One of the biggest challenges innovative business leaders face today is the ability to champion a healthy and sustainable remote/hybrid work culture. Specifically, how do businesses that have gone fully remote or hybrid maintain their employees’ connection to the company’s purpose, a sense of community, and provide support for the team’s productivity? While it does entail a lot of work, the benefits of creating a healthy team culture in hybrid/remote teams are well worth it and entirely possible with just a bit of creativity and determination. Read on to find out how we do it here at Brighttail!
Nail the Onboarding for New Employees
New employees are often daunted by the amount of learning they must do to get up to speed, even more so in a hybrid/remote work environment, without their colleagues around to guide them closely. Since the onboarding process is usually how employees form their first impression of the company, getting it right is how companies can convey the presence of a healthy company culture to new employees.
One way companies can do this is by spreading it out over time. This will give employees ample time to process all the new information without being overwhelmed. The onboarding process should also involve understanding employees’ goals and values, which signals to employees a people-first culture where employers see them as human beings and not just commodities to maximize profits. At Brighttail, our onboarding is a weeklong process that includes going over the employee’s personal development plan and their short-term (30-60 days) and long-term (6 months to 1 year) goals.
Keep an Open Channel Between Employers and Employees
Open communication is another key to creating and maintaining a strong team culture. This includes creating an environment where people can express their opinions and ideas without fear of judgment and retaliation. Employers should encourage their remote/hybrid teams to share their thoughts honestly and then take the time to respond to their suggestions. They can do this by having a “reach out to me at any time” policy on Slack or Teams.
Since some employees might be understandably reticent about reaching out to employers (especially in Asian cultures), employers can easily take the first step. At Brighttail, our founder and managing director often schedules informal one-on-one meetings with each employee over lunch to connect with us, gather our feedback, and find ways to better help us do our job.
Establish Trust and Accountability
Trust is the foundation of a strong team culture, and it is significantly more likely if employees know their employers value, respect, and appreciate their contributions. You can do this in many ways, such as letting employees take ownership of their work, avoiding micromanagement, or even publicly showing appreciation for them over your company’s Slack channel!
Accountability is also crucial. One way to do this is by establishing clear communication protocols for regular check-ins. Regular check-ins make employees feel heard and valued, which will help strengthen the team’s overall culture. It’s also a great way to promote collaboration, creativity, and problem-solving. At Brighttail, we have bi-weekly check-ins and bi-annual performance reviews, which ensure that both employers and employees remain aligned on what is expected from both parties.
Culture Isn’t Just a Buzzword
Recognizing the fact that employees are humans that ultimately want to feel valued and connected to their team, trust, accountability, and open communication has become the pillars of Brighttail’s team culture. A sound onboarding process, an open channel of communication at all times, and regular check-ins are some of the ways Brighttail puts these values in practice. This creates a healthy work environment that allows collaboration and innovation to thrive—something that we can all attest to at Brighttail. We further discuss the effectiveness of these practices in the podcast episode below featuring our Brighttail team, so click on the player below if you want the inside scoop on building a strong team culture in hybrid/remote teams!