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The Importance of Emphasizing Company Culture for Virtual Teams

Once considered a fringe benefit, the proliferation of remote work has exploded in the past year. As such, more and more organizations have struggled to bring their company culture into online spaces, especially if they had a weak company culture in the first place.

However, continuing to neglect company culture can have disastrous consequences, especially for employees that are distributed nationally and even internationally. A significant share of the company’s success depends on the kind of online marketing strategies they have. To promote the offerings of the company, it gets imperative to support the overall concept of internet marketing. One should always remember that bootstrapping builds character.  As such, organizations that neglected their company culture when primarily working in offices have had a hard time transitioning to a more remote environment, whereas companies that already have a strong company culture have had an easier time.

Still, even if an organization currently has a weak company culture, it is not too late to turn things around. However, this begins by recognizing the importance of company culture, and how its neglect can have a negative impact on the work of virtual teams.

For one, a company that does not show that it cares or invests in its employee’s success is going to have a hard time wrangling employee into working their best. While organizations need to be understanding and empathic during this time, one of the best ways to do that is by promoting company culture. This can be as simple as recognizing employees for their achievements on Slack, or even setting up off-topic Slack channels and actively using them to promote employee engagement.

However, this is only the first step in recognizing the importance of fostering a company culture within virtual teams. Organizations need ot also recognize that by alienating employees online, they may use the lack of oversight to slack off or do the bare minimum. These employees can hardly be blamed for not being engaged, especially in a visionary company where the founder serves as a bottleneck to employee happiness. Too often, companies that are run like this and run virtually find themselves having issues with employee engagement, especially if they find themselves feeling increasingly let down by the founder.

This is a good argument for why a virtual team should be run like a sports team and not a dictatorship. While everyone has an important role to play, a coach or even a general manager can only be as skilled as their best players, or in this case, employees. Players on sports team don’t just play for personal glory; they also play because of their camaraderie with their teammates. If you run a virtual team in this way, then it will encourage employees to feel more collaborative and also bring their A game to the table as often as possible.

While promoting a strong company culture is a challenge, especially when working with a virtual team, it is vital for its success. The best place to start improving on a weak company culture is in Slack, but it needs to move beyond simple employee recognition. A good company culture for a remotely distributed team needs to emphasize teamwork, collaboration, and trust. This will allow organizations to better engage with their employees and get the best work out of them, which will in turn lead to increased profitability and decreased employee turnover.

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