The business landscape may have already been leaning towards remote work, but when Covid-19 struck, this shift was accelerated. Since remote and hybrid teams are still somewhat new and challenging for CEOs, this article explores the art of building culture in remote teams.
Setting the Cultural Compass
While the CEO may not necessarily be talking to every staff member every day, the fact is that culture starts at the top. The CEO typically leads the charge in designing the company’s core values and vision, including the principles that guide the entire organisation.
The CEO’s role is not just to design these principles but to model them. Even in remote teams, the CEO is a respected figure, and much of the company’s culture stems from them.
Effective Communication Strategies
Communication is key in any business and becomes even more important for CEOs working with remote teams. Ensure you invest in the right technology that allows people to stay in touch. Email, phone, messaging channels and video calls are all good ways to stay connected to your staff and communicate clearly.
Inspiring Remote Team Engagement
Invisible CEOs are never a big hit with staff members, so CEOS need to remain in contact. It’s more challenging in remote teams but not impossible. Even from a distance, a CEO can recognise achievements, celebrate milestones and keep team members engaged. Nobody expects the CEO to be involved in all aspects of daily work, but checking in and being visible plays a key role in keeping staff engaged.
Leading by Example
As we touched on, CEOs don’t just create the culture. They need to live it. Some experts believe that the state of a leader is 5 times more contagious than other workers. So, an enthusiastic, level-headed and professional CEO is likely to rub off on staff members in a positive way. It’s difficult to ask staff to adhere to certain behaviours if the CEO doesn’t.
Accountability and Results
CEOs still need to drive performance, even when other team members work remotely. With all the technology available today, such as custom CRMs with chat channels, video meeting tools and traditional email and phones, CEOs can communicate clearly with team members about performance and expectations.
Investing in Talent Development
It’s hard to expect remote workers to excel in their jobs if they don’t have the proper training and development opportunities. Even if it’s impossible to get everybody in the same room, there are several options for virtual classrooms and seminars. When staff members receive the right training and professional development opportunities, they are more capable, engaged, and loyal. As CEO, you can drive this culture of continuous improvement and development.
Embracing Inclusivity and Diversity
Finally, CEOs simply must embrace diversity and inclusivity when working with remote teams. Even from afar, everybody should feel included and, most of all, feel comfortable being themselves. The CEO can drive this culture by treating all staff members the same while celebrating and harnessing their differences. Diverse workplaces are usually a hotbed for different ideas and viewpoints, which can give the company a competitive edge when managed appropriately.