If you manage a remote team, you know how important it is to create a strong culture. Without face-to-face interaction, it can be easy for team members to feel isolated and disconnected. But with a little effort, you can build a remote team that is just as cohesive and engaged as any other. Here are some tips for creating a strong remote team culture.
Share Your Core Values with Your Remote Team
Core values are an essential part of any team, but this is especially true for a remote team. Having clear and consistent core values allows everyone to work together even when they’re in different places. Creating core helps to ensure that all of your remote workers remain working towards the same goals and that their individual efforts contribute to the larger team's mission.
Sharing these values also provides a point of connection among all members of the team, ensuring that everyone feels like part of something bigger and more meaningful. Making sure that everyone on your remote team is aware of the mission and what it will take to reach it will keep them motivated and allow you to truly optimize each member's potential.
Here are a few examples of company core values:
Build the best product
Our criteria for the best product rests on function, repairability, and, foremost, durability. Among the most direct ways we can limit ecological impacts is with goods that last for generations or can be recycled so the materials in them remain in use. Making the best product matters for saving the planet.
Cause no unnecessary harm
We know that our business activity—from lighting stores to dyeing shirts—is part of the problem. We work steadily to change our business practices and share what we’ve learned. But we recognize that this is not enough. We seek not only to do less harm, but more good.
Use business to protect nature
The challenges we face as a society require leadership. Once we identify a problem, we act. We embrace risk and act to protect and restore the stability, integrity and beauty of the web of life.
Not bound by convention
Our success—and much of the fun—lies in developing new ways to do things.
It is important to note that core values can vary widely among different organizations and industries. Some companies' core values may be geared toward customer service, while others may focus on innovation or sustainability. Ultimately, a company's core values should align with its mission and overall business strategy.
Make complex things simple
Always aiming for the most simple, pragmatic and effective solution to any problem. Think of the user.
Set crazy big goals and make them happen
Set ambitious goals, prioritize, hustle to execute and celebrate success!
Be a force for good
Making the world a better place through positive actions, inclusion and diversity.
Empowering others to achieve their goals, both globally and within Canva.
Deliver the best customer experience, period.
Grow 1% every day.
Work hard and be an owner.
Normal f*cking sucks.
Pay it forward with random acts of kindness.
Have fun, find joy, be you.
Be transparent and direct, with optimism.
1. Deliver WOW Through Service
2. Embrace and Drive Change
2. Create Fun and A Little Weirdness
3. Be Adventurous, Creative, and Open-Minded
4. Pursue Growth and Learning
5. Build Open and Honest Relationships With Communication.
6. Build a Positive Team and Family Spirit
7. Do More With Less
8. Be Passionate and Determined
9. Be Humble
What are our Core Values?
We are happy, curious, and data-driven advisors who make a positive impact on the world around us, each and every day.
What does this mean?
We are passionate about accounting, but recognize that work is just a part of a fulfilled and complete life. Our own physical health, mental health, personal relationships, and happiness are important and are not worth sacrificing to make a buck. We take time to pursue our passions and practice self-care which includes only working with forward-thinking and collaborative entrepreneurs who value what we do and lift us up.
We’re never satisfied with the status quo, are relentlessly curious, and ask open-ended and thoughtful questions in order to get to the root of the problem. When crafting solutions, we create elegant, well-documented processes coupled with best-in-class technology, which are built for scale. We aren't afraid to change course and try something new, even if that means we get served a big slice of humble pie– we are human after all, and mistakes are part of the learning process.
Having access to proactive, meaningful, and actionable advice can make or break a small business. Our GAAP-compliant, accrual basis financial statements coupled with real-time financial dashboards and industry-standard KPIs help our clients quickly uncover what dials they need to turn to drive the success of their business. Our goal is to produce outcomes, not outputs, and not just tell stories about the past, but help our clients create a better future.
Make a Positive Impact
At first glance, accounting isn't sexy, but a small business paired with the right accounting team can move mountains. We are invested in the success of our clients and not only want to make an impact on our client's bottom line but also on the community that surrounds them. When we help a small business achieve success, the positive impact ripples far and wide, which has the power to change the world for the better.
Create a Vision You share with your team
Creating a shared vision for the team is critical to achieving success in any organization. Every team member needs to understand and believe in the long-term goals of the company and have ownership in striving toward them. It’s important to carefully craft this vision, taking into consideration every stakeholder’s wishes, input, and feedback. It should be able to rally enthusiasm from everyone involved so that each person has their own stake in realizing the collective goal.
This can be done through clearly defined objectives and engaging dialogue about everyone’s conceptions of what success should look like. Working together on creating a shared vision creates space for people to get excited about achieving something together, making it easier for teams to push through challenging projects and realize their greatest potential as a collective.
How to create a shared vision
Define the team's overall purpose and goals. Clearly define the team's overall purpose and goals, taking into account the organization's mission and strategy. This isn't an easy process, but there are tons of resources to get your creative juices flowing. You might start with Vivid Vision by Cameron Herald and follow up with a thorough read of Traction by Gino Wickman. Find a resource that resonates with you, and write your vision with intention.
Involve team members in the process. Encourage team members to provide input and ideas for the team's vision. This will help to ensure that everyone feels invested and engaged in the process. You may even end up with a brand new idea you hadn't even considered.
Create a clear and concise vision statement. Develop a clear and concise vision statement that encapsulates the team's purpose and goals. This statement should be easy to understand and memorable and shouldn't contain a ton of industry jargon or complexity. You should also avoid being too broad, for example stating, "We will expand the business into Arizona and California, and grow our revenue two-fold", is more impactful than stating, "We want to be successful in 2023".
Communicate the vision. Share the vision with all team members and ensure that they understand and are able to align their work with it. Keep the vision statement visible and communicate progress on the goals regularly to help keep the team focused and motivated.
Review and update the vision: Review the vision regularly and make updates as needed to ensure that it remains relevant and aligned with the team's and organization's goals. Just like life, business is not static, and your vision should reflect that. While you shouldn't change focus again and again, refining your focus will help you to honor and evolve your vision over time.
Having a shared vision for the remote team will help to build a sense of unity and purpose, improve communication and collaboration, and increase motivation and engagement among team members. Additionally, a shared vision can help to keep team members focused and motivated, even when they are working remotely.
Create A Comprehensive remote work policy
Creating a remote work policy helps to set clear expectations and boundaries for employees, outlining what is expected of them in terms of productivity, communication, and availability. This can help to minimize confusion and ensure that everyone is on the same page.
It can also help to ensure that employees are able to maintain a healthy work-life balance, by outlining guidelines for things like working hours and time off. This can help to reduce burnout and improve employee satisfaction and engagement. It can also help to ensure that employees have the necessary resources and tools to be productive and effective while working remotely. which may include things like access to company software, equipment, and support.
How to create a remote work policy
Define your company's goals and objectives for remote work. Consider factors such as productivity, communication, and employee engagement. Don't leave people in the dark, wondering if they are doing the right thing while working remotely.
Identify the key components of your remote work policy. This may include things like working hours, communication protocols, equipment and software requirements, and guidelines for taking time off. Using a system like Gusto will make approving and tracking time off super easy.
Communicate your remote work policy clearly and effectively to all employees. This should include training and support to ensure that everyone understands the policy and is able to comply with it. We upload our company handbook to Gusto, which new teammates review and sign on their first day, and use Notion to house all of our standard operating procedures and policies so they are easy to find and share.
Review and update your remote work policy regularly to ensure that it remains effective and relevant. This may include taking into account feedback from employees and making adjustments as needed. We use Gusto to capture employee feedback each month and incorporate that into changes to our policies and practices.
Define and provide the resources your team needs. Don't wait for your team to give you an itemized list of what they need before they start work. Develop and budget for hardware, software, and education– not only will your team feel cared for, but they will also have all the tools they need to be successful.
It's important to note that a remote work policy should be flexible and adaptable to the changing needs and circumstances of your organization and employees. It should be a living document that is reviewed and updated regularly, so take time throughout the year to jot down what changes you would like to make and update your policy at least yearly.
Encourage regular communication
Encouraging regular communication and interaction with a remote team can be challenging, but it is essential for maintaining a strong sense of cohesion and collaboration.
How to encourage regular communication and Interaction with your remote team
Establish regular check-ins. Schedule regular check-ins or meetings, such as daily stand-up meetings or weekly team meetings, to keep everyone connected and informed. Our accounting teams meet with each other at least once a week. we have two all-hands meetings each month, and we host quarterly fun meetings to blow off some steam.
Use communication tools. Utilize communication tools such as instant messaging, video conferencing, and project management software to facilitate real-time communication and collaboration. Zoom burnout is real, but being able to quickly work through an issue over a short video call may save hours of frustration over email or chat.
Encourage participation in team-building activities. Organize team-building activities such as virtual happy hours, book clubs, or game nights to create opportunities for team members to interact and bond in a casual setting. In addition to our regular check-ins, our team hosts a weekly craft night where they hang out, have a sip of their favorite beverages, and flex their creativity. It's a nice way to unwind, without work getting in the way of the fun.
Create a culture of transparency. Encourage open and transparent communication, by promoting a culture in which team members feel comfortable sharing their thoughts and ideas, and where everyone is held accountable for their work. Using Gusto feedback has been a total game changer for our team because it provides an anonymous way for our team to tell us how they really feel.
Provide regular feedback. Provide regular feedback on team members' work, to keep them motivated and engaged and to help them understand how their contributions are impacting the team and organization. We work with our team to create yearly goals, which tie back to quarterly objectives, to make their goals attainable. If someone isn't able to meet their goals, we first try to understand what happens before wagging our fingers at them. Treating our team with respect and dignity is incredibly important to us, so we must set them up for success, and respond with empathy if things don't go as planned.
Communication is a two-way street, as a leader, you should be leading by example, be active in the communication channels and make sure to address any issues that arise in a timely manner. Be open to feedback and adjust your communication style as needed to best suit the team's needs. It's ok you don't get it right the first time– learning and growing are all part of developing a successful business and stellar team.
Create an Inclusive (Remote) Environment
Creating an inclusive environment with a remote team can be challenging, but it is essential for fostering a sense of belonging, engagement, and collaboration among team members.
How to create an inclusive remote work environment
Encourage diversity and inclusivity. Encourage team members to bring their unique perspectives, skills, and experiences to the team and actively promote diversity and inclusivity within the team. Sharing is caring, and you might fall in love with a new hobby after a teammate introduces you to it.
Provide training. Provide training on topics such as unconscious bias, cultural competence, and effective communication to help team members understand and appreciate different perspectives. Don't wait for bias to slip in to address it, be proactive and invite your team to join you in learning.
Use inclusive language. Use inclusive language and terminology when communicating with team members, and make sure that everyone feels comfortable participating in team meetings and discussions. Be respectful of your teams' pronouns and don't make assumptions.
Be mindful of time zones and schedules: Be mindful of time zones and schedules, and make sure that team members in different locations have an equal opportunity to participate in team meetings and discussions. Also, it's pretty common for the founder to be a night owl, but expecting a response in the middle of the night is not ok.
Be flexible. Be flexible and open to different working styles, and make sure everyone has the resources they need to do their best work. Do you need everyone to show up right at 8 am or can you allow for a little flexibility in your start time? We let people choose their start time and as long as they generally stick to it, we have no complaints.
Creating an inclusive environment is a continuous process, and it requires ongoing effort, commitment, and willingness to change. Additionally, it's important to be aware of and sensitive to the unique challenges that remote team members may face and make adjustments accordingly.
Wrapping it Up
Leading a remote team can be challenging, but with the right strategies in place, it is possible to create an inclusive, engaged, and productive team. Some of the key strategies for leading a remote team include creating a shared vision, encouraging regular communication and interaction, providing training on inclusivity and effective communication, encouraging open communication, being inclusive, and being understanding and flexible when things don't go as planned.
It's important to create an environment of trust, communication, and mutual respect. By implementing these strategies, small business owners and their managers can help their remote teams to thrive and achieve their goals. Remember that creating an inclusive environment is a continuous process, and it requires ongoing effort, commitment, and willingness to change. Ultimately, it's about creating an environment where every team member feels valued, included, and supported, and where everyone is able to do their best work.
Do you want to work for a remote accounting team that values you?