As more and more companies have virtual workers as a result of the COVID-19 crisis, companies are finding that company culture is suffering. Because workers are remote and isolated, the day-to-day interactions and camaraderie that reinforce culture can easily go by the wayside.
But it doesn’t have to be that way.
LXCouncil members have discussed this and have offered several excellent suggestions to continue to develop and reinforce culture with your work teams.
SETUP ONE-ON-ONE MEETINGS WITH TEAM MEMBERS
With virtual teams, feedback tends to be less consistent, and the connection almost lacking between the individual and the leader. This can lead to job dissatisfaction and higher turn-over because people don’t feel as connected to the mission and culture of the company. Leaders and business owners may be well served to invest one-on-one time (in person) with team members. It offers the opportunity to connect, coach, mentor, and provide feedback. All things that can be lacking with virtual team environments, but tend to be of high value to employees.
ASK A PROBING QUESTION OF TEAM MEMBERS DURING ZOOM MEETINGS
This is a technique that was presented by one of our members at a recent meeting. Attendees of team Zoom meetings can be distracted by home environments. The meetings themselves can feel top-down and not engaging. One way to tackle this and bring warmth and personality into the meeting is to have the leader ask a question of the team and each member takes turns answering it during the meeting. Ask a different question at every meeting — it helps the team get to know one another better, laugh, offer insight and ideas, and connect.
Some ideas to get you started:
A few of the these questions come from a great article on GetLightHouse.com, plus we’ve added in some excellent questions offered by current LXCouncil members!
- What’s your biggest accomplishment this month? (allows team to share and be recognized)
- What do you do to personally recharge? (helps you see what kind of rewards and perks you can give)
- Name one thing we’d be crazy not to do in the next 3 months to improve the business. (the word crazy is key – that means it’s a burning issue to them)
- What’s your favorite part about working remotely? (enables you to see motivations)
- What’s an idea for improvement you have had about the company but haven’t yet shared?
- What’s your biggest challenge working remotely? (helps you see things you can fix)
- How do you manage distractions during the day? Do you have tips for other team members? (other will benefit from shared ideas)
- When you have a new or creative idea that could help the company or the team, what do you do with it? (enables you to coach, and mentor)
PUT REGULAR TEAM OUTINGS ON THE SCHEDULE
It’s still important to get together as a team, so schedule team outings. It can be as simple as a team lunch, an afternoon group kayak or hike, a happy hour, an escape room. You get the idea. Better yet, put the team in charge of planning these – this ensures the activities are things they are interested in. Generally speaking, these should be social in nature, but during business hours so all attend. One LXCouncil member does this with her team twice per month. It’s important for maintaining the connections that drive company culture and nurturing the relationships between the team members and the leader.
If you’ve moved to virtual teams as a result of the COVID-19 crisis, your proactive leadership and ingenuity around culture is needed more than it has ever been. People who work remotely from home can face unique challenges, including isolation, lack of feedback, lack of camaraderie, and lack of positive reinforcement … all of which can quickly demotivate an individual and cause great expense to the business in the form of turn-over and training.
If you’re ready to take your business and leadership skills to the next level, and if you think your business could benefit from more insights like what’s offered in this article, let’s start a conversation. LXCouncil may be the perfect next step!