivia or team-building games. Where possible, reinforce online interactions with face-to-face gatherings, such as monthly or quarterly team lunches.
So those are the strategies on how to build a strong culture with a remote team. Managing a remote team can bring different challenges. However, there are steps you can take to build and sustain a strong team culture. Learn how our tailored programs can help you and your team to build a strong culture and thrive. We will work with you to maximise productivity and achieve your goals, regardless of your working location.