More companies are opting to save money by employing a remote workforce, but it’s still imperative to engage in and promote a positive company culture. With rapidly growing technology, there are plenty of tools that bring us together and make collaboration easier.
Here are some ways you can bring all of your employees together to create the most beneficial and engaging work culture.
Make Virtual Hangout Spaces
Encourage employees to engage with one another and bond through social media pages and IM apps that can be used on a desktop or mobile device. Tools like Slack let your team instant message, share photos, links, and even document files. You can organize the chats by specific departments or groups or share with everyone. Apps like Voxer can also give you and your team the ability to talk in real time over a walkie-talkie-like system or record voice messages for one another to listen to when it’s convenient for them. This shouldn’t replace face-to-face time through video chats, but it is a great way to feel more connected outside of those meetings.
Promote the general well being and inclusiveness of the office culture by asking employees questions and interacting with them the same way you would if you were in person. Emails get the point across, but they’re often stale and impersonal. Have employees share their weekend plans or ask the work community for help the next time you’re stuck in the middle of a brainstorm.
Publicly Shout Out Your Team
Whatever your preferred method of communication is with your entire team, use it to promote the work of teammates, welcome new employees, and give props to employees doing great work. This helps build an inclusive environment and makes all employees feel valued and heard.
Learn About Everyone
If you were sitting in an office next to someone, you’d learn things about them pretty quickly. Try to encourage this kind of team engagement by asking people questions about themselves and sharing birthdays. You can even make a game of it by having a different person ask a trivia question or riddle that everyone can get involved in each week or ask employees what and how they celebrate upcoming holidays. It helps get the creative juices flowing, shake off a midweek slump, and everyone learns something about each other, instilling a greater sense of care, trust, and comradery.
Plan Development Time
Since you aren’t together on a day-to-day basis, there might not be as many teachable moments that organically arise. Because of this, it’s imperative to plan time for coaching, teaching, and mentoring. Schedule time with direct reports monthly and stick to the schedule. Keep a running list of “check-in” topics, but be sure to ask what’s important to them as well.
Leverage Differences in Time Zones
Having employees working in different time zones can sometimes be challenging, but it is also extremely beneficial. For example, if you have a customer issue that comes through after hours on Eastern standard time, you’ll likely have someone working within business hours on the west coast that can respond. This helps ease employee stress at work by eliminating an obligation to work overtime and respond to messages at all hours of the day and night. One of the most significant benefits of working remotely is the ability to schedule your time to have the best work/life balance, so it’s essential for all team members to respect and support each other’s working hours.
Since most people live in or near large metropolitan cities, there’s an excellent opportunity for some employees to meet up at industry related events, training seminars, or luncheons. Employees can learn a valuable skill, network with industry leaders and colleagues, and further cultivate a friendly and beneficial working relationship with their own team. You might also consider a yearly company picnic where everyone can meet and bond over a fun, team-building weekend!
Employees that feel valued, useful, and appreciated within the team will always go above and beyond expectations. Culture at work is not only essential to cultivate remotely, but it also takes an effort in traditional workspaces. CoachDiversity Institute is once again hosting the industry’s premier event for coaching and diversity on Oct. 3rd, 2019, the theme this year is “Culture At Work.” This event holds a spotlight on the use of coaching as a toolkit for diversity and inclusion and workplace culture, and promotes and celebrates diversity in this ever-growing field. This symposium is a powerful forum that gathers the best minds in coaching, diversity, and inclusion to share knowledge, resources, and tools. We hope to see you there! Learn more about the event and purchase tickets here.
CoachDiversity Institute is the world’s only coaching organization, accredited by the International Coach Federation, focused on diversity and inclusion as a mechanism to support true organizational change.