Remote work is extremely common today across many industries. Many companies have at least some, if not all, employees regularly working from home at least part of the time, and an increasing number of businesses are creating full-time remote positions.
In order for this working arrangement to be successful, business owners must be proactive in keeping their employees engaged. Below, a panel of Forbes Business Council members shared 14 ways to help remote staff feel connected to company culture.
1. Hold Weekly All-Team Meetings
We run a completely remote company with 17 highly talented individuals. In order to stay connected to each other, we’ve set up a weekly meeting where everyone shares what they are working on or what they are excited about doing during the week. We tried doing bi-weekly and saw a drastic drop in the engagement even on day-to-day things, so we made the change back and are now reaping the benefits! – Oscar Hernandez, PitchGround
2. Implement Video Calls And Meetings
Beyond the day-to-day remote work, provide your team with different opportunities in which they can integrate more into the company culture, such as video calls or occasional physical meetings. In this way, you will be able to build their loyalty in a stronger and more solid way, and they will be more aware of the company’s values. – Kevin Leyes, Team Leyes
3. Create A Private Facebook Group
Film training videos that show the company’s culture and post them in a private company Facebook group. These onboarding training videos provide all employees with a consistent foundation of the company’s culture plus convenient viewing. Live company meetings can also be held in this group. Employees share stories and company photos of company events, connecting all locations. – Jennifer Coy, Beauty Care Choices
4. Organize Local Team Bonding Sessions For Each Remote Location
Businesses should have team-building events for each remote location. Events should be recognized throughout the entire company culture through social media platforms. Competition among various company branches encourages employees to bond on a “global” level. It can be as simple as a challenge to other corporate offices or something to help employees from distant branches engage each other. – William Waldner, Law office of William Waldner
5. Implement Regular Practices That Bring People Together
As a 100% remote team, here are some of the things we have implemented as a part of our company culture: weekly team meetings over videos, daily communication via Slack, small gamification activities with a reward, celebrating small moments and our annual retreat. – Udit Goenka, Little SaaS, Inc
6. Clearly Document Your Processes
A company’s culture is an outcome of actions, not just words. When you have remote staff, inculcating culture is easier if the actions each person takes are consistent. This means clearly documented processes. When everyone does things the same way and outcomes are clearly communicated, culture builds up without trying too hard. Nothing screams culture like action. – Reena Bhatia, ProposalHelper
7. Leverage Technology To Keep People Connected
Communication and accessibility are huge challenges when face-to-face, in-person interactions are limited. Leveraging chat and meeting technologies like Microsoft Teams, Slack, Yammer or Zoom are excellent for organizing projects and files and give a feeling of watercooler conversations. Turning on your video when chatting and during meetings also keeps remote teammates connected to the action. – Heather Newman, Content Panda/Creative Maven
8. Establish Daily, Weekly And Monthly Routines
Connection to company culture can happen in the most subtle and simple ways and it becomes more embedded with consistent routines like structured weekly video team meetings that follow a specific format; weekly internal communications with the company, employee and customer news; and structured opportunities to ask questions, provide feedback and connect with others. – Dee Hutchinson, Dee is for Digital
9. Give And Get Attention
The power of connection isn’t proximity, it’s attention. I live in San Diego and my daughter lives in Geneva, but we’re still close and connected. Why? Because my attention is on her, and hers is on me. As we call, video chat and text we’re sharing real-time updates and stay current with one another. Do the same with remote staff. Give them your attention and get their attention. – Eric Kaufmann, Sagatica
10. Be Inclusive
Make a point to learn about your remote staff through informal discussions (ideally these would happen towards the end of meetings). Consider asking them about their favorite Netflix show or cuisine. It does a great job of having everyone feel like they knew each other better. Any sort of personalized communication is helpful and goes a long way to build that culture you want in your company. – Saket Agarwal, Onnivation
11. Never Allow Remote Workers To Be ‘Out Of Sight, Out Of Mind’
There are physical triggers in a workplace that make employees feel engaged and a part of the team. This might be photos on a website, a designated work area in an office or a photo on an office wall. Too often remote workers are forgotten when building a visual culture physically or virtually. Don’t forget anyone who works for you. Even if they never see the picture, others will. – Paul Weber, EAG Advertising & Marketing
12. Have Virtual Contests And Celebrations
This enables you to employ talented workers who would otherwise not be considered. Companies can still build a strong culture by having regular happy hours or all-team meetings, engaging regularly over video chat. Get remote staff virtually involved in contests and celebrations. Remote work doesn’t mean there’s less communication—it just means communication is enabled through more advanced tech. – Byung Choi, MarcomCentral
13. Include Them In Everything
I’m using these tips to help our remote staff feel connected with the company: Treat them as an important part of your company and like your regular staff members. You must include them in every meeting and call. Get their suggestions and views. Give them tips to increase their performance and productivity, and ask for their experiences with your company. Sometimes offer small bonuses to motivate them. – Harpreet Munjal, LoudGrowth
14. Encourage Face-To-Face Communication
A face-to-face meeting can help your remote workers connect to each of their team members and supervisors. Whether it’s a weekly or monthly video call, they will feel more connected and will appreciate the chance to give and receive feedback for their work. – Beth Worthy, GMR Transcription Services Inc.
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