Many companies now operate with fully remote or hybrid teams. The good news is remote and hybrid teams have been proven to be just as or even more efficient than in-office teams. The bad news is it can be difficult to create a positive and cohesive company culture when colleagues work hundreds (if not thousands) of miles apart. However, it certainly can be done—and if you’re a manager of a remote or hybrid team, here are 4 tips for developing a strong, cohesive culture.
1. Carefully choose your communication tools
When you’re starting to develop a team culture, one of the first things you need to consider is communication—good, clear, timely communication is key to successful team cultures. So, choose communication tools that are easy to use and that most people are comfortable using. You also want to set parameters around the tool—such as timing (like: no Slack after a certain time or on the weekends) and frequency (such as: one email follow-up is sufficient). The main goal is to choose tools that will promote a transparent, fun culture while also being very productive.
2. Clearly explain company policies
It’s very important that remote employees are well acquainted with company policies, understand their tasks and goals, and are aware of the ethics of communication. The process of onboarding new employees must also include information about the corporate culture. It can be presented in the form of an onboarding presentation that your team can read or watch at their leisure, or in a meeting you lead via Zoom, Teams, etc. The goal is to be transparent and to make new team members feel like they’re part of the team and they understand how the team operates.
3. Implement easy ways to provide feedback
Since in remote environments you’re not bumping into your team around the office, it’s important that remote employees are given opportunities to provide feedback, offer ideas, and make suggestions. Let each of them participate in the operation of the company and feel like they’re part of the team and have a voice. Also, give them specific times and opportunities to do so—such as regular one-on-one meetings, feedback-dedicated Slack channels, etc. These opportunities will go a long way, increasing the confidence your team has in you, which will strengthen the team culture—and, chances are, you will see the results in your remote team’s work.
4. Create a code of conduct for video meetings
Video conferencing has become routine for many companies. Typically, video meetings are working moments, but they can also be used for personal and fun communication to take place. Either way, it’s important that employees understand the code of conduct. For example, for working meetings, make sure to set the tone regarding dress code, background, and environment. You don’t necessarily need to tell your remote team what to wear, what to (and not to) have as a background, and to make sure they’re in a relatively quiet place, but you can lead by example—and do all of that yourself so your team can see what you think is appropriate. Of course, if a team member isn’t getting the message, then you can speak (or email) with that person individually.
The same goes for more informal, “happy hour” type of meetings. If casual attire, fun backgrounds, and boisterous environments are okay, then you could also lead by example—which will likely also make for more relaxed, fun, open online gatherings, and strengthen your team's culture in the process.
Emma Lee is an experienced writer and content editor working for Essay Writing Service. She is passionate about the latest trends and self-development that helps deliver professional articles to an audience and build a strong flow through readers.
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