The Secret Sauce to a Positive Culture for Remote Teams

Post by: Emma Harvie
Published: 1 September 2022

At Achievers, we’ve made it our mission to change the way the world works. We focus on creating an environment and positive culture where our employees feel like they belong, no matter where they’re working from, or how they are working.

Though our regional team is spread out across geographies and time zones, our workplace culture remains warm, supportive and cohesive. Working remotely hasn’t hampered that.

Personalising employee experiences is key

Every moment of the employee experience with us from the first to the last, is personal and welcoming. On a new member’s first day we deliver digital welcome cards with personalised messages and gifs from team members around the world. We connect in weekly 1:1 meetings to support each other, solve problems, challenge and coach each other.

We also encourage participation in volunteer networks in a variety of Employee Resource Groups because we know our employees love opportunities to make a difference.

Recognition Programs

Our Recognition Program is one of the keys to driving engagement, motivating progress and outcomes, and sharing the stories of great behaviour aligned to our values.

Research suggests that people leaders only see around 30% of what their direct reports see on a daily basis, so having a transparent, visible recognition program allows me as a leader to hear all the great things my team are up to from their peers. I can also show my support by endorsing those recognitions and celebrating them in other ways, and then use the data from the recognition program in development and performance conversations.

We also have a tool called ‘Employee Connections’ that pairs employees and prompts them to schedule a conversation. For example, this month I’ve met with a VP of Sales in North America and someone from our marketing team, two people who work in different locations, who I would never meet in my day-to-day job.

A positive culture means effective collaboration

Remote working technologies are the true heroes here. Microsoft Teams has helped not just with day-to-day collaboration, but also with creating connection amongst the team.

We’ve taken the in-office banter to Teams chats, which makes it inclusive for everyone, no matter where they work. We also have videos on for almost every call (not mandated, but a natural part of our culture) which means meeting pets, kids and partners – our colleagues become much more to us than just voices on the end of a line.

The most important consideration for us is to create a feeling of psychological safety for our teams. This is what enables effective and productive collaboration across locations and time zones. When you have a positive culture in which everyone feels comfortable sharing opinions, and moreover, is recognised for their work and efforts, people want to work together and achieve goals as a team.

In fact, I would say that a culture of recognition is the secret sauce to encouraging and measuring collaboration across any organisation or team – remote or not!