Opinions of contributing entrepreneurs are their own.
In a traditional office environment, employees have more opportunities to interact and build relationships. However, employees are often isolated in a remote work environment, leading to feelings of loneliness, detachment and burnout. That’s why it’s essential to create a sense of belonging and nurture a positive culture that makes employees feel valued and supported.
Successful remote companies are good at keeping teammates connected. Employees need to know that they are part of a team and that their contributions are valued. In a traditional office environment, employees have more opportunities to interact and build relationships. However, employees are often isolated in a remote work environment, working from home, coffee shops or coworking spaces.
This isolation can lead to feelings of loneliness and burnout. That’s why it’s essential to create a sense of belonging and nurture a positive culture that makes employees feel valued and supported. What does your company stand for? What types of personality thrive in it? When employees feel they belong, they are more proactive and engaged.
Staying connected is crucial to building a positive organizational culture in a remote company. There are several ways to stay connected and foster a sense of community among remote workers. One is through regular communication to keep remote employees engaged and informed. Companies can use different channels such as email, instant messaging, video conferencing and project management tools to stay in touch with their employees. It’s also important for a team leader to hold a graduate diploma in project management or a PMP certification.
Another way to stay connected is to show appreciation by publicly celebrating wins. Recognize the achievements of individuals or teams in team meetings or company-wide communication channels. Encourage employees to recognize their colleagues for their hard work and achievements. Listening to employees’ feedback, ideas and concerns is crucial. Use surveys, polls, or personal check-ins to collect feedback and address issues. This way employees show that their opinion matters and that their voice is heard.
Finally, making employees feel safe and supported in a remote work environment contributes significantly to building personal connections. This includes providing resources for mental health and wellness and promoting work-life balance. For example, companies may offer flexible work schedules or unlimited time off to help employees manage their personal and professional lives.
Related: Building a Remote Time Management Culture
Values are the principles that guide the decision-making and behavior of an organization. Establishing clear values in a remote work environment is critical to building a cohesive culture. Employees need to understand what the company stands for and what leaders expect of them.
To communicate values effectively in a remote work environment, it is essential to make them visible. Leaders can do this through regular communication channels such as newsletters, team meetings or the company intranet. In addition, leaders can reinforce company values by sharing stories that show how employees have embodied them.
Leaders play a vital role in upholding and modeling values. They must lead by example and demonstrate the values they expect from their employees. Being transparent, accountable and treating everyone with respect facilitates this goal.
As a leader, it is crucial to always strive to be your best self. In a remote work environment, employees must trust each other and their leaders. By showing up on time, being responsive, and meeting deadlines, leaders show employees that they hold the same high standards they expect from teammates. This practice instills trust and respect and creates a positive work environment where everyone can thrive.
Related: 5 ways to improve remote company culture and build a team that thrives together or separately
Another part of organizational culture is behavior. Clear behavioral expectations are essential in the workplace and even more so in a remote work environment. In a distributed workforce, employees must be self-directed and accountable. Establishing clear guidelines for communication, collaboration and work expectations is essential to encourage ideal behavior.
For example, companies can set guidelines around response times for emails or Slack messages or require employees to be available during specific hours. These guidelines help ensure that everyone is on the same wavelength and reduce the risk of miscommunication or confusion.
Reinforcing positive behavior is another strategy for building a thriving organizational culture. Recognize employees who consistently meet or exceed expectations and use positive feedback to reinforce behaviors that align with the company’s values.
Companies can use a variety of strategies to reinforce positive behaviors, such as recognition and reward. For example, companies may offer bonuses, promotions, or public recognition to employees beyond that. In addition, providing opportunities for professional development and growth can motivate employees to work hard and stay engaged. Leaders can also provide coaching or mentorship to help employees develop skills and achieve goals. Finally, leaders must be transparent and communicate openly with employees to build trust and maintain a positive work environment.
Related: Fostering a Development Culture for a Remote-First Workforce
Building a thriving organizational culture in a remote workplace requires deliberate effort and a clear approach to leadership and communication. Culture, values and behavior are critical components of a positive work environment.
By making people feel safe, establishing clear values and setting behavioral expectations, companies can create a sense of belonging and promote employee engagement and productivity. Leaders must lead by example, model positive behavior and enforce clear guidelines. These strategies allow outside companies to build a thriving organizational culture and achieve success.