As their offices grow, and more and more people begin working remotely, many companies that started out as small, intimate groups may find themselves operating as a large, geographically dispersed team. While it may be easier to maintain your company’s vibe when numbers are small and team members are all in the same coworking space, your culture shouldn’t be restricted by office walls. It’s crucial to maintain a positive dynamic that encourages open communication, no matter where your workers are located.
As your business expands, you may be struggling to scale your culture and make your remote team members feel included. Below, experts from Forbes Coaches Council offer strategies to create a sense of community and grow your culture with your business.
1. Focus On Your People’s Needs
Company culture is a reflection of the values exhibited by the leadership team. Some of the foundational principles that guide the culture remain the same whether you have 10 employees or 10,000. It’s important to listen to your people and to take care of their needs. If you’re operating virtually, the vehicles to nurture those relationships will shift, but the core concepts remain the same. – Carolina Caro
2. Reflect, Refine And Release
Reflect on what your company culture is, because it will evolve over time. Then refine what you truly want and what you don’t want as part of the ideal culture you aspire for. Break it down into values and expected behaviors. Finally, release it with well-crafted related policies and standards, along with a powerful communication strategy, and plan to educate, inspire and remind employees. – Amy Nguyen, Happiness Infinity LLC
3. Create Team Charters
A company culture is created by everyone aligning around shared values. How each person expresses these values might be different, especially if your remote team is international. Ask each core team to collaboratively create their own Team Charter outlining their vision, rituals and common practices for living and breathing these shared values. This also will help new employees to quickly align. – Gabriella Goddard, Brainsparker Leadership Academy
4. Regularly Reinforce Values
More than just a list of words posted in a lunchroom, values should be an integral part of the company culture built into hiring and onboarding practices. Scaling this requires constant reinforcement. Every interaction, communication and hallway conversation is an opportunity to reinforce and strengthen the culture. Employees who feel connected to the culture become ambassadors for the company. – Tracey Grove, Pure Symmetry Coaching and Consulting
5. Reward Employees Who Cultivate Your Culture
If culture is important, reward the people who take care of it — The people who will organize the birthday cards. The ones who will volunteer their spare time to help others. The ones who will take initiative to make the workplace better. Your employees will have more and better ideas about how to improve the culture than you will ever do. Empower them and reward them for going after them. – Caterina Kostoula, The Leaderpath
6. Ensure Your Culture Is Strong, But Flexible
As you scale operations, the DNA of a strong culture will be embedded through the company’s values as you hire, evaluate performance, promote employees and continue to grow. Enable remote offices and employees to flex within the culture to add more localized customs or traditions. This helps empower them and develops their leadership. If your values are solid, they will help sustain your culture. – Julianne Cenac Ph.D., The Leader Channel
Continue Reading on Forbes