Establish the culture you believe in (Part 6)
Treat your employees as the professionals you hired them to be and know they are.
An example that was shared with us was by a school teacher who taught K-8 school for many years, about why her 6th-grade class had done so well in their math assessment when other 6th grade classes had not. She stated that she set the bar really high. When questioned about this approach (“wouldn’t it discourage students to try?”), she responded that by setting the bar high and making it fun to try to jump the bar, the students tried harder. And some of them even made it up and over. Even those who didn’t quite make it over the bar were able to jump higher than students in other classes where the bar was set far lower. We’ve used this insight along our way as leaders, mentors, and coaches, and it is amazing to see the employees do more, go further, and have more fun than ever have expected. Creativity and innovation flow! Along the way, business owners must reassure their employees when they struggle, encourage them to take ownership when they fall short, and positively recognize their progress each step of the way. Expect the behavior you want and let your employees know what that is.
Even the least paid employee serves a vital role in the organization. You wouldn’t have hired that person unless you needed them (in most cases). Avoid any modification of your own behavior when working with different folks in your company. Your employees will know if you are treating certain people one way and others a different way. Even with individuals challenged with poor performance, establish expectations that folks will treat each other equally.
Practice the platinum rule: treat others the way they wish to be treated, as long as it is legal.
While there are a lot of specific ways company culture can be translated across a remote workforce, these five strategies (Establishing thoughtful policies, Using technology wisely, Removing roadblocks, Being part of the team, and Treating people as professionals) are typically the most critical. Archimedes C&C recognizes that unique and specific factors affect how and what a business owner needs to do to create a positive, rewarding company culture, especially with a remote work team.
Tell us what you’ve done that works. Let us know if this information has been helpful in some manner. If you’d like help distilling this further for your organization, give us a call or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Now, go forth and cultivate!