Companies with strong company culture outperform those without by 202%*. And that’s all we’ll say on the “why”. Because it’s 2021 and we’ve spent the last few years competing for talent, and let’s be honest, what have you been doing if you’ve not been focused on this?

When looking to build a strong remote culture, the focus is on how you foster a connection amongst a dispersed team – who, in some instances, may never actually meet in person. It takes intention, mindfulness and a complete rethinking of how employees work together to make remote work a success. Which is why we’ve collated our 10-tips on doing exactly that!

1. Be explicit about your mission and goals.

The only way to build a high-performance remote culture is to ensure that your team understand the mission and goals. Ensure you’re communicating this. Often. It’s also key to continually remind each individual of the role they play in supporting this, ensuring the success of this vision, as well as your collective team.

2. Create trust and safety.

How? Firstly, leaders must ensure that employees feel that they can confidently speak up and will be listened to without judgement. That it’s okay to make mistakes – and that being proactive and participating is key – not always getting it right first time. This builds a culture of trust that is an essential component to remote work. Then, it’s key that beyond you as a leader, you teach your teams to give feedback that doesn’t blame. This will build engagement across the whole team.

3. Create boundaries for your team.

It’s easy to respond to requests at any time when working remotely, as there is a fear that we should stay actively engaged. However, it’s important to clear time for your team to work on meaningful work that requires uninterrupted attention. Block time out of their calendar, status settings on slack etc – find something that works for your team.

4. Create rituals!

Recurring team meetings. Shared project planning through Trello, spring planning get-togethers on a Monday. Monthly online socials. They are all so key!

5. Define how you work together.

It’s a good idea to do exercises like taking the 16Personalities test and writing personal manifestos to help team members understand each other. Also, provide a venue for watercooler conversation that allows team members to talk about non-work-related topics and get to know one another.

6. Ask for feedback. And often.

We like the simple box grid on Miro which enables you to ask your team to post sticky notes in 4 areas each week:

  • What was good
  • What was bad
  • Ideas
  • Actions

7. Focus on engagement.

Host themed days. Exchange pet photos. Send shared mugs. It’s not rocket science but it helps people feel connected.

8. The weekly 1:1 is essential.

When not working with your team daily, it’s easy to get side-tracked with work that isn’t a priority or get stuck on projects that you feel helpless in moving forward. Check-in with each of your team, separately, once per week as a minimum. But keep the lines of communication open constantly. It’s super important for your team to feel that they have support whenever they need it.

9. Take more time with onboarding.

This may be simple but so few get it right. Design a 2-week schedule of meetings and immersion with the team and all-important stakeholders. After this, hold hands for far longer than you would usually, throughout those first projects.

One of the most important aspects of building trust and a sense of belonging in a remote team is helping people grow and learn from their peers. Incorporate rituals that will help everyone grow individually as well as a group: discuss each person’s goal at a performance review and set a metric to measure progress, host a workshop on giving feedback, or start time weekly for regular lunch and learns.

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