16 Ways To Preserve Company Culture In A Remote Environment!

Every business should establish and maintain a company culture. Doing this in a remote work environment can, however, present a number of unique challenges. Leaders of remote teams can create and preserve a strong company culture by following a few simple steps.

Not sure where to start with your virtual team? Read on for expert advice from the members of Forbes Business Council. Below, they share 16 strategies for creating culture remotely.

1. Distinguish Culture From Climate

The key is to distinguish culture from organizational climate. Culture is the values and beliefs that separate one group of people from another. Climate is the day-to-day atmosphere in a team and is derivative of how many people share the culture's values and beliefs. Defining behaviors that support the values allows remote workers to still “live the culture” even though they're outside the climate. - Shane Wallace, CultureSmith Inc.

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2. Focus On Building Trust First

Trust in a remote environment is key. Leaders and team members have to trust each other, which becomes a fundamental building block for company culture. - Rohan Pasari, Cialfo

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3. Place Employee Wellbeing At The Forefront

Make employee wellbeing and psychological safety the core foundations of your culture. When people work remotely, physical distance should not create emotional distances between employees, nor should it create fear of expressing opinions and individual needs. By also supporting employees' wellness through different programs, leaders can send a message that success and wellbeing go hand in hand. - Andreea Vanacker, SPARKX5

4. Make Values The 'North Star'

Make company values the "North Star" in everything people do. Incorporate company values into the daily operations of the business. They should be embedded into the sales culture, marketing messages, recruiting—everything. These values should act as the anchor that supports the team through everyday decision making. Culture is not about where employees work but how they come together through the company values. - Ross Wainwright, Alida

5. Redefine And Renegotiate Expectations

Adapting to a new environment often requires redefining and renegotiating expectations. Culture doesn't need to be manifested in every way at a distance as it does on-site, but it should still embody behaviors that reinforce and support collaboration and teamwork. We achieve this by focusing on shared goals and values and increased individual autonomy. - Sani Abdul-Jabbar, VezTek USA

6. Use The Right Tech Tools

We reinforce corporate culture with remote working tools. We use a performance management software platform to clearly communicate priorities from the top down and set the tone. We also use Slack and Teams extensively—if you use them correctly, you can work together as a cohesive team with the same goals and objectives just as well as you would in an office setting. - Vatsal Shah, Litmus

7. Focus On Teamwork

When people get to know each other in small groups, they begin to like each other. When they like each other they want to do a good job for each other. Company values of caring for employees and other cultural goals naturally permeate in these interactions. Culture equals personality. Your personality comes through when you regularly interact with employees. - Barry Moline, California Municipal Utilities Association

8. Prioritize Good Communication

Communication is key! Implement technologies that keep people connected. Actively support cross-departmental engagement from the top down. Encourage daily participation in group discussions. Promote employee interactions that go beyond talking shop. Keep people informed of company updates and announcements. Organize online events or challenges. Never forget about the value of human connection. - Loren Shifrin, Revolution Capital

9. Identify Employee Challenges

One of the best ways to build a winning culture in a remote environment is to identify the various challenges employees face in executing their jobs, along with plausible solutions to address those challenges. For example, parents with children should not be expected to join meetings during school dropoff/pick-up hours. - Biju Chandrasekharan, ByteWave Digital Inc.

10. Foster Connections Between Employees

When employees work remotely, find ways to foster connection so they feel involved and supported. A tangible way is through using branded merchandise. The right company gear given at the right time in the right way can enhance teamwork, foster inclusion and make working remotely easier. Branded merch can bring a company’s culture to life, so use it to boost how employees live out the firm’s values. - Valerie Hayman Sklar, Corporate Specialties LLC

11. Create Online Group Environments For Employees

Create online group environments wherein teammates can collaborate, synergize, debate, communicate and work. For example, each department within our organization has Skype chat rooms with the main chat room for company notifications and conversations. This is a great way to maintain camaraderie and to foster the company culture you wish your organization to have. Don’t forget to add plenty of humor! - Salvador Ordorica, The Spanish Group LLC

12. Encourage Moments Of Informal Interaction

Interactions between leaders and their teams act as an essential hub for creating the social unity that organizations need. To keep creativity and collaboration flowing, bring back the small moments of inefficiency like transition time between meetings to chat or grab a snack. Or, establish a chat room/virtual break room for quick questions, catching up and sharing ideas or workloads. - Edward Tuorinsky, DTS

13. Plan Virtual Team-Building Events

Virtual team-building events or activities are crucial to maintaining your company's culture in a remote working environment. A couple of ideas include playing virtual games together on Zoom and bringing a celebrity onto a Zoom meeting to liven things up (you can hire a celebrity through Cameo.com). - J.J. Hebert, MindStir Media

14. Learn More About Your Team

Company culture isn’t something that can be touched. Maintaining strong company culture is built on mutual respect and the journey toward achieving common goals. When inspiring your remote workforce, expectations must be reimagined. As leaders, use this as an opportunity to learn more about your team. Encourage the new work-life balance paradigm and invest in keeping the team together. - Adam Povlitz, Anago Cleaning Systems

15. Have Leaders Facilitate Cohesion

Cohesion and relationships suffer under remote work. Subcultures can emerge among employees and people can feel isolated, losing motivation. Leaders and managers need to facilitate cohesion every single day. Give teams agenda-free time to interact with leaders, ramp up communication and check-ins and always ground decision making in corporate values. - Cybele Negris, Webnames.ca Inc.

16. Be Intentional In The Virtual Space

The culture of a company perforates its hallways and comes to life through the shadow of the leader. Be very intentional about your culture in the virtual space. Lead team conversations with a keen focus on the mission and values. Make purpose-driven conversations pertinent. Make a consistent effort to recognize and nurture the stories and behaviors you want to see, hear and feel within your company. - Loubna Noureddin, Mind Market Consultants

sources :Forbes

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