In the age of remote work where teams are dispersed across several geographical peripheries, staying connected, and sharing the same purpose is vital to empower teams and ensure success. Sharing this same purpose is the result of believing and living the same core values. The question is, how can a team work towards it? How can a leader lead the team to focus on the same ultimate goal?
The answer lies in weaving the company’s winning culture into the organizational fabric. When everyone in the firm lives by the same set of values and culture, every employee and every leader knows what they are working towards. However, cultivating this winning culture is easy when you all are working in the colocated offices, but becomes arduous when your teams are working remotely.
However, since we know keeping this culture alive is vital to ensure success, its imperative to find out ways to do so. This article emphasizes the significance and tactics to maintain workplace culture. So, before we learn how to maintain the workplace culture, let’s first understand it’s importance,
Significance of Workplace Culture
An influential workplace culture impacts how your employees and clients perceive you, which eventually determines your business’ sustainability. In fact, studies suggest that 88% of employees and 94% of executives believe strong company culture is key to business success.
Besides this, when a firm adheres to its core values, it enriches its employees’ well being and ensures employee retention. After all, when employees feel valued and taken care of, they are likely to stay with the firm for a long haul.
Now that we know what role does company culture play in ensuring success and retaining employees,
Let us understand how to keep the culture alive when working remotely:
Communicate your goals and mission clearly
Effective communication is the bread and butter of successful remote work. Only when you can communicate with your team members with utmost transparency and convey the goals with clarity, can you lead your team to succeed.
It is pivotal to ensure that team members are on the same page and are working to accomplish the goals. The onus is on remote team managers to make sure the team is focused on the same goal. In order to do so, one should look for a precise way to communicate team goals and the company’s mission and reinforce it to ensure a high-performing remote culture.
Use centralized scheduling to prioritize and allocate work
Often remote work can blur the working hours. Employees end up working extra hours and end feeling exhausted and in worst cases, burned out. This will eventually cause distress and they will end up looking for opportunities elsewhere.
Thus, staying informed of everyone’s schedules and ensuring uniform delegation of workload is imperative for managers to eliminate these risks. Managers should consider resorting to a resource management tool for enterprise-wide visibility and optimally utilizing their workforce. When the information is centralized and managers are aware of everyone’s availability and workload, chances of efficient and smart use of resources are high.
Foster inclusivity at workplace
Inclusivity can be seen here from two angles: one, where everyone is kept in the loop and do not feel alienated and two, the physically disabled staff are not treated any differently and are included as anyone else in the team. If that’s not the case, your firm will set a bad example in the business industry.
Companies with a diverse workforce, therefore, need to ensure that everyone feels connected and is given equal opportunities to thrive. For instance, managers can ensure that their physically disabled staff is served with the right tools and equipment to work remotely without hassle. At the same time, managers can conduct team building activities and meetings to keep everyone knit together. This will help you foster inclusivity at the workplace.
Use the right tools to manage and collaborate
Technology is the enabler of successful remote work. Can you imagine being able to manage a remote team without any means to collaborate or communicate or even manage projects? Certainly not.
Sharing files and the project’s progress is critical to keep every team member in the loop and eliminate any potential bottlenecks. A right tool inventory that facilitates smooth collaboration between team members is an essential part of remote work set-up. Managers should therefore ensure that the team has the right toolkit to seamlessly work from their respective locations.
Organize training programs
When you are new to the remote work culture and getting yourself accustomed to the tools and software, managers should conduct training programs to train employees on every tool’s usability and functionalities. One should not assume that everyone is used to working with the tools. Especially if you are a cross-generational team, chances are these tools and their functions sound greek to the older generation.
Not just that, organizing training programs to upskill your employees is crucial to enhancing employee engagement and employee productivity. When you cater to employees’ professional growth while keeping the company’s success in mind, employees feel valued and work with a strong will to help yout attain the goal.
Implement gamification & replicate office perks to ensure the well-being
Employee well-being is an integral part of employee-centric work culture. A Forbes survey says that highly engaged teams show 21% greater profitability which implies that employee well-being is a win-win for both. That being said, this is easy to work on when you are working across brick and mortar offices.
How do you ensure psychological safety in a remote work set-up?
Replicating office perks like themed huddles, weekly games, and virtual team lunches will keep the team connected and help you ensure employees’ mental well-being. Team building activities, water-cooler activities, etc. are great ways to boost employees’ morale and keep their spirits up.
Define an onboarding process
Catering to existing employees is one thing, and making sure your new talent feels at home, another. Welcoming a new recruit on board is given so much importance because this experience defines the tenure of the joinee in your firm. As we say, the first impression is the last impression, this first impression decides the course of your new employee.
Thus, streamlining an effective onboarding process to welcome the new employee on board is a must. It will enhance the new joiners’ experience and help you keep your firm’s reputation on par.
A strong company culture says a lot about your firm. How you perceive the values reflects your beliefs in front of employees. When the workforce is convinced that the firm has a strong value blueprint, they know they will be valued too and hence show promising results while accomplishing tasks.
Thus, work-culture is the deciding factor of your firms’ sustainability and integrity. Maintaining the culture and abiding by the core values while working in a distributed set-up will help you maintain your competitive edge and stay relevant down the line. The tips mentioned above will help you do so and ensure that your firm does not miss its essence while working remotely.
About the Author: Aakash Gupta is the founder and brains behind Sorry, I was On Mute, a remote-work resource center for the ever-growing tribe of teleworkers. A former team leader and subject matter in resource management, Aakash resides in London and enjoys table tennis, reading, and good cuisine in his free time.