The number of employees working from home is steadily on the rise. Since the pandemic, this number has boomed, and many organizations are deciding to stay remote. If you were around for 2020, you know how challenging it is to create a stellar company culture.

By reading this white paper, you’ll understand:

  • What company culture is.
  • Why company culture is important.
  • Best practices for building culture for remote teams.

What Is Company Culture?

According to SHRM, “An organization’s culture defines the proper way to behave within the organization.”

Company culture is made of several aspects that make each company unique. Here are some items you might want to define as you create your organization’s culture:

  • Company values.
  • How employees show up and what’s expected of them.
  • Community ties and how your business shows up for that community.
  • The vendors you decide to do business with.

Why Company Culture Matters

Culture is all around you. You’re building a company culture, even if you aren’t intentional about it. As a business, you should be a part of your culture-building story. If you take the reins now, you can build something you can be proud of. If not, you might end up producing something that strays far from the vision you’ve built for yourself and your company.

By taking the initiative, you can begin to put all the pieces together. Read through the following pages to understand the different parts of culture and how you can impact them through outstanding leadership.

Remote Communication

When working from home, communication can be disjointed. You don’t get the same natural conversations like saying hello in the hallway or chatting one-on-one before a meeting begins. There are several ways to combat the difficulty of communication in remote environments.

Communication Rules

First, you need to set up basic communication rules for your remote organization. Here are some rules you might want to consider:

  • What channel is right for which type of communication?
  • Which channel does each person prefer?
  • When should team members expect answers to communications?
  • How late should your team be messaging with each other?
  • When should your team be available to field customer calls?

Understanding these rules and posting them somewhere your entire team can see is essential to your remote team’s communication success.

Communication Methods

After you’ve established your communication rules, you might want to look into communication methods. Establish the types of communication that your team should expect from the leadership team and each other. Take time to note when each form of communication should be used.

  • Email (newsletters and one-on-one communications.)
  • Slack
  • Video Conferencing Software:
    • Zoom
    • Microsoft Teams
    • Google Hangouts/Meet
    • GoToMeeting
    • Skype
  • In-App Notifications
  • Company podcasts

Remote Alignment

According to Merriam-Webster, alignment is “an arrangement of groups or forces in relation to one another.” When you align your company, you establish a connection between your employees toward your organization’s goals. This is even more challenging when your working with employees all over the country and the world.

Focus On Company Values

What brings you together when everything else is scattered are your companies core values. When you lean on your shared values, you can get more done than you ever thought possible.

Attaching company values to recognition is the best way to instill them into your culture. With Nectar, you can do just that so that every public shout-out increases the visibility of your values. 

Take the time to create or revisit your company values as a team while you work remotely. Use a recognition tool like Nectar to share those values and make them a part of your team’s vision.

Host Weekly Meetings With Your Team

As you align your team along the same goals, it’s important to have weekly meetings with your team. Excessive meetings can be a time-suck, so we’d encourage you to cut out any daily meetings you might have planned. Focus on making the most of your weekly check-in time. Create specific agendas that you follow closely.

Revisit Company Goals/Targets As A Team

Another way to align as a team while remote is to take some time to revisit company goals and targets as a team. Transparency at work is essential to creating a team of people who trust you and your leadership moves.

Ask For A Yes Before You Assume A Task Is Handed Off

Are you getting a yes before passing a task to another person on your team? Delegation is a significant key to success, but poorly managed delegation can lead to disasters and many missed deadlines and dropped tasks at work. When assigning a job, ensure that you get a yes from the person receiving the task. If you haven’t gotten that answer, the task is still on your plate.

Remote Connection/Collaboration

Communication is one thing; connection and collaboration are different. If you want to build a relationship parallel to in-person experiences online, you must be willing to dig deeper.

It starts with building intentional opportunities for connection. You’ll want to schedule meetings and one-on-one chats with your coworkers. Go above and make sure that those extra meetings are productive and helpful for your team. Team building is crucial for remote employees, but it doesn’t need to become a chore.

Find Small Ways To Meet Outside Of Work Meetings

Work meetings are fun, but there are so many ways to bond outside of regular work meetings. Here are some ideas:

  • Happy hours
  • Lunch and learns
  • Volunteer opportunities
  • Birthday parties
  • Game nights

Invest In Quarterly Offsites

Larger company offsites are a great way to work together as a team and get extra bonding time. Even if your company is remote, trying to come together once a quarter (if it’s safe) is important. If you can’t meet in-person, try to create a virtual offsite. You’ll be surprised at how great it feels to come together on a larger scale once a quarter.

Use Collaborative Work Tools Like Asana/Google Drive

Working on a presentation together in Google Drive while chatting on Zoom is a great way to connect with your team. When you find fun ways to create a deeper connection, chase down those opportunities!

Remote Appreciation/Recognition

Next, let’s move into remote appreciation and recognition. How do you share appreciation when your team is located all over the world? Well, you can’t lean on a pat on the back or a high-five, unfortunately! There are several ways to appreciate your employees over the internet, though.

Understand Why Appreciation/Recognition Are So Important

First and foremost, you have to understand why appreciation is so important while your team is remote. You should try to go above and beyond to share recognition whenever possible online because it can be challenging for your employees to understand if they are doing a good job or not. 

When is the last time you shared a compliment with your remote teammate? If you can’t remember the last time you showed appreciation for your team’s work, you have to work on remote appreciation.

Create A Regular Appreciation Cadence

One of the best ways to work on remote appreciation is to create a regular appreciation cadence. Your cadence might be as simple as, “I’m going to compliment my direct reports once a week,” or “I’m going to compliment someone on my team every day.” You have to be steadfast in picking the amount of recognition you want to give to your team.

Use Nectar’s Recognition Tool

If you want a way to automate recognition and make it easier for everyone on your team to give each other props and gratitude, use Nectar’s recognition tool. Our tool makes it easy for your team to share the love at work while giving you access to some powerful analytics to help increase participation and get insight into future company leaders.

Remote Rewards/Incentives

Recognition is one thing, but sometimes you need rewards and incentives to make your employees happy. Using rewards as a remote company might seem complicated, but it’s not as much work as it looks like it could be.

Some Of Your Team Members Like Physical Gifts

We’ve talked about love languages on the NectarHR blog. Love languages are how we receive love or recognition from others. Some people like words of affirmation, but some members of your team probably appreciate physical gifts more. Using rewards in addition to recognition, can help you reach out to a broader number of your employees.

You Don’t Need To Spend Thousands To Give A Great Reward

Whether you are a small company or a large one, the price tag of rewards might throw you off. Your employees aren’t that materialistic. A thoughtful reward with a $20 price tag can be just as beneficial at creating healthy relationships as something worth $200. Take your time when picking rewards, and make sure they fit the person you are shopping for.

Find Someone To Handle Employee Rewards

Last, you’ll want to use a find someone like Nectar to handle employee rewards. Shipping gift cards, swag or other rewards all across the country can be a logistical nightmare. With Nectar, your employees can cash out their points for rewards whenever they’d like. You don’t have to handle vendor relationships to get access to thousands of rewards and discounts. Nectar handles everything, saving you tons of time and energy!

Conclusion

Handling connections with remote employees isn’t easy. There are so many moving parts to consider, especially if you want to do more than the bare minimum. There are so many software tools out there that you can invest in to create a better experience for your remote employees.

Nectar Challenge:

Go through each section of this whitepaper and create one action item that you can take to improve your remote work culture. Plan how you will accomplish that and what kind of buy-in you need to make it a reality.

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