Creating a positive company culture not only makes your company one that will attract and retain the best talent, it can ultimately affect your bottom line.
Employees that feel supported will in turn be more loyal and enthusiastic about the work they do, meaning you won't have to worry about them doing their best work. Easier said than done, right? Well here are some of the things we've learned along the way about building a supportive team environment at Upstack.
Define Your Values
Clearly defining the values and objectives will directly impact the culture because your values or your "why" shape your vision, motivate team members and define your brand. When your team is aligned with your "why", magic happens. We recently did a company wide exercise to help us define our values and the one that came out on top was impact, read more about that here.
Hire the Right Fit
The idiom “your vibe attracts your tribe” could not be more fitting in this case. It is crucial to recruit individuals that share the company values, so they can seamlessly integrate into your existing and continue nurturing the culture you've worked so hard to build.
Communication is key when it comes to well-functioning remote teams, and even though communication is often taken for granted in traditional work environments interactions because of the near-ness of colleagues, any company can benefit from improving communication practices. At Upstack, that means over-communicating, even if that communication is asynchronous, and communicating daily or even several times a day.
Trust must be a predominant principle on which remote teams are founded based on by the very nature of the arrangement. Every team member is expected to produce without oversight. And let's be honest, your time could be productive otherwise if you let what others do what they are best at. Micromanagement undermines that trust element. And that trust is absolutely a two way street, not only do you have to trust your employees, they have to trust you. Being able to demonstrate trustworthiness is a key trait of any successful leader.
Arrange Meet Ups On and Offline
Just like a traditional team, remote teams follow the same recognizable stages of team growth according to Tuckman's five stages of group development: forming, storming, norming and performing. Meetups on and offline helps remote to build trust and relationships, creating a positive environment for individuals to quickly transition to the final two stages where the best results are found. And for those team members that are too far flung for in person meetups, we've created some pretty fun "virtual water coolers".
Let Technology Bring You Together
Technology and remote work go hand in hand, and it's important to take advantage of all the resources that are readily available. Video conferencing, emails and project management tools like Slack, Asana, Github are just a few should be tools that help to create a supportive network where information can flow easily and frequently for remote teams. Check out some of the tools we swear by here at Upstack.
Create a Friendly Atmosphere
As the saying goes, honey attracts more bees than vinegar. Obviously in a fast paced industry like tech where stakes get really high (ahem like hundreds of million of dollars high), it's only natural that tensions can run high. Creating a company culture that is supportive will see your team through rough stretches, and if handled correctly, those same rough stretches can create a tighter bond among colleagues.
Embrace Ideas and Failures
Keeping the floor open to any form of ideas and feedback are a huge component of making employees feel valued and supported. You also have to remember that the best leaders know that they can learn from their team as well, so you are not remaining open just to lend a ear - your employees have varied skills and backgrounds that can add tremendous value! Also pay attention to how you handle failures. No matter how skilled employees are, failure to some degree is inevitable. Creating an environment in which employees fear the repercussion of failure can stunt creativity.
Just like you should consider how you treat failure, you should give how you recognize success just as much, if not more consideration. Celebrating team members' accomplishments, contributions, and success create a fertile environment for more of the same.
A supportive company culture can be the rocket fuel that propels an organizations workforce to do great things, hope we sparked an idea or two!