Last week we reflected on the importance of cultivating a strong company culture, which reinforces employee engagement, productivity and satisfaction in a remote work environment. Today, we’re here to explore the most effective ways to achieve lasting results.
So, what are the building blocks of great culture amongst remote workers?
1. Hire the right people
Ensure you hire people with emotional intelligence to remain productive and sane. Hire people who fit the positive company culture you have, or are working towards. People who don’t fit can have a significant impact on the morale and productivity of other employees. Look for people that are actively engaged, self motivated and a positive force in the team.
2. Trust is foundational
When you work in a remote team, you need to trust each other to deliver. There’s simply no way around the fact that when you all work from different locations, you can’t monitor productivity or input. Work should be measured on an output basis, and employees should be encouraged to be dependable and consistent. Generally, people want to do good work that provides them with a sense of accomplishment, and a culture of trust can create huge rewards.
Feeling trusted is a critical stepping stone in the journey to a healthy culture in a remote-based company. High-trust organizations are those with more empathy, collaboration, recognition of employees, vulnerability, and personal growth for everyone around. Low-trust organizations, on the other hand, tend to have toxic cultures that people wouldn’t recommend a friend work at, and themselves plan on leaving
It’s essential to create a sense of accountability where each team member understands where their work fits into the overall company strategy and goals. In the age of remote workers, we need new technologies that bridge the communication gap, automate routine check-ins, and create platforms for recognition and reward. These new tools have the power to produce more efficient teams with higher accountability than has ever been seen in the physical office. Getting to know each other helps drive a connection to a common purpose and knowledge of how each other fits in.
Ask three specific questions:
- Do you know what you’re meant to be doing in your role?
- Do you (and have you or your boss communicated) the value of your role as it contributes to your department and company?
- Do you understand the direction of the company as a whole?
Communication is complex. Almost all issues in companies can be improved or resolved by changes in communication. It’s not the responsibility of management to initiate conversations, but they can foster an environment of openness and provide tools, platforms, and touchpoints to support employees. Employees should have a say on how they want to communicate with each other, and regularly provide feedback on this. Tools like Slack revolutionize communication in remote workforces.
Note: In the next article we’ll cover more in-depth the importance of over-communicating in remote teams.
In job interviews, it’s common practice to ask a potential employee: “Why do you want to work here?” A robust answer is a good way of gauging whether or not the interviewee is on board with the company's mission and values.
Each employee should feel engaged and motivated to be part of the company. When the employee is on board with the mission, they’re engaged in the job and want to help the company succeed. As well as observing employee behavior, there are many best practices to keep employees in the loop, welcomed and onboard- connected to the previous point about communication. Remember, happy employees are more productive, act as talent acquisition tools, improve the brand of your company, and reduce costs.
As mentioned, communication is both a complex yet fundamental driver for building a positive remote work environment. Next week, we’ll share some tips and tricks for communicating successfully using Slack. See you then!