Creating a successful work culture is critical to helping companies succeed. What does it take for an employer to foster a work environment that keeps team members motivated and productive?
An Entrepreneur article outlining behaviors that help nurture a culture of winning offers great insights for companies looking to thrive. If you’re a manager whose goal is to build seamlessly operating teams and a strong work culture, there a few sure steps you can take to create a culture that plays to your organization’s strengths.
You may notice that all of Entrepreneur’s tips share a single attribute: celebration. To wit, creating a strong work culture means recognizing success at every level, which in turn should motivate your team to stay driven and inspired. Managers of remote teams may find it necessary to tweak traditional approaches, given the distributed structure of their teams and organizations.
We’ve taken these basic principles and applied a few of our own, specifically geared toward building a strong work culture that supports your organization’s mission.
Here are five work culture areas to focus on for remote teams:
1. Keep the praise flowing.
Your remote team members may feel like they’ve done a great job with a particular project or assignment, but their hard work is met with the sound of one hand clapping—in other words, silence. Don’t let that happen! Keep an eagle eye out for accomplishments both big and small, and find ways to show gratitude to make sure individuals and your entire team know their efforts are appreciated.
No budget is required to be generous in heaping praise when great work’s been accomplished. There are fewer more powerful motivators than verbal praise and recognition, especially when you cc your praise in writing to higher-ups in the organization.
2. Schedule regular one-on-one and team meetings.
It’s hard to overemphasize the importance of having effective communication tools in place. That may mean setting up communications platforms that may differ from one situation to the next. Some of the platforms used frequently by remote managers are Slack, Yammer, Sococo, Google Hangouts, instant messenger tools, and email.
For a remote team, it’s especially important to keep virtual workers in the loop, to avoid feelings of isolation and to strengthen a sense of shared mission. Team meetings can be a great way to share any frustrations and come up with solutions that boost efficiency.
3. Recognize successful outcomes.
On occasion, your remote team may feel as if they’re slogging away at an organizational goal with no finish line in sight. If employers are working on a shared project or collaborating on a specific goal, you’ll show great leadership by keeping the team abreast of how everyone’s doing, including where the team is meeting or exceeding goals, and where they may be falling short.
Once the mark’s been hit, a big digital “hooray” in the form of an inspiring communication to the entire team is a great way to keep morale up and running.
4. Boost workplace culture.
Team building is a huge component of any strategy to create a strong work culture that extends across boundaries to all of your remote workers. Explore ways to nurture your company’s culture in a remote environment by looking at what’s worked for other remote team leaders, whether it’s acknowledging birthdays and work anniversaries, or providing coaching and career development programs that build on an employee’s strengths.
Establishing a strong remote company culture is not an empty “feel-good” gesture; it’s a powerful marker that can keep you accountable and provide a motivating sense of mission for your team.
5. Create a forward-thinking plan with shared goals.
Have a plan and stick to it! A strong work culture is driven by clear direction from the top, for both short- and longer-term organizational goals. Remote managers may want to set aside any company culture rules that may not be feasible with a flexible remote team. Be aware of timelines that may not work with a distributed team, but at the same time, work to keep everyone invested in unified goals to build a cohesive team and a great remote work culture.
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