The hard work and dedication you have invested in your fledgling business have been rewarded, and it is a tremendous achievement which you should be proud of. However, as with any parent, you may have worries about the future of your business. It can be difficult to feel supported by others and to think that everyone is just there for their wage, rather than to genuinely care about your success.
However, what if we told you that there is a method to make sure that everyone else can care as much as you do?
It is not a case of complex psychological manipulation or mass hypnosis, but rather a simple yet effective approach to maintain the engagement and sense of belonging of remote workers: investing in social architecture, or the development of a strong and engaging corporate culture.
Friendships and strong social relationships are often welcomed with great enthusiasm. Even the most motivated individuals are more likely to go above and beyond when they feel part of a team, as opposed to working solely for a manager who they only interact with through emails. The sense of connection and community that comes from being part of a team encourages hard work and dedication, resulting in better results.
Employees who feel a sense of connection and inclusion in their workplace are more likely to be productive and innovative, offering creative solutions to problems and working diligently to help the company achieve its objectives.
Having doubts? Several studies have shown that disinterested workers end up costing businesses money.
Evidence from studies is without reproach: Employees who are not giving their all to the task at hand can have a detrimental effect on both productivity and profitability. According to Gallup’s 2023 survey, organisations with a high employee engagement rate (10 engaged staff members to 1 disengaged) reported a 150% rise in profits over the past two years.
One of the most complex aspects of managing a remote workforce is establishing a tight-knit culture. Electronic communication tools like emails and instant messaging can make it difficult to cultivate a sense of team unity and solidarity. There are few opportunities for employees to interact with one another, have informal chats, collaborate on joint tasks, or just hang out.
Despite the perceived difficulty associated with remote working, this is actually due to misconceptions rather than any actual barriers. This is encouraging for us, as there is ample evidence to suggest that technology can enable individuals to remain connected over long distances, with examples ranging from social media networks to online gaming platforms.
Now, what action should you take? Ultimately, it is essential that you put in your utmost effort. Working from home offers more than just a practical advantage; it is a lifestyle choice for those who choose to embrace it. It is reasonable to expect the same standards from remote employees as from those who work on-site, but it is also essential to acknowledge the unique challenges associated with working remotely.
If you are considering substituting physical contact for digital communication within your friendships, there are a number of strategies you could use to try and achieve this. These could include utilising video-calling services such as Skype or FaceTime, messaging applications like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger, or even good old-fashioned emails. Whichever you decide to use, remember that digital communication has the potential to provide the same advantages as in-person interaction, such as staying connected with far-away friends and family, or sharing detailed information in a quick and efficient manner.
Make a YouTube Playlist for the Team.
Since the dawn of civilisation, music has been employed as a tool to bring together people from different cultures, by appealing to the shared experiences and emotions of humanity. Why not encourage team members to submit their top three favourite songs for the rest of the team to listen to? This could be a great way to foster a spirit of unity and understanding within the group.
You could consider constructing two separate playlists to suit different moods; one to energise and motivate staff in the morning, and another to help them to relax in the evening before going home for the night. This could be particularly beneficial in providing a balance of uplifting and calming music in order to help employees to stay productive during the working day.
Put Together a Specific Place and Time for a Chat Group or Informal Conversation
It might appear counter-intuitive initially, however most teams can gain from having an area where they can talk about matters that are not directly associated with their role. To achieve this, we have found that Slack‘s capability to allow users to personalise their chat sessions with a broad range of add-ons is extremely valuable; our preferred option of these is the gif library.
Keep an Open Door Policy at All Times
Meetings are beneficial. Since a matter of fact, they are essential to efficiency as they promote the free exchange of ideas when used properly.
Having an open door policy is indicative of the fact that you value your staff’s input, and that you are willing to truly listen to what they have to say; it demonstrates that you are more than just a manager, but rather an integral part of their success.
When employees feel they have an appropriate level of familiarity with their employer and are able to communicate in a manner that is both professional and relaxed, it sets the tone for how they will engage with colleagues and the organisation as a whole.
The best way to inspire your team to follow your lead and be honest and transparent is to do it yourself.
Put Together a Team Workout Crew
It is understandable why the most successful organisations offer gym memberships to their employees. High-achievers need to maintain their competitive advantage in the workplace, so looking after their physical wellbeing is an absolute necessity.
Exercising with a partner or a group can be a great source of motivation, especially when both individuals adhere to the same exercise programme (such as jogging or weight training). Working from home usually involves less physical activity, so this is especially vital for those working remotely.
Encouraging your staff to become more active and exercise regularly is a great way to promote a healthy lifestyle and boost morale. Why not try using a group workout software such as MakeMe to create an exercise group where everyone can keep track of and share their progress? This could be a great way for staff to bond and connect over a shared experience.
Make a group reading list.
It is often said that ‘poor people have a large television while the wealthy own numerous books’. Jim Rohn was known to have mentioned this phrase. As individuals, we become like that which we consume, so by encouraging your staff to invest in reading, not only will it benefit their intellectual and cultural growth, but it will also help them to form stronger relationships with one another. Just as we created lasting bonds with our family when we were young, our colleagues and teachers can also become close if we allow ourselves to learn and grow together.
Creating a private group on the free website Goodreads is an easy process. Invite your colleagues and employees to the group and they can begin adding books to a collective library, as well as their own personal comments and recommendations. We urge you to create the list on Goodreads without delay.
It is clear that this is merely the start of the journey towards establishing a powerful and impactful corporate culture. There is a vast array of ways to achieve this, so much so that we could dedicate an entire volume to the topic and the various strategies that can be implemented.