Building loyalty without a water cooler
A decade ago “The Office” was only an oddly relevant and hilarious caricature of day-to-day corporate life. Today it’s also a time capsule of a bygone era when a full team worked in the same office all week long and bonded over water cooler chat (about beets?).
Remote workers and the collaborative energy stoked by cloud services have changed corporate culture dramatically. And though you’ll see headlines about the challenges of remote work, it’s a phenomenon that’s not going to stop.
But all is not lost — if we embrace the necessary cultural changes with the same readiness with which we welcome the convenience of remote workers.
The strength of remote work lies in collaboration
Remote workers are hugely beneficial to organizations. They result in money saved, job satisfaction, increased productivity, flexibility, and scalability. And all of this is due to cloud services that connect in-office and remote workers in a way the world has never seen before.
So it makes sense that one of the best ways to connect a team of people who may never meet in person is through the very applications that allow their real-time collaboration across space.
Microsoft Teams™ and Slack™ are great tools that double as an organizational collaboration hubs and a virtual water coolers around which you can build a strong corporate culture. Here are some tips for making the most of remote communication for your team on a collaborative platform:
- Express yourself — Don’t feel shy about introducing emojis when they help change the tone of a written message to match your intent (and encourage your team to do the same). Tone is one of the most noticeable victims of the move toward remote work, and there are times when a “thumbs up” or a relevant gif just might make the difference between an employee feeling valued and a vacant position.
- Take time to point out excellence — Give tagged shoutouts to team members who go the extra mile to encourage more great performance.
- Stop by each “office” periodically — An annual (or more often for the millennial workforce) evaluation for your remote employees, and a regular opportunity for them to provide feedback, goes a long way. Sending a private message to check in on a worker’s stress level or needs is another great tool to foster loyalty and connection.
Leverage remote work like a boss
Corporate culture is always changing along with the methods we use to do it, but the value and necessity of human connection won’t change. Make sure your remote team hears from you often and feels comfortable building a new kind of culture using the tools that make their job possible.