How to Build a Strong and Sustainable Team Culture While Working Remotely | VIS® Australia

How to Build a Strong and Sustainable Team Culture While Working Remotely

Company culture is an important way for all employees to understand the company’s values beyond their contribution, whether it is in remote or office-based environment. However, due to change and uncertainty today many people from different sectors are working remotely. 

Remote working is not a new concept but many companies had a little time to prepare for this new working culture & it’s only natural that companies working remotely for the first time are experiencing challenges adjusting to it as the old environment of the working pattern does not work now! This has also raised questions like: “How do businesses ensure that there is a strong company culture, even among teams who only interact online?

To give us a clear insight, Tristen White – Founder & CEO of The Physio Co – named one of Australia’s best place to work for 11 consecutive year, keynote speaker, Author & Podcaster was our guest for this week’s episode of “The Digital Perspectives”. Tristan loves helping other people build strong cultures and be happier at work. 

Stick with us until the end and discover the valuable tips & actionable plans on how to adapt to this new working pattern keeping up your team productivity at the highest and making the best use of the opportunities remote working has to offer. 

What is that your belief culture will look like in future?

This is one of the provocative questions everyone has been carrying with themselves day in and day out, “What culture will be like in the future?” 

One thing we all should be clear on is that, there will be reoccurring of events and thing we have expected or least expected, & it’s not in our hand to change neither the past nor future. But, what’s really in our hand is to have that mindset to adjust, to adapt to all the changes happening and the changes that are yet to come. 

This is a difficult period for all businesses, but on the bright side it’s resetting and speeding up the process of what teams’ culture may look like in the future. And what we can drive out of it is, the team who have been focused and connected in terms of human empathy, teams that have rather a system or structure, connect & attract new team board, and they have a rhythm of communication and connection are the ones that will thrive the most. Having this type of team culture enables to blend work and life and adapting to it is crucial as remotely working is here to stay. 

There’s no doubt that it’s a big challenge, having teams globally, especially for organisations & corporate organisations who are learning to adjust and may not be used to the remote working that some of us have been doing for longer. But like they say it’s never too old to start something new we can reframe the challenge into an opportunity as to how can we make this work for us to build a strong team that can sustain to the future and that’s the best way to adjust in the situation. 

Team culture 2.0 on a long run? 

There is no question culture will change and evolve, but what we need to understand is culture is not an airy-fairy intangible concept. A culture is something that can be systemized theory in terms of team & organisation.

 The beauty is having a repeatable system that can be adjusted, you’ve got leaders who are willing to lean in and to engage with the system & the team members to anticipate with it. Then it’s proven that we can adjust & fine tune into this culture 2.0 which is just a version of culture. 1.0. We just must figure out which bits to adjust and which bits to hang on it. It’s necessary to realise that at the heart of every great team are people, so it is necessary to understand the dynamics of how they work. 

Our core purpose and core values are critical behavioral content to keep within a team, but how we communicate, the platforms and technology we use is likely to be changing quickly. Maybe the methods of the process might be changed, but the company’s values, the history- who we are? what we believe? and what’s the vision look like? We hold the same basic things, and the foundation is also pretty much the same. 

The culture that is believed to be strongest and the most sustainable is the one that you invest in for the inevitable tough times that we go through in business and life. 

A strong team culture with some foundations of a compelling core values, a repeatable system of rhythm, and a human connection of showing more love to your teammates and clients will sustain through this grim time. So, it’s never too late to invest in culture. 

Developing this effective team culture will enable success, and when a team is focused on a collective vision, it more likely they will be able to fulfill their roles as well. A strong team will have a sense of ownership in the planning, problem-solving, and goal setting for the vision of the team.

Top three advices to the leaders on designing the virtual workplace cultures

1. Rhythm of connection involving a daily huddle:

When we talk about rhythm of connection, what it means is business leaders are advised to conduct a short and sharp daily huddle with all team members together virtually. This is something very simple yet it’s about coming together as a team and sharing each member priorities, where they are heading, what are the progress that is happening or the challenges or roadblocks that the team members are facing. This is one terrific way of identifying the wins and connecting with the team and making sure all teammates are on the same page. 

2. Understanding where the organisation is headed: 

As team leaders, managers, or boss of an organisation it’s important to keep an eye on where the oraganisation is heading. We can’t predict the future; however, we can paint a picture as to where we’re headed as a team. Doing your absolute best to not make promises you can’t keep but creating some certainty towards the future would be great for the business and entire team. 

3. Making sure personal rhythm is at its best: 

This is one of the most supreme aspect that every business leader should keep along and should come on top to begin with. As a team leader you should keep your rhythm at the highest which simply mean you are taking good care of yourself. Why? Because it’s impossible to lead a team and create a strong culture if you don’t have your rhythms in the right direction. Having your personal rhythm is a core asset as personal culture is aligned with team culture. Only having a clear mindset will help a leader to be able to communicate, clearly lead and support other team members.

Another non-negotiable aspect is communication. Now that we’re connecting with our teams through different platforms virtually what we must do is mastering the basics of becoming the best communicator you can be in a virtual environment. Our focus should not be about getting all fancy with all sorts of technologies or using many platforms. That’s a big NO, because doing so will only people disconnected and lost. So, what we need to stick to is mastering the basic communication and being respectful about the technologies we engage ourselves and our team with. 

It is all about being present, no matter what sort of tools you are using, or conferencing software’s you are using. 

Additionally, a bonus point here is if you are team leader and your team is supporting you, make sure you support them. It’s understandable that as a leader there is too much of everything your plate, but you must make a time for your team members to engage, support, coach them. 

Treat your team members like they matter and are not simply resources for the company to use. Even if it is virtually as a leader find ways to foster their self-esteem and desire for growth. This will lead to a better understanding of decisions, increased participation in meetings, thoughtful contribution in decision making, and a stronger sense of community.

Lastly, culture is something that takes a period to build. But if we make culture high priority, we can surely make work a meaningful part of our lives and not take it as challenge or look for long breaks to release from It. We need to manage our energy. Having a formidable team culture with a connected group of people at work does not have to be as energy draining or as difficult as what it may be without a culture by design. So, we encourage people to invest in culture. Therefore, they as well everyone in the team can enjoy their work and make productivity a priority. 

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