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Your Remote Team Culture Can Make Or Break Your Organization

Your Remote Team Culture Can Make Or Break Your Organization

April 13, 2020

Building a strong work culture is important to motivate any workforce because your work culture constitutes all the things that bind your employees together. This is responsible for how your employees carry out tasks and work together toward a common goal. Your work culture has an enormous impact on your organization’s success.

Only when employees can align their needs and personal beliefs with the needs and values of the organization as a whole, are they able to stay motivated and work in a dedicated manner towards achieving the company’s goals.

An organization is as unique as a companies fingerprint and cannot provides a unique competitive advantage because it is nearly impossible to duplicate. A number of organizations build a work culture that actively promotes taking breaks and engaging in individual or social activities so that team members can take mental timeouts that can aid in mental stimulation, and increase productivity. Google, for example, has built a company culture that is flexible, demanding and encourages fun activities, like playing ping pong. Taking brakes is encouraged with the help of ‘nap pods’, where employees can take short naps to get rejuvenated.

Of course, there is merit in acknowledging that companies with physical locations are able to build their culture in a way that they can integrate physical activities that are intended to promote mental timeouts and socialization within the workforce. This is why it is important to address why your remote team needs a culture and what they stand to gain from it, irrespective of where in the world they are.

Support and Communication

While working remotely can help your employees do away with the hassle of commuting to work every day, it comes with its challenges. A lack of structured, face-to-face communication negatively impacts employees in different ways. For one, it can be really difficult for employees to reach out to you if they need something. It can also become difficult for employees to stay motivated. A salient feature of work-from-home jobs is that tasks often require employees to be self-driven and motivated.  For an employee to stay focused and take initiative, strong remote team culture is crucial, because it builds a strong culture of communication where you reach out to them and extend your support whenever they need it, no matter where they are.

Today, we live in a world that depends on digital communication tools on a daily basis whether you are in an office or not. Work messaging apps like Slack, Teams, or Chime certainly make communication easier and quicker than ever. That said, remote employees can often suffer from detachment and a feeling of isolation if all they have is instant messaging or Emails that they can use to communicate with you. Even if you have video tools like Zoom or Google Hangouts there needs to be a comfort level in place to have real conversations. Not being comfortable enough to interact with you face-to-face brings to the forefront the same problem that we discussed before – lack of motivation. In this case, difficulty in communication and social interactions can also give rise to employees feeling uninspired and ignored.

Feedback

A work culture with set values at its core is important for you to be able to supervise what your employees are doing and know whether or not they are working towards the right goals. Constructive feedback is important to help employees know for certain if they are on the right track, what is working for them, and what they could do better. An important and often overlooked part of remote work is making sure that team members know what is expected of them and help them move towards their goals.

Growth opportunities

For many people, the prospect of remote work is intriguing, except…they’re not sure where they will be able to go from there. What about the growth potential? Can they grow? Not having clear values that guide the way the organization’s remote teams function will limit your ability to attract remote team members who still expect to grow in their careers. Not having a career path and not being considered for growth opportunities will give your team members a sense of isolation that will directly impact their motivation, productivity, and willingness to bring their best ideas to the table.

Learning Opportunities

Along with growth opportunities, employees also evaluate just how much working in an organization will be able to help them learn. People working from home do realize that not being in an office can come with its challenges. When you have employees working in an office, it is easier for you as a manager to train them and show them how to improve the way they do things. Training employees becomes much more challenging when they aren’t in front of you, which is aligned with one of the challenges that employees face too! If not being around is going to impact the training process and serve as an obstacle in the way of the employee’s learning, their productivity and motivation levels are going to go down too. Use video chats, documentation, video tutorials and learning management systems to make sure that your employees have what they need to not only do their job but excel at your organization.

Social Interaction

We’ve all heard about ‘humans being social beings’ and it’s true. We are social beings and social interaction and engagement is important. We spoke about how not being able to interact with other people can make an employee feel detached from the organization and lead to them being uninspired. The casual conversations that you use to build relationships with colleagues help team members communicate more openly when there are deliverables to be met.



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