Building a Strong Company Culture for Remote Teams
As more companies shift to remote work, it's becoming increasingly difficult for remote teams to establish a sense of togetherness and connectedness.
This challenge poses a unique problem for HR managers, who are tasked with building and maintaining a strong company culture that can survive the test of distance and time.
As a follow up to our previous guide on remote team culture, we've collected some methods that HR managers can use to construct a robust culture for remote teams that lasts and the steps they can take to communicate that culture to new team members.
Embrace Virtual Communication
One of the most significant challenges for remote teams is communication.
Without the ability to engage in face-to-face conversations or impromptu water cooler chats, remote workers can often feel isolated and disconnected from their teams.
To combat this, managers should encourage the use of different virtual communication tools like Slack, Microsoft Teams, or Webex, and make sure that team members are showing their faces (or using their cameras) when having meetings.
Some of these tools even offer casual "hop in" communication channels to help remote teams stay connected and build relationships with their colleagues.
Establish Clear Values and Goals
A strong company culture begins with clear values and goals that every team member understands and embraces.
Leaders may want to work with their teams to establish a set of core values that guide the company's decision-making and actions. These values should be communicated to every team member and serve as a reminder of what the company stands for.
As a recent Fast Company article suggests, perhaps it would be worth considering a value centered around learning to help foster a more innovative perspective within the team.
Establishing clear goals and objectives helps remote teams stay focused and aligned, even when working separately, on different projects or in different time zones.
For some examples of core values, check out our post, Building a Company Culture From Scratch.
Foster Team Building Activities
While it may be more challenging to organize team building activities for remote teams, it's not impossible.
HR managers can plan virtual team building activities such as online games, virtual happy hours, or remote scavenger hunts. These activities can help remote teams bond and build relationships, just as they would in an office setting.
Additionally, annual corporate retreats can provide an excellent opportunity for remote teams to meet in person, build relationships, and participate in team building activities.
Recognize and Reward Achievements
Remote teams often work independently, which can make it challenging for managers to recognize and reward individual achievements.
Company leadership can deal with this by establishing a system for recognizing and rewarding outstanding work, whether through bonuses, promotions, or public recognition.
Recognizing and rewarding achievements helps remote team members feel valued and appreciated, which, in turn, can increase their engagement and motivation.
Communicate Culture to New Team Members
As remote teams grow and new team members join, it's crucial to communicate the company's culture effectively.
HR managers should make sure that new hires understand the company's core values, goals, and expectations from the outset.
This can be achieved through onboarding programs, employee handbooks, and regular communication with new team members.
Ensuring that new hires understand the company's culture means that they will feel connected and engaged from day one.
Use Different Methods to Build a Strong Remote Culture
Building a strong company culture for remote teams requires HR managers to embrace a multi-pronged approach. By finding the methods you like the most and implementing them in a clear and continuous fashion, leadership can build a sustainable culture, even as team grows and changes.
A strong company culture is essential, especially for remote teams, who need just a little bit extra support to grow and work together towards company objectives.