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What it means to foster team culture

For years, across different industries, there has been a common idea that you can build a team culture by making your workplace ‘fun’. Often, this turned into an opportunity to stand out from the competition and attract talent with impressive perks like free coffee and meals, ping pong tables, open floor offices, on-site gyms, and frequent social activities.

While these flashy and unique aspects of office life may have once worked to entice recruits — remote and hybrid work models have proven that those ‘special perks’ may no longer appeal to all, with employees now seeking more meaningful benefits.

As people, we crave connection, transparency, and purpose — the same goes for team culture. Every company will be different, but the objects and activities you provide to your employees will not determine your culture. Instead, it’s about fostering positive relationships with your leaders and peers, overall employee experience, and shared priorities and values.

Whether you’re a small, medium, or a large company operating out of an office, your home, or completely remote, we share a few ways to cultivate team culture successfully.

Cultivating team culture… while growing

Understand, share, and practice a set of team values
At .efficiently, our core values are respect, service, integrity, knowledge, and kindness. They represent our team, what we feel is important as a company, and how we treat one another.

Your company will have different values from the next, but identifying those values will help employees share your vision and connect over why you do what you do.

The alignment of a company and an individual’s beliefs and behavior are vital to establishing a strong team culture that allows people to grow together.

Enable your team to do what they do best
With the right information, access to resources, and appropriate autonomy, doing your job well will be much more manageable.

Giving team members context about the company and its growth plans, as well as the confidence and autonomy they need can help employees gain a broader picture of the business, and understand how they can use their skills to succeed as a team.

Enabling team members may not seem like a way to foster culture, but ensuring your staff feels supported and able is a sure way to boost individual and team morale — an essential ingredient for a robust culture.

Remember to assess, adapt and change when necessary
Sometimes growth can take a while, and sometimes it happens very quickly. With growth comes greater leadership, more defined processes, new systems, but this can also cause friction for team members who perhaps struggle with change or are still trying to do a new job in the same old way.

So always remember to check in with your team to understand what is working and what no longer fits the way you do business. What worked five years ago may not work today — and that’s not a bad thing.

Changing the way you operate is not about dismissing previous methods as ineffective — they once worked and helped you get to where you are today. It’s about finding new efficiencies so you can do what you do well, even better. Help your team transition appropriately and celebrate the change.

Together, you’re onto bigger and better things.

Leveraging your people for team success

Often the challenge for leaders can lie in bringing people together, making a team of diverse individuals willing to collaborate, connect, empathize, and grow. Doing so can be difficult and feel almost impossible as a remote company, but there lies your first hurdle — you need to rethink what it means to foster team culture.

Culture does not form from sitting at a desk 2m away from another, nor will it develop from a smorgasbord of fun perks. Instead, culture stems from your team’s individual attitudes — how they feel when doing their job, the trust and support they receive from you, and the organic connections they create with their teammates through shared values.

By leveraging your people and harnessing the power of the tips shared in this article, you can foster a kind of team culture built for success.

The scale of a global workforce

There are infinite benefits to operating a team from around the globe, but what exactly makes it the attractive alternative to standardized ways of working? Keep reading to find out…

1. Give preference to skills over the geographic location.

In recent years, local skill shortages have become more of an issue, and it is believed they may continue to last for some years. By stepping outside of your geographical parameters, you can access the best of the best with the skills you want and need for your business. Also, by enabling your business to hire excellent people that will make the company succeed, you can focus on creating the competitive edge you need over other market players. It’s a win, win.

2. Build creative diversity.

We all come from different walks of life, and often that means we have our own unique experiences and learnings that shape the way we do things. Diverse teams connected worldwide have the power to generate new ideas and move in directions that may not have been previously considered on their own. Not to mention, creative diversity and different cultures can foster a rich workplace destined to do great work.

3. Flexible Scaling at a reduced cost.

Tapping into the global workforce allows you to scale at the pace your business needs without the large expenditure. In addition, having flexibility means you can staff up or down based on your existing team’s projects, demands, and workloads.

4. Leverage your MVP’s

Too often your best people are working on the busy work. You know, the hard to recruit for, hard to retain type of roles that do not leverage the unique expertise of your team. It’s the type of work that is draining but necessary. This work is critical but can be done in a cost effective way. It’s the type of work that can make or break business in all industries.

Tips and Tricks to onboarding new remote team members

The success of a new team member can often come down to the onboarding process. Regardless of physical location, integrating new team members is vital to ensuring success... You want any new team member to be quickly embedded into your culture and operating processes. The following tips and tricks from our most successful client partnerships so that your team achieves the maximum return on investment and feels prepared for how they should welcome their new team member into your work environment.

Provide the candidate background information on your company, business objectives, client portfolio, and upcoming projects.
Your resource can better contextualize their work within the bigger picture and product deliverables that fulfill a genuine business need with this information. In addition, providing completed project files or client portfolios allows our resources to feel entrenched in your business and a cohesive part of your team.
Define key milestones, deliverables, and deadlines.
Next, you’ll want to discuss your objectives in selecting them for your team and the deliverables they will contribute. During this conversation, you’ll like to reiterate the meaning of the work, your expectations regarding speed of execution, amount of time spent on respective tasks, visual standards or stylistic expectations, and associated timelines.
Establish communication rules.
You and your team should determine how often you communicate and the method for doing so. Our recommendation is to establish communication channels that allow constant interaction, such as MS Teams, Slack, Google Chat, and frequently communicate with your candidate. We expect the same from our candidates in their proactive communication with you and your team.

Provide detailed feedback after the first milestone.
Once your resource is producing work for your team, it is most helpful to give them detailed feedback to understand your needs better and create on-point, high-value work. For example, did they deliver exactly what you wanted? If not, what was missing? What could they do differently the next time? What were you most pleased with that you would like them to replicate in future tasks? By giving them this feedback, you will make sure they improve with every milestone.

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