The following is a post from Jason Richmond, President/CEO and Chief Culture Officer for Ideal Outcomes, Inc., a company that has developed remote learning programs for companies of all sizes. Additionally, Jason is the author of Culture Spark: 5 Steps to Ignite and Sustain Organizational Growth.
It’s easy to give someone a pat on the back when you’re physically face to face in your office or sitting around a conference table. In the new remote work environment, you have to make more of a conscious effort to create that culture. Thankfully, there are approaches you can take that are meaningful and memorable.
Here are six examples:
Take the time to make all members of your team aware of each other’s hard work and accomplishments over a weekly conference call or an email. Mention each person by name and specify exactly what they have done to deserve your praise. Sometimes, team members don’t fully understand what tasks their colleagues have undertaken and you can bring them into focus. Be sure to highlight the results and impact on the organization.
Acknowledgment of one’s efforts from their direct supervisor is important. But what can have even greater impact and be more motivational is when one colleague speaks up to recognize the work of others. Encourage members of your team to share the contributions of their colleagues. It’s not just a feel-good benefit, but also helps forge stronger team bonds.
Every now and then phone your team members just for a personal chat to check how they’re doing. How’s their health? What about their family? How has everyone been coping with the stay at home restrictions? They may well want to discuss something privately but didn’t want to bother you. Making this personal call provides another important opportunity to thank them for their work in difficult times and build rapport.
We all like to be remembered and when everyone is in the office, it’s easy to organize a celebration for a birthday, promotion, or work anniversary. These occasions don’t disappear from the calendar, but you can host an online event to make sure you acknowledge them. You can also surprise your team members with an electronic gift card when appropriate.
When we’re spending so much time online, make sure you use LinkedIn or Slack to announce and celebrate successes. This is the place to especially applaud the way people have adapted to the enforced work from home routine. Comment in particular about challenges that have been faced and overcome and bring attention to any innovative solutions that have been developed.
Don’t wait until major milestones are reached. Celebrate every accomplishment noting in particular when people had to stretch themselves and acquire a new skill to function remotely. Reach out and let them know you’ve noticed, and thank them for it.
It’s human nature to want to be appreciated. At a time when so many of us are distanced from each other, it’s an essential morale-booster.