COVID-19 is changing the way the world does business, and many teams are having to adjust to a new normal. The lines of communication have been altered by remote work and engaging with coworkers has taken on a different form. Many brands that previously enjoyed a strong workplace culture are trying to figure out how to maintain that culture as their teams work remotely. Like these brands, GROWL has adapted to the virtual world of culture. Follow GROWL’s top tips to ensure your organization’s culture stays strong while working remotely.
Have strong company values
To have a strong culture while working remotely, it’s vital to have strong core values that guide your whole team. If your team is familiar with these values and supports them, it helps foster positivity while everyone works toward the same goal. Build a strong foundation for your company so that your team works well together to produce a solid product.
When working remotely, overcommunication is key. Beyond your day-to-day work communication, create a virtual “water-cooler.” While employees should replace in-office communication with chats, video conferencing, and calls, they should also be encouraged to use technology for personal communication. Remember, the foundation of culture and your internal chemistry is connection and conversations.
Recognize & acknowledge
Even in-office, showing appreciation for your team fosters positivity. While working remotely, amplify this. Send praise on Teams, or iterate recognition during calls or end-of-day chats. When your team is separated it loses the unspoken connections and emotions shared through gestures and other body language. Thus, it’s critical to keep your team happy by making sure they feel valued and appreciated. Try:
- Say hello when you sign on, and say goodbye when you log off (use a team-wide group chat)
- Always have video on during calls
- Use emojis and gifs
- Schedule one-on-one calls with each team member
- Shoot team members simple messages “How was your weekend?” and check in with how they’re feeling
- Send praise cards (a fun button in Microsoft Teams) and end the day with a “Good job!”
Opening communication and extending the in-office culture (giving your team the chance to contribute personal anecdotes) does a lot to foster your remote team culture.
Consider the festivities your company typically hosts to connect team members (i.e., a happy hour). Now, think of the day-to-day ways teammates connect on their own (i.e., having lunch together or walking for coffee). Without the typical workplace gatherings, it’s crucial to find new ways of connecting and catching up with your team.
Try scheduling a team virtual lunch (yes, cameras on) or hosting a virtual team happy hour. Through either, occasionally invite guests, but be sure to give employees unrestricted “team time.” Regardless of the event, encourage members to invite their significant others, share pieces of their home-life, and feature their pets. This will help to bring your team in closer together and build stronger bonds while promoting better communication.
Encourage your team to share ideas and criticism. The best way to be successful while remote is to give everyone the freedom to discuss what routines, habits, and processes that are/are not working. By allowing the team to vent, they’ll feel connected, and appreciated, while being apart. During these conversations, many great things can be brought to the table, and giving your team the platform to voice ideas makes them stronger.
You can build up your team and keep your culture strong even when you don’t share an office every day. Anything from a shared lunch-hour video chat to friendly remote team challenges, the best way to keep up your company’s culture while working remotely is to keep communicating and keep having fun.
Looking for additional COVID-19 business resources? Visit GROWL’s resource hub!