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How to Create Culture in a Remote Team

By Barbara Beauregard   |    October 24, 2016   |    10:28 AM

Developing a company culture can be difficult for any business; however, it's especially challenging when some employees don't even work in the building. Strong principles and values don't just make a business unique, they inspire its employees to work as a single, cohesive unit. 

To cultivate an effective culture for your remote workers, consider the following team-building strategies.

  • Create a mission statement: Vague guidelines won't inspire workers to come together for a common goal. Create a short but memorable mission statement that clearly defines your company philosophy and ethos.

  • Explain company goals: By sharing short- and long-term goals with your remote staffers, you will provide greater insights that give clear direction, while empowering them to make proactive, educated decisions.

  • Team building getaways: All over the country, there are countless hotels and organizations that specialize in team building activities. Plan a staff outing that gets people together in a place where they can let their guard down and be themselves.

  • Recognition and rewards: It's much easier to pat people on the back when their offices are right down the hall. Make sure to recognize remote workers for strong performances, especially when they go above and beyond their job descriptions.

The Pitfalls of Hasty Hiring

In many cases, poor company culture can be traced back to poor hiring practices. This is especially problematic for companies that have embraced remote workplaces. Since remote work is very flexible, it's important to zero in on critical personality traits and values. Take time to vet each candidate. Make sure he or she has a track record of effectively managing priorities, meeting deadlines and communicating well. Check to see if the candidate has experience working autonomously for lengthy periods of time with little to no management. It can take time to master these skills, so it may help to interview seasoned workers who are not straight out of college.

Whatever you do, take your time and thoroughly research a candidate before making a hire. When they are desperate to fill gaps left by turnover and unexpected growth, managers often make hasty hires that disrupt a company's culture. As the old saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Be sure to put maximum effort into your hiring practices to avoid serious trouble down the road.