Source | The Happiness Index : By TIM STOLLER
Building and establishing a consistent culture across your remote and multi-site teams is a tough task – but as a business leader it will also be one of your most important ongoing challenges.
Remote workers miss out on the daily interactions you get in an office; they may even live in a different city or time zone. If the culture and environment are not understood it can lead to feelings of isolation on one side and jealousy on both.
To ensure that your company values and culture are practiced consistently throughout your business, you must instil them from the top down and control the narrative. This creates the right message every time. It will help to prevent people creating their own realities; “Am I being excluded?” – “Are they receiving preferential treatment?”
Here are my tips to help you to create and maintain a consistent company culture.
Communication is key
Regular communication is the best tool to effectively bridge the gap between head office and your remote teams.
You are better off over-communicating. Use an array of tools to create dialogue with your workers – from instant messaging sites like Slackbot to video messaging sites like Skype. Finding the right line of communication for each team will help everyone to feel connected and understand how each task is progressing.
Feedback is a cornerstone of effective communication. By implementing regular pulse surveys that collect data-driven insights in real-time, you will get an overview of your company’s culture and dynamics, and give each member of staff a voice. This will help establish what you should stop, start, change and continue doing throughout your organisation, to ensure that everyone is pulling in the same direction.
To effectively communicate with your team, you need to be open to speaking with them whenever possible. It can be difficult to find the time for everyone, so create the systems for them to be able to contact you as well. Leaving messages unanswered will make your staff feel unsupported. If you work from a different location to someone in your team, the time in-between calls or emails will be amplified. Make commitments to each other and agree the correct channels and the best times to contact each other.
Regular face-to-face meetings will forge stronger bonds, and making the effort to meet someone at their workplace goes a long way. With the most important meetings, the tone and meaning comes across best face to face.
Empower your staff to want to improve the culture
Empowered employees are a dream come true for any business leader. They will solve problems independently, take ownership of their responsibilities and ultimately drive your company-culture forward.