Working remotely is tough and a lot of companies are having remote work be a long-term solution to a current pandemic. Your company may be one of those companies, and you are leading a team. If you are looking to create a positive workplace culture for your remote team, then this video is for you.
I have 4 tips for you, but first, before I jump into those tips, I want to talk about what culture is. Culture is one of those things that everybody knows, but nobody can really articulate. In short, culture is behaviors or attitudes that are instilled and reinforced in a group through decisions or constant behavior.
So, your role throughout this program or this project of creating a positive workplace culture is making sure that you’re outlining very clearly what you want. Then, making sure you are constantly reinforcing it every step of the way.
Tip One: Communicate a Lot
Tip number one to creating that positive workplace culture is communicating. A lot of leaders think that they’re communicating, but the truth is when you’re working on a remote team over communication is by far the best thing possible.
What does communication look like when you are communicating with your team virtually?
You want to make sure that you have the tools that are in place that you expect your team to use when communicating. Then making sure that you are using those tools consistently.
Once you outline the platforms, confirm hours. What are the hours that people are expected to be responding? It seems like something that you might take for granted, and you might say, “Oh I text my team all the time…” Truth is, they probably don’t have the comfortability to set up virtual boundaries.
When you’re setting up this workplace culture it’s important to make sure that you’re outlining how you’re going to be communicating and what your team is expected to do.
As a leader, you want to make sure you have informal communications in addition to formal communications.
Tip Two: Build a Community
Tip number two is to build a community. As you see on any social platform, there are little pockets of a community of people who are constantly working remotely with each other. They’re interacting and connecting with each other virtually through the power of community.
Community means that people will continue to stay engaged, and you can harness this power by creating a community on your team.
How do you do that? The easiest way to build a community for your positive workplace culture is to mimic “the water cooler.”
If you’re physically in the office a lot of times you’ll bump into people in communal settings. You need to make sure that you’re socially interacting with your team so that they feel comfortable with you having more conversations with them and with their peers.
What you want to do on a professional level is make sure that your team that you are aware of what your team is working on as well as connecting your team members when and if they need to collaborate.
By increasing the networks, you’re community building.
Tip Three: Create a Vision
Tip number three create a vision. Your team most likely feels uncertain if they’re unfamiliar with working remote long term. So what you want to do is create a vision. A vision is something that your team can look forward to for the next three to six months.
It creates a little bit more certainty about what their role looks like what the organization will look like soon. and what their team will look like
If you do not know what a good team vision looks like, try to think about the things that you can control and get buy-in from your team. Make sure your vision is for the future is something that’s inspiring for everyone
This may be project-specific visions or division-wide visions. Examples might be something like, “To remain the highest-grossing division amidst the pandemic.” Or a more specific example, “Execute the strongest, most thought-through campaigns that we have done to date.”
Both examples qualify as visions, and for your team, you’d need to shape a vision that is inspiring.
Tip Four: Share Your Virtual Values
Tip number four to creating a positive workplace culture is sharing your virtual values. You want to be an example for your team… the easiest way to do that is to create your values that your team can live by. What are the important things that you value in a remote team?
Think of your values as the things that you will be rewarding your team for or that you will continue to highlight as your team progresses.
This could be things like supporting fellow team members, innovating, consistent performance, etc. Once you have values established, you need to stick to them.
If you said supporting fellow team members is important, you need to embrace that there’s no task that’s too small. You too must be willing to jump in.
You can enforce behavior more consistently if you’re watching for that behavior and setting up values allows you to do that.