Improving Your Organization's Culture with Technology

I like Mondays.  They represent a fresh new week full of opportunities.

This week, we’re focused on maintaining a positive culture while working remotely. Culture is critical, and it is easier to break than to build. In this time of remote work, lack of direct personal contact can leave team members feeling isolated – particularly extroverts.  The responsibility lies with leadership to keep the team culture productive and happy.

During these trying times, while we all are required to work remotely, there are opportunities to focus on improving culture. As leaders, we should consider that workers are more ready to perform their jobs remotely than we may realize. They may be more adaptable and more productive than we give them credit for.  As managers, we need to think about how to manage our remote team.  There are new skills to learn and old ones to remember.

Technologies (like Microsoft Teams) can be extraordinarily helpful; however, the culture must be in place for it to work. Many of the same standards we use for in-person interactions are just as important for virtual meetings.

  • Be respectful. If you’re on a virtual meeting, don’t just wander away. Excuse yourself and return as quickly as you can.
  • Stay present. Focus on the task at hand. Give meeting attendees your full attention. Don’t read emails or perform other tasks.
  • Focus on camera placement and the background. We may be in our homes, but we’re also in our offices.
  • Dress the part. You’re at work. Look your best and make sure you are always prepared.
  • Keep everyone engaged.  Don’t let individuals dominate the meeting.  Make sure all voices are heard.

Onboarding new people needs to focus on team building and conveying the organization’s culture. Take particular care with new staff. You need to create opportunities for them to feel welcomed and part of the team. Relationships are easiest to create in-person, but they can be cultivated at a distance. You can have close relationships with staff, clients, vendors, and others over the phone or over email. Virtual happy hours and hangouts, frequent phone calls, encouraging emails, and utilizing friendly, engaging instant messaging can make a new person feel accepted and part of the company. Nurture your relationships with your team.

Organizations that do this well will have an enormous competitive advantage. Technology can be disruptive, but when used intelligently, it can also be a venue for greater collaboration and success. Smart firms will focus on operational and strategic methods to utilize technology to get things done while improving their workers’ lives and making remote work a teaming opportunity.

We understand how to do this. Brightworkers have been working remotely for years.

We understand how to do this. Brightworkers have been working remotely for years. We are change management experts who help our clients navigate new situations and new methodologies on almost every project. Now, with the ‘new normal’ of so many employees working remotely, we are advising our clients on how best to manage this new way of working. One of the main ways of succeeding is to maintain a strong, positive culture for existing and new employees.

It’s Monday. The week has just started. There is so much opportunity. Start it off right. Reach out to your staff. Welcome them to a whole new week. Plan a virtual happy hour. Host a hangout during lunch. Give them venues to collaborate and feel encouraged. Make it your mission to convert virtual relationships into real connections. You can maintain and create a positive culture even remotely. Make it a priority and you’ll see positive changes. We’re in this together… so make work a team sport.

by Bruce Elkington, Senior Consultant

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