Company work culture is of immense importance for its success. The relationship developed between the employees, team members, team leaders, and the employers dictates their performance. This is why company culture needs to provide a solid foundation for everyone to stand on. But, when the people in a company are physically distanced, it may be a bigger challenge to set up a strong work culture.
Remote work is demanding in itself and the employees often face more challenges than they would if working in an office. You need to consider their remote work experience and build a strong remote work culture to enhance their performance. If you’re not sure how to do it, we’ve got you covered.
Here are the 8 steps you should take to build a strong and productive remote work culture.
1. Set the Ground Rules
Discipline and high performance start from the top. If you want your remote workers to perform at their best every day, you need to set some ground rules.
If you make it clear what you expect them to do, and how, you’ll be happy to see them follow through.
So, make sure you’re being explicit about the daily work policy:
- when are they obliged to be online
- what are their daily responsibilities
- how do you expect them to act
If you leave too much up to the employees to decide, this flexibility will turn against you sooner or later.
So, set the rules and be explicit about the policy you want them to respect.
2. Define Your Goals
When you’re not sharing an office or a conference room, it might be harder to communicate your goals to your employees. But, you have to walk the extra mile and do it, even when you’re working remotely.
Defining goals means having everyone on the same page. It implies:
- explaining the importance of a project
- prioritizing tasks
- clarifying the mission you’re on
You should set up a clear goal for each of the remote teams you’re handling and reinforce this message over and over again.
Do it in the project briefs, the emails, and the reports you’ll be sending them.
3. Establish Steady Communication
Communication is the key to the success of any team or company. If your team doesn’t have a solid communication flow, they won’t be able to perform at their highest.
That means you should establish steady communication between them:
- employ a team collaboration tool for everyone to use
- schedule regular conference calls and team video meetings
- organize “team-building” breaks where two random employees will video talk
Make sure your team members feel like they’re actually a part of a strong team, and not just an individual doing their daily tasks.
Try to reduce their feeling of isolation and loneliness and allow them to stay connected.
4. Encourage Feedback
Feedback is about mutual understanding and communication, but it deserves a whole separate section. Giving and receiving feedback is what will keep your teams going, so make it an important part of your remote work culture.
Employers and team leaders need to:
- give constructive feedback regularly
- ask for feedback regularly
- truly listen to and understand their employees
- encourage open conversations and ideas exchange
By providing both positive and negative feedback to your team members, you’ll be teaching them, mentoring them, and helping them grow professionally.
However, you’ll also be showing them you care about their journey and you support them all the way.
This way, you’ll motivate them to speak up about:
- their ideas
- their concerns
- about their positive or negative experiences
Both sides of the conversation will be learning something new and deepening the trust and connection between each other. And that’s exactly what you need from your remote team.
5. Do Smart Onboarding
When you’re bringing someone new into a remote team, it’s a challenge for you and the new employee. They need to figure out what they’re supposed to do and how, while you need to help them succeed.
This is why the onboarding process needs to run smoothly.
Here’s what we suggest:
- provide support and mentorship or assign a senior colleague to do the training
- start small and assign minor projects and tasks
- introduce the new team member to as many other employees as possible
- keep an eye on their work for as long as they’re adapting
The onboarding process isn’t just important for the new employee.
Other team members need to know who their colleague is and what their role is. They also want to have them adapt as soon as possible and become valuable addition to the team.
6. Set Boundaries
A major setback of working remotely is that the boundaries between your professional and private life can easily get lost.
Employees often don’t know how to draw this line, so the employer should do it for them.
Here’s an example:
- It’s 9 pm on a Friday, and the workday is over.
- You get an email from your superior.
- Do you need to answer it immediately? Or, can it wait?
You don’t want to keep your employees on the clock 24/7, just because their laptops or smartphones are on.
Instead, set rules to give them the space they need to rest and recharge their batteries. For example:
- determine what time they’re supposed to be online
- set rules such as no meetings on weekends
- don’t send them emails late at night
- let them know which emails need an instant response and which don’t
If they start feeling overwhelmed with work, they’ll start feeling unsatisfied and their performance will weaken. Give them space and they’ll perform better than ever.
7. Keep Track of the Projects
To make sure things are running smoothly with your remote projects, you need to keep an eye on them. Your employees will start feeling lost and disoriented unless they receive regular updates about the project’s progress.
That means you should set up regular daily or weekly meetings to:
- receive a report from the team members or team leaders
- hear what they’ve done so far
- comment on different phases of the project
- see if everyone’s on track
- see if everyone’s respecting the deadlines
This will help you manage your remote team and make sure they’re doing a good job.
But, it will also give the employees encouragement, feedback, and additional guidelines for doing a great job. And, that’s all they need to keep working hard.
8. Send Out Performance Reports
To keep everyone up and running, you need to share insights into their performance. We don’t mean you should call any names. But, you should comment on the team’s performance and their results.
The best way to do it is to:
- create written reports
- include data, numbers, and statistics
- analyze the KPIs you’ve set
- present the level of performance they’ve shown
- elaborate on the level of goals accomplishment
To present this information professionally, and make sure everyone understands your written reports, you could get help from a writing service that writes online research papers. Also, use a tool such as Canva to present this information visually, and Thesaurus to find the right words.
Performance reports will show everyone where they stand and provide additional motivation for working hard.
When you’re handling a team of people but you’re not able to be with them physically, to give support, or follow their work, it could be a challenge to build a strong work culture. But, all you need is a solid strategy and dedication to keeping them all invested in the team.
Use the tips we’ve shared above to create your strategy. Build a strong and productive remote work culture and admire the performance it will drive.