Creating an engaged and happy team working for a company is generally challenging. If you are managing a remote team, it might be way harder. People from different cultures, countries, beliefs and attitudes come together and try to work for the same goal.
Sometimes virtual communication can be a threat, while trying to create a good team. Employees who work non-remotely have more opportunity to build a strong culture, due to sharing of the same environment, plus by creating a common knowledge together.
The team activities and the time they spend together creates a sense of belonging. In many cases belonging brings success. But how can you build a strong culture in remote teams? Here are some simple tips.
1- Show the big picture
Imagine yourself waking up every morning and jumping three times just for the money without any additional reason. Would you jump with your all power or would you bounce a little? If your employee is not aware of possible growth and its benefits, they will bounce a little.
There could be many remote team management tips, but this one is the most crucial one. Let your employees know the details about your business. Show them the bigger picture, imagine they are a jury that you should convince.
To-do: Explain to your remote team why you are doing this job, not something else, make them believe in the business. When they believe that they have the best remote work opportunities, then they will show a huge effort.
2- Meet with your team regularly
Office work makes people meet everyday at the same place, and it’s easier to keep employees on track, when they see each other in a daily routine. Managing a fully remote team is pretty tough, but not impossible.
In this way, you can observe people’s reactions and let them know and trust you more. Meeting regularly will create a loyalty and trust.
To-do: Start with setting up regular remote team meetings weekly or even daily in a virtual environment. It is important to have cameras on and the audio unmuted at least in the beginning of the meeting.
3- Assign leaders for each task
Remote team culture will be shaped by time. First, you need to understand the tendency of each member in the team. Are they egalitarianistic or status oriented? If they have more egalitarian approach, create leaders for each task.
Let them have responsibilities, and finding their own way. If the team builds the culture, it may spread through newly hired employees as well. If they are more status oriented, and have a tendency to respect to status, then change your strategy.
To-do: Assign managers for each task, make them report each other. You may find out some cultural approach to these topics but we advise you to evaluate each person individually, not based on their countries.
4- Provide a culture of sharing
Remote team members located in different parts of the world. Many employers think that the employees would only have a common interest in the work. Generally that is not the case, they all have loved ones, personal interests and hobbies. Culture of sharing can create a great harmony within the remote team.
To-do: Make them share. You can create a chat group, make a photo competition or ask them to share how their weekend was. You can ask them to give tips to each other about a movie of the week or a new book to read. Or if they see any interesting news about your area, ask them to share with the team.
5- Create personal connection
There are countless remote team building exercises. You may even plan a virtual happy hour for your remote workers. But if you want to create a strong remote team culture, you need to connect with them personally.
Besides having regular one to one meeting, you should make your team meet each other. If possible, plan offsite, you may choose the cheapest location, it doesn’t matter. The important part is to make them feel valued, they will keep themselves excited with the dream of an offsite.
To-do: Here is an event idea that they will appreciate. It may cost a bit, but that would be a good investment with a better return.
Building a strong culture with a remote team can be challenging but these 5 simple and effective methods can help you create trust and build strong cultural foundations for your team.
Don’t forget to :
Show your remote team vision and the mission of your company, purpose can create strong belief of success
Meet with your team regularly to keep your remote employees around & increase your trust
Choose and assign leaders for each of task to give your employees strong sense of responsibility
Share your personal interests & hobbies with your remote team! This can provide a culture of sharing & compassion
Create personal connection with your team and make them connect each other too! Plan events and regular activities off-site to make them active.