Distributed teams have been on the rise over the past few years. With this shift in work culture, there can be a lack of connection amongst employees. Here are tips on building a strong team culture for your remote-first or hybrid team.
1. Open Communication ☎️
Establish a culture of open communication to strengthen connections amongst your team.
- Encourage employees to ask for support, raise questions, and partake in fun chit-chat.
- Create communication channels or discussion boards for your staff. You can have multiple for different purposes, like departmental and social discussions.
- Use various communication tools to keep everyone engaged, like Slack, Zoom, and Team Flow.
2. Embrace Change 🙌
Greek philosopher Heraclitus once said, “Change is the only constant in life.” While change is expected, it can also be challenging and stressful in the workplace. Lead your team through times of change with support and empathy for a more adaptable work environment.
- Provide clear reasoning. Make sure to explain to your team why changes are being made. Giving a thoughtful, transparent explanation will help your team understand the transition and get them on board.
- Make sure employees are heard. Assign a point person to help navigate the team through change. They should provide answers and resolutions to everyone’s questions and concerns. This person should be approachable and show empathy towards the staff.
- Offer support resources. Change might come as a shock and stir up challenging emotions. Offer support to help relieve your team’s stress and anxiety through activities like morale-boosting events, group meditation, or professional counseling.
3. Plan Engaging Team Events 📅
A significant aspect of work culture is building connections amongst teammates. Find ways to facilitate socialization outside of shop talk.
- Social Channel. Start a channel on your virtual workspace to encourage socialization. Create conversation starters to spur discussions amongst the team, like weekend activities, holiday plans, hobbies, internal contests, or photo sharing.
- Host hybrid-friendly social events. Plan social events for your distributed team. Check out our blog 18 Free Team Event Ideas to help you get started.
4. Avoid Micromanaging your Team 👮
Nothing puts a crimp in a healthy work culture like the hovering presence of a micromanager. Micromanaging has adverse effects on an organization, like increased stress, burnout, and turnover.
- Allow autonomy. Employees should feel empowered through management’s trust, rather than feeling stifled by overbearing control. When an employee is fully onboarded, feels settled in and is in a working groove, allow them to take charge of their tasks. You hired them because of their skills–give them space and let them do their job.
- Ongoing support. Encourage employees to reach out for help when required. And schedule weekly check-ins to make sure everyone feels supported as they move through their workweek.
5. Encourage Collaboration 🧑🏾🤝🧑🏾
Bring teammates together by having them collaborate on projects.
- Make the most of everyone’s strengths. Take advantage of everybody’s skills for the better. Great things happen–like increased efficiency, creativity, and better problem-solving–when people work together.
- Increase connections. When working from home, one can feel disconnected from the team. Pair people up to help increase social connection in your employees’ workday. And who knows, maybe great friendships will form as a result.