Building a great culture with your remote team – Even 8000kms away!

Angela McDonald • 21/08/2019

Team fit. Team culture. Both terms that most business leaders feel relatively familiar with. But what about if your team is working remotely? Is team fit and team culture the same? Are they still needed if you don’t work face to face with your team?

When you work with a remote team it is fundamental to have them engaged from a culture perspective. To feel like they are part of the bigger picture even though their operations are located elsewhere. If you can embrace your offshore team and nurture them from a cultural perspective then there is massive gain to be had.

Culture creates loyalty, a sense of belonging, and can align staff values with that of your business. Ticking these boxes will give you a much higher chance of retaining quality staff!

I recently met with one of our client’s teams that oozed the characteristics of a team that has been embraced by the business even though they are in different countries. I could feel the enthusiasm of the team leader (Manila based), her passion for the business growth, her knowledge about up and coming product releases, operational knowledge, and also a very good feel for the people she worked with and for that were based in New Zealand.

This cemented to me why there was such significant growth for this client in such a short space of time and how they went from a remote staffing team of 2 to 10 in only a couple of years. They also attracted highly experienced staff in their industry by having current team members encouraging new recruits.

Here’s some tips to help embrace your remote team into your local culture:

Get a good chat software!

With so many options for instant messaging on the market, it should be easy are cost effective to find what you need. The key being you are able to send quick and instant messages that are more social and less formal.

Online staff room chat!

There is quite often a fair bit of personal connection built while making our morning coffee or having lunch in the staff room. With distance, this opportunity doesn’t become an option. So find a way to check in with your team for a quick ‘hello’ or ‘how was your weekend’? You will be surprised at how much a quick check in can build rapport and make your team feel important.

Inclusion on day to day things!

If you were to send an email out to the business, then include the whole business (where appropriate). For example, if you were congratulating a local team member on an achievement then include the whole business rather than just the local team. Likewise, with the reverse, ensure that your remote team are congratulated and celebrated for their successes also.

Keep track of occasions like birthdays and celebrate them like you would your local team birthdays.

Use your remote staffing partner, if you have one, to help you out!

A good remote staffing partner will encourage and facilitate your team culture and team building needs. They should also be willing to work with you to understand the cultural diversity so that you can choose the right options. Even if you just want to put on Friday drinks for your team, ensure that you choose a remote staffing partner that will be happy to facilitate this for you.

Choose a remote staffing partner that also works at building a culture in their offices!

As well as being part of your business culture, it is important that your team are working in a location that also embraces a good team environment. This is really important for a sense of belonging and comradery, especially if you are at the early stages of growing your outsourced team and there are only 1 or 2 staff.

At Deployed we understand the importance of ensuring that not only do we guide our clients to build a great team culture with their remote team, but we also actively work on a great environment within our offices. Our Manila based Deployed staff strive to create an environment of inclusiveness, togetherness, and collaboration so that your team are happy, productive, and working in the direction of your business goals and values.

Check out the video of our last team building event!

If you would like to chat about how to make the most of your remote team culture, then reach out to alana@deployed.co.nz.

industry news, outsourcing, outsourcing benefits, team building, team culture