A lot is being said about the importance of culture these days. Big companies like Google spend a lot of time, energy, and resources in building a specific culture that cultivates innovation and retains top talent from around the world. David Villa, CEO of marketing agency IPD, concisely explains exactly why business leaders will be remiss if they don’t prioritize culture:
“When a company has a great culture, they are hands-down more productive. And when a business is more productive, that means it is working faster; and when it works faster, it can get a leg up on the competition.”
At Bolton Remote, we help companies build remote teams, and we see firsthand the effects of a solid culture between remote employees and employers. We also see that distance and time differences are not road blocks to a positive and unified culture.
Here are some of the ways company culture can be strengthened among remote teams:
Consider and respect different cultures.
It’s likely that you will have remote employees with unique values from your own or even from their own team. AdEsspresso suggests for leaders to “make it a point to learn about each of your staff through informal discussions”.
In this way, your staff will be more candid and transparent about their backgrounds. You’ll be able to accurately identify and understand factors that may contribute to work performance, and how even varying backgrounds can complement each other to boost productivity.
Encourage your dispersed team to learn about each other’s cultures. You can create introductory videos about each different culture. Not only will your team learn more about each other, they will learn more about different countries and how the people work.
Frequently provide and encourage feedback.
Why is feedback so important? Eagle Hill Consulting says that employees “see feedback as a positive contributor to their current role as a member of an organization and to their ongoing professional development”. For remote employees, it bolsters their vital role on their team and as part of the company wherever they are.
Feedback shouldn’t just come from you, either. Continuous feedback among your remote staff will improve transparency and open communication. You will also be building an encouraging company culture. A few great tools you can use:
- Wirl – makes requesting and giving feedback a lot easier, encouraging continuous flow instead of quarterly or just yearly reviews.
- 15Five – it’s a platform that gives employees 15 minutes to give feedback, updates, or simply share what they think. The tool then gives managers and leaders to go over them for 5 minutes.
- 7Geese – another feedback tool, but this one offers social recognition options
Studies show that companies with strong company cultures outperform their competitors by 20%. This is because a positive company culture creates happy employees who are 12% more productive than unhappy or dissatisfied ones.
SDR Ventures Inc. managing director, Gary Miller, says “culture always flows from the top”. It’s necessary for leaders and managers to set core values and define a deliberate culture from which your employees will follow.
Culture is necessary for remote employee retention, but hiring the right candidates from the get-go also go a long way. Visit our website at www.BoltonRemote.com and we’ll help you find remote staff that will succeed in their roles and their remote environment.
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