How to Build a Strong Culture with a Remote Team

A young Black woman leads her team in a project meeting

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INTOO Staff Writer

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It can be challenging for teams to develop close bonds when they work remotely, so employers should take the necessary steps toward creating a company culture that can overcome the physical distance between their professionals. In this article, you’ll learn the best strategies for forming a strong culture for your remote team.

How to Build Culture in a Remote Team

The first step is to create an environment where team members can trust and respect each other. Employers should introduce policies that promote healthy interactions and help employees to develop closer bonds. Every virtual meeting gives you a chance to define the company’s culture through your actions, like treating each team member with respect and encouraging your professionals to be proactive and invested in conversations.

Team leaders have an obligation to set the standard for how employees should treat their fellow professionals. Creating healthy dynamics for the team will help them trust their peers.

Below, you can find some more ways you can build culture within a remote team.

Communication is key

Transparency and regular communication is especially crucial for organizations without conventional workplaces. Failing to keep team members up to date on current company events can lead to disorganization and confusion, which may result in employees thinking their leaders are unreliable. To preserve their trust, you must keep your remote team informed through emails and group chats.

Communication between your employees is just as important. All of your professionals need access to the contact information of the other employees in their departments to ensure they can call, email, or text them when required. Encouraging discussions between team members by creating a virtual open-door policy can contribute to developing a stronger culture that promotes collaboration.

Improve the onboarding process

Newly hired employees may have trouble adjusting to working remotely. It can be difficult to form connections with fellow team members without meeting face to face in an office setting. Therefore, employers should incorporate bonding activities to welcome incoming employees. For example, the meetings where new professionals are introduced can include ice-breaker conversations.

Team leaders can reassure employees that they can rely on their peers and managers to answer any questions they may have while learning to work in a remote environment. Resources, such as virtual training manuals, can be emailed to new hires to familiarize them with the company’s rules and expectations. Asking new employees for feedback on the current onboarding process can help employers identify any changes that need to be made.

When introducing an onboarding process, it can be beneficial to assign a specific mentor or coach to your employees. This will be a person that can work with the employee for up to one year and provides support while they adjust to their new role and environment.

Two male coworkers meet virtually to collaborate on a project.Use collaborations to your advantage

A good way to promote trust between your professionals is to have employees collaborate on projects and presentations. Working together to achieve a shared goal can help employees grow closer and learn to rely on one another. Leaders may also use collaborative projects to improve the bonds between team members who don’t often work together.

Improving your team’s collaborative skills will strengthen the organization’s remote culture. Employers who don’t take advantage of partnered projects may find their remote teams growing distant because they have no opportunities to interact with their peers. Team members without bonds or mutual trust will lack synergy and weaken the company’s culture.

Encourage employee contribution

Every voice on your team ought to be heard in a remote setting to combat their lack of physical presence in virtual meetings. Creating a culture that promotes contributions from all professionals will help them feel included, valued and involved with the organization. A setting where ideas can flow from all parties will offer more perspectives when solving problems and build your group’s confidence.

Two female coworkers meet informally by videoconference.Schedule regular meetings and informal chats

You can maintain a positive culture in a remote workplace by providing your team with many methods of communication. Schedule weekly and monthly meetings to establish a routine for your employees without needing an in-person conference room. Holding the team meetings by video conference will help the group grow more familiar with their fellow professionals.

Encouraging informal contact between team members can also contribute to a strong culture. Allow your employees to swap phone numbers and meet outside work hours. Alternatively, encourage them to connect through internal messaging systems like Slack or Microsoft Teams. They can use these platforms to discuss what they’re doing at the weekend and other personal information, which will help to develop their relationships and improve their trust.

Remote work can be isolating for teams and make it difficult to establish a welcoming culture. But, any employer can use the provided tips to create inclusive environments where employees can depend on and build strong relationships with their peers. INTOO’s coaches help employees in every stage of their career develop strategies to meet their goals, while employers reap the benefits of increased engagement, productivity, and retention. Learn more about how our career development programs can benefit your company.

INTOO Staff Writer

INTOO staff writers come from diverse backgrounds and have extensive experience writing about topics that matter to the HR and business communities, including outplacement, layoffs, career development, internal mobility, candidate experience, succession planning, talent acquisition, and more.

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