Part 3 of 3: A Guide to Managing a Remote Team
New Virtual Culture: What does that look like?
How we work and where we work will never return to the days pre-COVID-19. More and more companies are going to continue to offer remote or hybrid work environments, and for good reason. The flexibility is more attractive to talent, with 96% of workers saying they want some form of work from home, be that hybrid work environment or completely a remote work environment. Company culture is not just brick and mortar. All in all, your company culture can remain the same- but the way it is woven into your day to day is what may need adjusting. Whether you are in person, virtual, or hybrid, your company culture must remain consistent through all facets to promote collaboration among your employees. If you have a culture of learning, host a virtual book club. Create small groups that get together and have a virtual lunch regularly. Create small groups that meet together on a weekly basis! Have virtual team building events that foster connection and fun!
Here at Wejungo we just finished our first book club of the year. We ready Atomic Habits and met three times to discuss it as a team!
Working From Home and Loneliness
This is a REAL THING. Workplace loneliness is not only harmful for your employees, but research shows that it could weaken employee’s health, hurt job performance, and increase turnover. “Thirty-four percent of millennials always or often feel lonelier because of the coronavirus situation.”
There is a trend where employees tend to look for a culture where the acknowledgment of mental health is normalized, and employees are provided a safe space to discuss it. Managers can encourage this environment by speaking candidly about mental health and encourage virtual collaboration, giving your team the opportunities to be more connected. Consider how open this topic has already become more openly discussed through Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, and other social media outlets.
Here at Wejungo, the expectations are that every manager holds a 1-1 check in with their direct reports each month. We also have a weekly team meeting of 30 mins where people share what’s on their desk, their wins, and the challenges. The goal of these meetings is to make sure the team feels supported in their work!
Nurture Collaboration Virtually
Collaboration may have been easier when you could lean over your desk and ask Becky her opinion of a presentation layout or walk down the hall and ask Jim a quick question. Virtual collaboration doesn’t have to be much different. Here are some tips on how to nurture virtual collaboration:
Tip# 1 Make sure your technology is working for you.
COVID-19 has pushed more and more companies into automation and technology usage and to no surprise, it helps improves productivity. An ICP survey showed Slack increased productivity by 32% and cut down on meetings by 25%.
While there are so many technologies for collaboration out there, it is important to listen to your team and adjust to what works in your
industry and your virtual office.
Here at Wejungo we were using email and google drive for our communication and organizational process. We recognized that this was too chaotic and moved to a project management software called Asana! We also utilize good old-fashioned calling and texting.
Tip #2 Establish standard operating processes.
Working virtually comes with its setbacks. Immediate communication is a thing of the past. This is why clearly documented processes are so important.
Proper documentation of your standard procedures, technology usage, and company guidelines can help facilitate productivity. Not only will these documents help set expectations, but they can also cut down on the back and forth of solving an issue.
Here at Wejungo we create documented processes and templates for everything we do! Whether it is creating a new project in our system or starting a client engagement. Ensuring everyone is 100% clear on expectations and the processes saves us time and frustration in our daily work, training, and transferring workloads.
Tip #3 Set clear expectations.
Set expectations for collaboration the same way you set performance expectations. If a new technology is introduced in your virtual workplace, send a notification to everyone about the new technology and hold trainings.
Here at Wejungo we create Talent Profiles for hundreds of positions for our clients per year. We also create these internal documents at Wejungo for our team. Talent profiles outline what your ideal candidate needs to DO to be successful in the job by going into very crisp details regarding the objectives and measurable criteria when it comes to excellent performance. This allows hiring managers to be on the same page when it comes to what the person needs to DO to be successful when they recruit, interview and hire. Talent Profiles can also be used for onboarding and performance reviews!
Tip #4 Foster a supporting environment.
Facilitate an environment where your team wants to help each other. These tips can be helpful, but it is always best to have a team that wants to help each other without being forced to do so.
Here at Wejungo, we meet in person for lunch, outside, with yummy food every other week! We also have quarterly team building events; beer tasting, chocolate making, virtual escape room, and more! These Wejungo team gatherings help build a sense of community that flows into our collaborative culture.
What are some ways your team has been staying connected?