We may be seeing our co-workers more over video chats than face to face, but despite this new way of working, building a team environment is still possible and extremely crucial! With water cooler talk and post-meeting conversations a thing of the past, each team, individual, and manager must make an effort to foster a true team.
But how? Follow along as we provide some simple steps to creating a digital company culture.
1. Connect intentionally: through meetings
Emails and messages are a fast communication tool and preferred in certain situations, but scheduling meetings help to learn personality and have true conversation. It’s in a meeting space that we can laugh, debate, and problem solve together. Hot take: don’t only schedule meetings when issues arrive. Also schedule meetings as a tool for connection to discuss team wins!
2. Connect intentionally: through daily / weekly topics
Does your team have a group chat? Random, fun activities can be a great way to impact team culture! Have each employee send a song on Fridays to close out the week. Do the same on Mondays to start the week with the right tone. Send industry related news. Send customer feedback from the week.
These are just examples, but something so simple can be a great way to form communication and a bond outside of the normal talk about work tasks.
3. Connect intentionally: through utilizing hybrid schedules
Are you a hybrid employee? If the answer is yes, watch how you spend your time in the office. Are you continuing your same routine of desk work, or are you truly utilizing your time to be surrounded by your co-workers?
Walk around and have conversations, build relationships, and truly interact with your surroundings. With limiting our time in the office, we can be more intentional on where we complete our focus work and where we are more interactive with those around us.
4. Regularly survey employees to see where they are happy and what can be improved
No matter how hard we try, we will never be perfect. Owning up to our mistakes and admitting to being human is a great way to improve team culture. Then, take it a step further and survey your team to see where they are happy and what can be improved. They may have some great ideas that you haven’t thought about! Determine which suggestions can be improved upon quickly and which are long term goals. Next, share these honestly with your team.
5. Define culture goals
Make it clear to employees what you expect in how they approach each other. Share these values and goals with team members as a whole, individually, and during the hiring process for new employees. Most importantly, make sure that you are also following these defined culture goals yourself.
6. Continue to reserve space for group feedback, brainstorming, etc.
The best way to feel like part of a group is to work together as a group. It sounds simple, but when we are alone in our home spaces, asking for feedback or scheduling brainstorming ideas may not be top-of-mind. We get our best ideas and work completed when we can bounce thoughts off each other. Don’t let where your desk is located define how you are as an employee and a team member.
Overall, we can see that this work from home lifestyle isn’t going away. Instead of running away from it, it’s a vital time to embrace these new ways of working. A team environment and a positive company culture aren’t impossible or even difficult, just different from the traditions of the past. We hope that you are able to introduce a few of these simple ideas with your WFH employees!