Workplace camaraderie is a vital part of any business. It builds higher employee engagement, fosters loyalty, boosts employee retention rate, and builds a more open company culture. But how can employers who work with virtual staff from the Philippines ensure that they build a strong camaraderie with their employee?
Building camaraderie with a remote staff might come with some challenges, but it is not impossible. Camaraderie is not just about building friendships and having fun. It’s all about creating a common sense of purpose, and having a shared commitment to work well. Below are some tips to help you create a successful virtual camaraderie culture in your company.
- Keep communication lines open
Effective communication is essential in any business, least of all with companies that communicate virtually. Poor communication may lead to misunderstanding, wasted time and resources, and poor employee morale. It is also difficult to maintain rapport and build camaraderie when you operate with a remote team.
Encouraging open and honest communication with your employees can address these communication gaps with your virtual staff. The first step is choosing the right communication tools for the job. Collaboration tools are part of the essentials. You may create daily teleconferencing schedule with your Filipino VAs, or keep your chat lines open during work hours. This will give your staff an avenue to reach out to you if they have any questions or issues with their work. You may also encourage your virtual team to get to know each other in order to build a unified company culture. Through proper communication, you can make your employees feel that they can build camaraderie with you, despite the geographical distance.
- Create a strong collaborative environment
What truly makes a “team” in a virtual landscape? It’s all about collaboration and working together to reach the same goal. A study by the Academy of Management Executive describe a virtual team as a “group of people who work independently with shared purpose across space, time, and organization boundaries, using technology to communicate and collaborate.” Meanwhile, another study by the Harvard Business Review, found that collaborative activity is the “secret sauce” that inspires creativity. A win of one staff, extends internally and is a win for everyone. It’s a win for the client, and a win for the company.
Encouraging your virtual team to work on projects together, will not only strengthen camaraderie, it also encourages your employees to bring their best ideas to the fold, bringing good outcomes to your business.
- Be a leader, and not just a boss
The old school, command-and-control style of leadership do not work for virtual companies and remote employees. Virtual work relationships are built on trust and commitment. Creating a controlling and hostile environment for your staff may only lead to poor performance and inefficiencies.
Have an open door for your staff’s thoughts, feedback, and suggestions. Filipino professionals value genuine discussions and constructive criticism that help them grow and improve. Make yourself approachable. You don’t have to be best friends with your staff, but you’d want them to be comfortable in seeking out assistance when needed. Being more than just a boss that manages employees, and rather acting like a leader that inspires staff to be greater, will truly help a company’s bottom line.
Building camaraderie is not impossible when outsourcing jobs from the Philippines. Developing meaningful connections and creating lasting professional relationships with your people can be as simple as having an open work environment. When there is camaraderie, trust and connection, employees can feel more at ease and engaged, regardless of their geographical location.