Who said work culture cannot be created with remote employees? We have put together a great list through which you can enhance, nurture or create a good work environment, even if it is all virtual!
Teamwork is a mandate when it comes to an organization's growth. If inter-personal relationships in the work environment are conflicted (whether it is in-office or remote), not only will the organization's productivity level reduce, but a lot of misunderstanding, emotional distress, aggression & fights will ensue.
Although, when the team works in-office, they are compelled to confront each other & their problems, and the managers or people in charge can become the mediator through which the conflicts can be resolved amidst the workers. But on the other hand, remote teams function differently. Active steps have to be taken to hone remote teams, bring the best out of their performances, and create a healthy work culture.
And here are some ways to do that :
1) The MBTI (Myers Briggs Type Indicator) Way
Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) is a personality test, based on the psychological features of people. It is used to detect and understand the different strengths and types of personalities in a workplace or any other setting.
Believe it or not, but the MBTI test is a great way to understand your employees and help them understand each other. Sending a weekly circular about the same, via emails can act as a reminder to be kind to each other, accept the differences between personality types, and create a work culture layered with empathy. The circular or infographic doesn't have to be heavily detailed. It can just have a few eye-opening pointers about all the 16 personality types.
The MBTI very straightforwardly categorizes people and is popular not only in the workplace but also in pop culture!
After getting a brief assessment done of the employees, you will be aware of the unique setup of the team, and the existing equations within the team will start to make more sense. But you cannot keep this information to yourself. You, as the employer, have the responsibility to instigate communication among employees regarding the same. Now, let's not forget that MBTI is not exact but it is very close to being accurate. And the best part is, you can use the MBTI in a fun way, especially if your team is young.
For instance, you can use fictional or non-fictional characters as a reference. Like how Mahatma Gandhi was an INFJ, and Harry Potter is an ISFP! And also, you can leverage the power of MBTI memes to keep things non-discriminatory and light-hearted.
2) A Good Training and Introduction
When a new employee joins your company's remote team, make sure to first give them a brief about how things work in the organization. Some things will learn to navigate through themselves, but you need to train them to fit into this kind of work culture, especially if they have shifted from a 9 to 5 desk job for the first time.
Even if your remote work culture has certain rules & regulations, they still won't be as stringent as compared to a 9 to 5 office setting. So, initially, your new employees would not know what to do with the freedom & flexibility they have been given. You have to bestow them with the time, space, and understanding to slowly slip and not rush into a remote work culture.
Another important factor is an introduction to the existing remote employees in your team. Don't just suddenly add the new employees to your virtual workspace. Inform the existing employees about the new ones before the official date of their joining.
3) Communicate Your Values, Beliefs & Goals
A sense of belonging in a remote team can be created by sharing your company's values, beliefs & goals regularly. What is the vibe of your organization? What makes it tick? What is the motivation, purpose, and the big 'why' behind its establishment? How can it help people? These are things you need to communicate with the rest of your team. Gone are the days when employees worked mechanically and in a robotic way. And it isn't all about a raise or money either. The remote staff needs to be aware of what they are working for.
Connections are hard to create when you have employees all across a country or the globe, but this set of values and beliefs can act as the binding thread that your remote team can resonate with and build a healthy network through.
4) Fun Tools For Employee Collaboration
Exciting and collaborative platforms such as Slack, Monday, Assembly, Go Game, Let's Roam, etc can bring your team closer even from a distance.
Tedious processes can be streamlined, communications can be strengthened and the 'approachable' factor of your remote team will significantly increase via the integration of such tools in the work culture. Online recognition, learning about each other, expression, and sharing the burden of the overall professional goals will create a healthy work culture!
5) Yearly In-Person Meetings or Monthly Virtual Parties
Zoom, Skype, Google Hangouts, or any of your preferred software for meetings, can be used for work and off-work as well. Due to the pandemic, it's hard to set a yearly all-employees get-together, but in case, the covid-19 situation has mellowed down in your area, you can still host such a meet, following all the safety protocols.
But if that's too hard for your organization to carry out because of insufficient funds or inconvenience, there are always these virtual platforms that can come to your rescue.
Keep a monthly or yearly 'virtual party' where your remote workforce can keep their work aside for a while, and just focus on having fun and get to know their colleagues, up close and personal.
6) A Board of Progress To Motivate Employees
A non-toxic and healthy online board of progress on your website can help to instigate a sense of competition or motivation to perform better.
An unbiased and positive form of 'Employees Of The Week', 'Under The Spotlight', or 'Star Performer Of The Day', will help to remind your employees to realize that they're not in this boat alone and there is something else to get up for and look forward to every day or month, other than just their respective paydays.
7) A Good Workforce Management System
The importance of a good workforce management system cannot be stressed enough when it comes to remote employment. The employees need to know where they stand in terms of schedules, shifts, work progress, attendance, and an overview of what the company they're working for is up to.
A good remote work culture demands good management. And it can be achieved by the integration of cloud-based software that is accessible 24/7 and can be accessed via phones & tablets along with laptops.
Rather than dispersing important information regarding shifts, duties & schedules via a ton of different mediums, you can have one go-to software through which your remote team can always stay in the loop of professional matters.
8) Regular Feedback & Having Room For Growth
Let's not forget that remote or in-office work culture is never constant and is constantly evolving, along with your employees' personalities. After some time, their needs, wants, desires, and expectations from work will change, and you have to be ready to embrace and respect them. After all, companies aren't built for employees, they are built by the employees.
Appoint someone to be available for your workforce and create an anonymous feedback system, where employees can openly express their thoughts, and feelings about work and its culture. You may not be able to resolve all issues but at least you'll communicate that someone is always there to at least listen and acknowledge these issues.
Creating a work culture in remote teams can seem daunting, but thanks to technology, it is not as disconnected as people think it is. The pandemic made us realize that in-office time doesn't always equate to good work culture. So, whether your employees work remotely or in the office, the key is, to be honest, transparent, empathetic, and having lots of communication.
Take the first step to craft a healthy work culture with Stafflist. Check it out now!