Company Culture for Remote Teams

Despite the size of your company, culture is the key to its overall success. Until recently, company culture was easy to promote for businesses that had traditional in-office teams. However, with remote work being the norm now and for the foreseeable future, leaders have to adapt their culture-building strategies to pivot and meet changing employee needs.

Importance of Company Culture

There’s a long list of benefits offered by optimized company culture, but these are a few of the top advantages.

  • Improved potential for talent acquisition: Strong culture is like a neon sign for top talent looking for professional growth. Those candidates who are ready for professional growth will flock to an organization that provides the foundation for that growth.
  • Employee commonality: Framework for consistent company culture means you’ll recruit and retain employees that have core beliefs in common, similar goals despite different backgrounds, and the ability to more easily collaborate.
  • Better communication: When employees at your organization feel supported through good work culture, communication is streamlined and more effective, putting everyone on the same page when it comes time to share ideas.
  • Higher retention rates and reputation: Good company culture means less workplace stress and burnout, which in turn reduces turnover rates. The news of better working environments also spreads by word of mouth and improves a company’s reputation.

Company Culture-Building Basics

Simply put, culture building for remote teams looks very similar to the approach taken for in-office staff. Core basics will help frame out strategies and provide a scalable blueprint. 

Vision — Look no further than the organization’s mission statement. If you don’t already have one in place, now is a good time to write it. It provides each and every employee from the top down with a common purpose, one that drives growth and provides for a cohesive culture.

Values — The terms “values” and “culture” could be used interchangeably in many circumstances. While vision provides a purpose, values present the guidelines to achieve that purpose. These values don’t have to be complicated, but they should be authentic.

Practices — Practices are the daily organizational processes that back up the values you establish. From the top down, practices should embody what you lay out in the values — this includes performance reviews, promotional hierarchies, and compensation planning.

People — At the heart of any company culture are its people. After all, they’re the thread that makes up the fabric of your organization and recruiting and onboarding processes should be practices that mirror vision and values.

Building Culture Remotely

Once the basics are established and shared company-wide, organizations often implement strategies like in-person team-building events, regular and routine meetings, and workplace protocol and policies to help maintain culture. While remote teams may mean these traditional strategies fall by the wayside, it doesn’t mean you should stop trying altogether — just try different tactics instead, starting with hiring.

If your company is in the position to expand its workforce, remember that this is the starting point for building a great culture. New talent should fully understand the basics of your culture even before the onboarding process and agree to them. This also applies to the freelancers you work with. Remote work becomes much harder when the team isn’t aligned out of the gate.

Once your team is in place, keep communication flowing. Impromptu check-ins and casual meetings become much harder when a workforce is dispersed, and leaders especially need to set examples for other team members when it comes to open and transparent communication that flows freely. On that note, remain transparent about challenges your organization may be facing in this “new normal” to help build trust and make your employees feel as though they can give you feedback about their challenges, too.

Building a cohesive team doesn’t have to stop when employees are working remotely. Host virtual events, share good news about organizational or revenue goals via videoconferencing, or even send personalized recognition awards or gifts like gift cards for food deliveries, just as you would in a traditional office. The key is to let your team know they’re valued, regardless of how their workday has changed.

Ultimately, moving to a remote workplace doesn’t mean letting go of the important steps companies need to take to build a winning culture. If your organization needs help shifting company culture to meet the needs of a remote workforce, you may need a fresh perspective. Our team offers private coaching services to help entrepreneurs like you to create a strategic action plan that will get the entire organization back on track. Get in touch when it’s time to start a discussion with our Certified Business Coaches.