Building a sustainable and cohesive team is a challenging task that requires a lot of effort and time. The clash of personalities, expertise, and generational characteristics are just some of the factors that influence this process. Adding to that the fact that more and more teams are working remotely, building an organizational culture can be doomed to failure if conscious efforts are not made, and a clear strategy is not established.
But why is organizational culture so important? Specialists with strong connections between themselves have a greater sense of responsibility towards each other. They are less likely to slack off or neglect their work because they know that people they care about rely on them. They can also understand how their work contributes to the organization’s success.
A strong organizational culture plays a role in employee engagement and retention within the company. In a traditional office setting, the mere presence of colleagues and interaction with them helps foster a sense of collective spirit. However, in a remote work environment, shared emotions from successes and failures, casual conversations by the coffee machine, and getting to know colleagues during lunch breaks are eliminated as factors. Often all you know about your colleagues on the other end of the line is their contact information. Therefore, a different approach is needed to address these challenges.
Defining the mission, vision, and goals
The process of building an organizational culture should start with that. It’s not a bad idea to collect this information in a document that every employee becomes familiar with upon joining the company.
This is another key element that should be emphasized, especially in remote working. It empowers the employees to express their thoughts and feel confident knowing that they won’t be rejected, punished, or embarrassed for their opinions.
In a virtual environment, this can be achieved by encouraging active participation, supporting everyone, brainstorming, respecting others’ opinions, and setting a good example with more experienced colleagues in the company. It is important to emphasize that taking risks and making mistakes are permissible.
Personal and professional development opportunities
Investment in skills and knowledge pays off many times over. Training doesn’t have to be strictly in the form of courses or lectures. Encourage experienced employees who embody the company’s spirit to share what sets it apart from others. However, it’s important to be done in a way that doesn’t become a burden for them, as that could backfire. Establishing mentorship programs would also be beneficial.
Let’s not forget about team building!
It’s not necessary to organize big events or lengthy games with many rules. However, it’s important for employees to spend time together, so it’s good to encourage that whenever there is an opportunity. A picnic or a weekend coffee meetup, a free Friday afternoon for a gathering with colleagues – there are many options, and the creativity of the employees themselves can be of great value.
Ask for feedback
Sometimes, all you need to do is ask. By conducting regular anonymous surveys or using employee engagement measurement tools, you can gather important information about the state of your company. This will provide a clear understanding of employees’ attitudes, issues, and concerns, based on which appropriate business decisions can be made.
Work, regardless of the location, should be properly motivated and have a clear purpose and vision. Building a strong organizational culture is a good step in that direction.