It’s a fact. People simply work better when they 1.) get along with their colleagues, and 2.) feel that their work is part of something bigger.
This is especially true for remote work, where getting your workers to buy in to their team and your company will ultimately make them stay.
But how do you do that? How do you ensure that your company’s goals align with those of your remote team’s? Especially when it looks like remote work is here to stay and you’ll have to build camaraderie without face to face interaction?
Well, there aren’t really any cut-and-dried ways to go about it. Every company is different, and thus will attract different kinds of people. Naturally, you can expect to go through a bit of trial and error on the way to building a fully cohesive team.
The good news, though, is that there are some basic guiding principles you can work towards:
1. Regular and effective communication.
We keep saying this, but only because it’s true. Good communication is critical to any successful group dynamic, but it’s practically mandatory for any remote set-up. With geographical distances limiting interactions to explicit platforms like instant messages or emails, constant communication is a must.
Not only does it ensure that things get done, but it also helps promote connectedness across the team. There are plenty of communication channels that you can use to create a digital “office.” Daily check-ins certainly help keep everyone in the loop, for instance. Standup meetings are also useful for keeping everyone abreast of what the other teams are doing.
Whichever methods you employ, make sure it allows for frequent and clear communication. This will remind everyone of company goals and cultivate better connections between team members.
2. A culture of trust.
The better connected a team is, the higher the levels of trust between them are. This, in turn, makes it easier to handle conflicts if and when they arise.
Of course, building trust among members and in management is a tall order in the digital sphere. To begin, leaders need to create an environment of trust. They need to cultivate one where their people can safely assume good intentions from those around them.
How? Including employees in goal-setting conversations help because it shows that you’re vesting trust in them. Constantly providing both positive and constructive feedback also keeps communication steady and straightforward.
Lastly, management should mediate conflicts with respect and fairness. They should endeavour to understand where both sides are coming from as they work towards the right solution.
3. Clear expectations and processes.
Teams work better if everyone knows what they have to do. Having to figure that out is a waste of both time and energy, and can stir up confusion.
Thus, an SOP for tracking and evaluating tasks is necessary. There should be communication channels that are specifically for certain tasks and/or departments, with procedures for sharing information and monitoring progress.
Occasionally, you can also facilitate inter-departmental strategy sessions. This will show each member and department how their work fits together, apart from cultivating better connections between them.
While remote work should always allow for flexibility, a clear structure would foster reliability within teams as well.
4. A sense of community.
You can never underestimate the impact of strong personal connections. Employees who engage well with their teams are often more productive and loyal. Therefore, it’s in your best interest to cultivate a sense of community within the company.
First, create spaces that might feel less formal and more personal. You could have Slack chats for sharing silly memes or jokes of the day. Better yet, set aside time for periodic check-ins where members can discuss their personal well-being. Video calls can also make meetings feel more engaging and a lot less distant.
5. Tasks formed around goals instead of the other way around.
Team leaders and managers usually find it easier to motivate those under them if they constantly tie their daily tasks to overall goals. One concrete way to do this is to regularly check in with your staff and to illustrate what role their output plays in moving the company forward.
Furthermore, don’t get sick of reminding your people about how they play a key role in your business, full stop. All these things will hopefully provide some context for their work and enable them to truly feel like an integral part of your business’ success.
Looking for something more specific? Do you wish someone could do the heavy lifting in helping you and your remote team gel together better?
Well, look no further. Remote Staff has more than a decade’s worth of experience in recruiting and onboarding Filipino remote talent for various Australian businesses. We’ve even developed our own skills development program. It’s designed specifically for training both remote workers and remote clients to adjust to a remote working environment so that they can both cultivate a productive and more importantly, long-lasting business relationship.
Click here to schedule a callback with us today.