Let's continue with our guide on how to create and develop a successful remote culture organization. If you haven't read the first part of this post, take a second, and delight yourself with: Remote Work Culture 101 Pt. 1
Ok, now that you have read or reread the first part of this two-part guide, and that your mind is fresh on the topic of remote organizations, we are ready to continue exploring this interesting subject.
Like I mentioned before, there are many pros, and efficiency gains on working with an organization that operates with remote teams. This new structure has become more and more familiar with the rise of freelancers, and it will probably become a fixture of many companies and organizations.
Having a strong remote culture is possible, you just need to adopt certain habits or steps to achieve this crucial mission successfully.
In Remote Work Culture 101 Pt.1, we got into the first two steps: understanding culture and assumptions and values.
Well...Let's dive into the rest:
Once you understand the assumptions and values, you can start looking for those candidates that fit the framework of the culture you want for your organization.
This step is very important. The cultural fit of remote teams requires particular attention; new team members will not be in a face-to-face environment where they absorb and conform to team norms, and the signs of a bad fit will be harder to detect, so you need to be completely confident that the prospect embodies your values upfront.
The traits you're looking for will depend entirely on the characteristics of your company, but always take into consideration those underlying assumptions and values we talked about before.
Nevertheless, Is important to hire prospects that are self-motivated and problem solvers. Remember that they will be dealing with working problems or difficulties on their own, so with these characteristics, a good background, and a good onboarding, they will be passing that “remote culture organization test” with flying colors.
New hires in organizations that work with remote teams don't have the luxury of absorbing the culture of other employees. That is why a proper training is critical to onboard a new employee's into your organization's culture, you need to expose those new team members with the assumptions and values that drive the practices of your organization.
Here at Delos, our values are the heart and soul of the company, and drive and reflect each of our actions inside and outside the organization.
Communication is the most important step for a successful remote culture. It is the venue in which remote employees interact and collaborate with the rest of the team, and where they put all those underlying assumptions and values to the test.
Here are some good practices:
- Meetings: Meetings need to become part of the everyday cycle of the team. It is the perfect space to inspire and lead, clarify miscommunications, and for everyone to get aligned and on the same page.
- One-on-one conversations: individual conversations between employees of all levels are a crucial ground to deepen relationships, and provide opportunities for the team to express personal praise or concerns that they may not be able to discuss in a team setting.
- Chat: When communicating on platforms like Slack or Hangouts the existence of both formal and informal team chats helps to keep business communication free of off-topic banter, while allowing for side conversations that build trust and center around shared hobbies or interests.
- Video: While audio and chats are good methods of communication, video calls should never be left on the side lines. On the contrary, video calls should be encouraged. Why? Because seeing the facial reactions of our team members can add emphasis and emotion to conversations. It also helps ensure that the members of a meeting are actually all focused and active participants on the task.
Public recognition of a job well done is one of the most effective ways to motivate a remote team. A simple and effective way to do this are shout outs. Shout outs are public displays of recognition, they set an example and provide team members with a standard to strive for.
They are also great incentives, and you can voice during a team meeting, or during a team chat; these gives other team members the opportunity to also post or say their congratulations.
Here at Delos, we have a one-hour weekly Thursday meeting with our whole organization, (remote employees included). During these meetings we indulge our employees with interesting cultural content, like documentaries, Tedd talks, seminars, etc.
At the beginning of each of these meeting, each person takes the time to give thanks and acknowledge the hard work of a team or team member. These section of the meeting is very important to us, not only because it works as an incentive to our employees, but it also brings us closer and tightens our relationship as coworkers and friends.
A common fear in this type of organizations is having unmotivated employees; workers that lack drive and engagement. Or maybe having employees that get distracted on working hours with other personal errands. So how can you avoid these issues? How can you avoid the employee burnout?
Simply by hiring driven individuals and uniting them behind a common goal and a set of values. Also, by creating a “work hard, play hard” working environment. Thanks to technology, long gone are the days of covering a rigid office hour schedule. But with that freedom comes great responsibility. See, it all comes down to values.
Nonetheless, it is incumbent on remote managers to encourage a balanced approach to work within their teams.
Because within remote teams, burnout can be harder to detect than it might be in a face-to-face team, you need to rely upon indicators liken communication, one-on-one meetings and KPIs to check if your employees motivation and drive are in order.
Having a strong remote culture is possible, and it does not require extraordinary efforts. Just by adopting the steps and practices drafted above, you can build the culture you need for the successful organization or business that you want to become.