Building culture with a remote team

Building culture with a remote team

SuperBeings helps companies create a strong remote work by developing mindset of continuous improvement.

A great company culture influences what employees and customers opinions  about a company. If implemented correctly, company culture can transform employees into advocates and customers into fans. According to research, 94% entrepreneurs and 88% job seekers say that a healthy work culture is crucial for individual and business success.


In the present day scenario, when most firms have opted to work in  hybrid / remote mode, building a work culture that provides a shared sense of purpose to employees who barely get to meet one-another is far more challenging than IRL offices.


SuperBeings, an AI powered continuous performance management and employee engagement solutions company, helps companies to remedy remote work isolation by providing tools and suggestions for building a company culture that drives performance and camaraderie.


Here are 6 suggestions from SuperBeings for building a great remote work culture:


1. Build psychological safety and trust

The strength of a healthy work-culture lies in providing employees a sense of safety which is difficult for remote teams in the absence of in-person interactions.


Trust within a remote organization can be built in three primary ways — 


• Leaders must lead with humility and promote participation by showing that making and learning from mistakes is welcome. As leaders, practice radical transparency in all your communication with employees across teams. A casual, friendly team communication channels leads to less hierarchical stereotypes and more community vibes.


• Leaders should also encourage  teams to provide constructive feedback to one another and avoid making things personal. It is even better to ask employees to use video chat platforms while providing feedback to avoid any miscommunication.


• Having mentorship programs in place that help employees learn from peers is a great way to show employees that you care about their individual growth and development. It also leads to interdependence and personal connection among peers.


2. Have regular rituals to develop a sense of belonging


Buffer’s State of Remote Work survey shows that loneliness is the second biggest struggle of working remotely due to virtual distance. Virtual distance by definition is “a sense of psychological and emotional detachment that begins to grow little by little and unconsciously when most encounters and experiences are conveyed by screens on electronic devices.” It is often triggered by geographic separation due to different places and time zones, lack of shared context, and lack of meaningful relationships.


Weekly all-hands and 1:1 meetings (preferably video) are useful for building a personal connection with and amongst employees. Collaboration tools like Slack can also be used for “water cooler” conversations for building workplace relationships whenever employees need a 2 minute break to discuss how their days are going, or share some fun facts or relevant news.


3. Have a compelling brand narrative


In order to drive employee performance through a strong cultural value system, it is better to avoid placing financial results at the centre of your company’s narrative. Instead, tell your unique story.


• What motivated you to start?


• What challenges did you face in your journey? How did you overcome them?


• How do you plan to change the world?


These stories can be passed on from old team members to new ones. This also helps employees to understand how their work positively impacts the organization’s goals and builds a personal connection with the company. When employees know why and how their work matters, they work better.


4. Communicate work culture clearly


The majority of remote organizations follow a flexible work-culture. While it is lucrative for most employees, flexible work-culture can mean different things to different people. It is better to understand the team's needs while clearly communicating your expectations about performance and assessment beforehand. Answering these questions can provide more clarity —


Are employees required to be online at specific times for a specific duration each day?


• Are they free to make their own remote work schedule?


• How much autonomy do they have over making decisions?


• Are they required to be present at the main office every once in a while?


• How will their efficiency and effectiveness be measured?


A mutual understanding of the above questions helps to find a reasonable solution that benefits both parties and creates a deliberate company culture.


5. Onboard new employees carefully


Introduce new employees to the entire team. Encourage them to schedule 1:1 meetings with members from different teams and with people they don't report to. Spontaneous interactions with veteran employees will teach new employees more about the organizational culture than any document or hiring manager ever can. It helps them know their colleagues on a personal level and understand how they fit into the organization better.


In the absence of regular physical interaction, allow time and guidance to newly appointed members of the team to sink into the company's value system.


6. Find new ideas for employee engagement


Whether you have built a deliberate culture or not, every company already has a culture in place. The best way to check and understand the sentiment within your organization is of course through conducting regular pulse surveys. Instead of focusing only on work-related topics, asking general questions about happiness and individual expectations leads to more openness and belonging in a remote company. Using a comprehensive digital workplace platform (like SuperBeings) is a great way to keep employees engaged in a remote working set-up.


Final thoughts


Culture cannot be built overnight. It is an ongoing process that requires equal participation from it’s leaders, the HR team and the employees. In order to create a strong remote-working culture that reduces isolation tension and boosts performance, develop a mindset of continuous improvement. Ask for regular feedback from remote employees. Make them feel free to share what worked and what didn’t. Be agile enough to make adjustments accordingly. That’s the only key to thrive in this constantly changing environment of life and work.


Yasharth is the founder and CEO of SuperBeings. At SuperBeings he helps organizations transition to OKRs, continuous performance management and engagement to supercharge their business performance.


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