The global catastrophe that the COVID-19 outbreak has created is one of the largest crises in modern history. During this time of exacerbated uncertainty and fear, organizations are struggling to achieve their usual efficiency and productivity. Countless tasks have become impossible to perform, roles have been cannibalized, and millions of employees are trying to adapt to the novel and unfamiliar notion of working from home. In addition to professional obstacles, employees are facing tremendous stress and anxiety, as this major threat to health, safety and the economy worsens by the minute. To prevent these devastating circumstances from becoming obstacles for employee satisfaction and business function itself, corporations must rely on their company culture.
A company’s culture comprises a combination of factors, including the environment, social norms, values and mission, as well as ethics, expectations and goals. Culture is integral to a company’s success for a number of reasons. It’s the only thing that can be truly unique about an organization and it drives how employees interact with one another, with customers, and with the outside world.
Your company culture is your DNA. It provides the organization with guidelines, boundaries and expectations—for your team and for everyone you do business with. Culture is the best way to inspire, motivate and engage your workforce, and it’s the most powerful tool to attract and retain top talent.
Company culture isn’t the easiest of things to create, even in a traditional setting. So creating a strong and positive culture among a remote company can be an even bigger challenge.
Here’s how to consciously shape company culture with a remote team.
Harness the power of technology.
Using a virtual office, such as Slack, will help create an online version of watercooler chat. Random discussions can take place, news and jokes can be shared, and banter can arise organically. These all help shape company culture in a traditional office setting, and now, they can happen virtually as well.
Other tools like Google Hangouts and GoToMeeting allow team members to visually see each other and converse in real time, which is also powerful for creating true connections.
Don’t forget to create in-person experiences though.
Creating regularly scheduled in-person experiences can allow for team members to form bonds and get to know one another outside of the daily workflow. Providing company retreats in which the goal is to foster culture is immensely helpful. It allows for additional time to make connections that may not arise during a normal workweek.
Remote teams require an elevated level of trust. Everyone has to know they can depend on other team members to do what needs to be done. As remote teams generally have more flexibility to work when they choose, the only barometer of success is whether or not they deliver. For a remote team to thrive, everyone must deliver and get things done. They have to be able to depend on one another.
Culture is incredibly important to a company’s success. Creating a positive, growth-oriented culture can be a challenge in any organization, but especially for those running virtual offices with a remote workforce. It’s not impossible, however, to establish a strong culture in the absence of a physical office. When done right, a remote team can have even stronger bonds, greater productivity and more positivity than teams in traditional work settings.
The COVID-19 pandemic has created a world in which remotely managing and supporting employees has escalated from a luxury to a necessity. If you’re interested in learning more about how to effectively support your remote talent and develop your company’s culture, contact us today!