With more and more teams working remotely and spending less time (if any) physically together in offices or other workspaces, it can be more difficult to build a strong team culture.
However, by taking advantage of a great team communication app, you can still do things to build your team’s culture, no matter where everyone is located.
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What Is Team Culture?
In broad terms, team culture is the combination of values, beliefs, and behaviors that your team abides by. In other words, it’s how your team members act at work and how they treat each other.
Why is team culture so important?
A strong, positive team culture provides a whole range of benefits for everyone on the team and the company as a whole. Here are a few examples:
- Creates a good place to work
- Increases employee loyalty
- Decreases turnover rates
- Attracts strong talent
- Makes employees more engaged with their jobs
- Reduces conflicts among team members
- Increases collaboration
- Boosts productivity
All of these benefits of a good team work culture translate into happier employees, more satisfied stakeholders, and more profitable businesses.
Tips for Building a Strong Team Culture via Team Communication Apps
As we touched on earlier, group communication apps are essential to building a strong team culture in the era of remote and hybrid work. They allow us to stay connected and communicate almost as if the other person we’re talking to is in the same room.
When used efficiently, team chat and meeting apps can make communicating digitally feel just as personal and natural as doing so in person. Here are some tips for building your remote team’s team culture through team communication apps:
Set regular meetings to discuss projects and tasks
When everyone’s working from different locations, it can be hard to keep track of who’s doing what and what their progress on different tasks is. This makes it more difficult to see the bigger picture of how a certain project is going.
To tackle these challenges, schedule check-in or progress update meetings with the whole team at regular intervals.
For high-paced, more urgent projects, you might decide to hold daily standups of about 15 minutes or so to keep tabs on everything. Or, if you don’t need such frequent updates, you might schedule a once-a-week check-in that’s a little bit longer.
Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide what the right cadence for team meetings is. The most important thing is that everyone is getting engaged, discussing each other’s tasks and projects, and communicating effectively.
Have an occasional team building event or party
Remote work takes some of the fun, non-work activities away that people get to do when they work together in an office. For example, team members can’t go out to lunch together or unwind at an office happy hour on Fridays.
To help team members bond and get to know each other more personally, make an effort to plan some fun virtual get togethers every now and then.
One idea is to celebrate wins together with a virtual happy hour. For example, if your team just completed a big project or scored an exciting new client, you could schedule a Friday afternoon happy hour video conference.
Alternatively, you might do a quarterly team building event that everyone can enjoy. There are lots of great virtual experiences these days tailored for corporate events, such as cooking classes, wine tastings, and other fun hands-on activities to get your team involved and breaking the ice.
Create group chat channels
Chatting one-on-one is great for certain things, but sometimes messages can get confused or misconstrued if they get passed from one person to another too many times.
The best team chat apps allow you to create group chats for multiple team members for more efficient communication. Consider creating different groups for each specific project, sub-team, or department, for instance.
That way, when someone needs to quickly convey a key piece of information or ask a general question, they can type it out in front of everyone’s eyes at once in the group chat. Plus, when someone needs to find a piece of information relevant to a certain project or group of people, they know exactly where to look.
Lead by example
A strong team culture needs good leaders who define and follow it, especially when it comes to communication — if you rarely chat or join meetings, why would your team members do so?
So, if you’re a team lead or supervisor, set a good example by communicating frequently and clearly, showing up to meetings on time, and doing whatever else you want to be an important part of your team’s work culture.
It’s also a good idea to let your team know that you’re always there for them when they need questions or have a concern about something, and let them know how they can best communicate those to you.
This type of open communication between leadership and workers trickles down and helps everyone feel more comfortable discussing things with each other.