Build a thriving remote work culture with Elastic Teams
14 Jun 2023
Across all roles of a company, Gartner shares that the highest percentage of top performing teams are remote. However, that doesn’t come without intentional structures that set up remote teams for success. As more companies embrace remote frameworks, it’s critical that they’re prepared to build the right culture in which a remote team can thrive. This includes communicating clearly, building trust, and—most importantly—cultivating your hiring and onboarding processes to start your remote teammates off on proper footing.
Set up strong communication pathways
To ensure that everyone on the team knows when to communicate, where they communicate, and how to communicate, leaders must outline clear guidelines from the start. With so many tools either already in use or constantly evolving, it’s important that team members understand the specific purpose of each platform.
With Elastic Teams, Distributed builds intentional methods of communication so any Elastic Team member understands the who, what, when, where, and how of communicating with their teammates. Additionally, Elastic Team members go through a communication assessment during the vetting process to ensure that they’re well-equipped to communicate clearly in a collaborative setting.
For example, while Slack is a great place for quick updates, questions, and open chatting, it can be difficult to track projects and tasks through the messaging app. It’s best to leverage one productivity tool that’s used by everyone, with full buy-in, across the team. In remote work environments, it’s critical that everyone knows what the expectations are and what changes have happened on a project. That way, everyone can stay on the same page.
Be selective about when to hold meetings on Zoom or Google Hangouts. Set a cadence that works for everyone to provide weekly updates and share feedback or blockers in real-time. It’s important to be especially intentional about meetings so your teammates stay engaged and make the best use of the time a team has together during a meeting. As a remote-first company, we’ve learned the balancing act of how much information to share and when. We weave that experience into how Elastic Teams are built in order to ensure open, clear communication with clients throughout the duration of a project.
Build a culture of trust
Gartner reports that 50% of remote workers have higher trust in their organisations compared to 37% of hybrid workers and only 25% for in-office employees. Additionally, when team members have a sense of autonomy, performance can improve by up to 28%. There’s no doubt that trust is a cornerstone of remote work, but getting there takes work. At Distributed, we’re human-centred in how we operate.
Establishing trust among our Elastic Teams is key to their productivity and success with clients. From the start, our Fulfilment Team sets expectations based on a client’s needs, requirements, and branding, so Elastic Teams come in with the full understanding of how a company operates and what its goals are. This helps build trust between Elastic Teams and the people they work with across projects.
For leaders looking to build a strong culture of trust with their teams, it’s important to be vocal about acknowledging and appreciating contributions. When teams are recognized for their accomplishments, they feel trusted at a company and have trust in return knowing that their work is valued. Leading with autonomy and empowerment in mind is also key to establishing trust in a remote-first workplace. Instead of hovering over teammates’ progress, providing them with the resources they need and allowing them space to come to you for questions will nurture trust.
There’s also something to be said about dedicating time to activities where teammates are able to interact outside of the collaboration setting. Getting to know one another as people through team building, virtual hangouts, or interest groups, will further enforce a sense of trust. At Distributed, our Elastic Team Discord is constantly abuzz with experts sharing the latest knowledge they’ve gained or the most recent travels they’ve been on. When teammates can have a bit of fun, they’re more likely to be productive in the long-term. That's why we have channels such as #book-recs, #culture-exchange, or #movies-tv to encourage non-work interactions as well.
Cultivate the best possible hiring and onboarding practices
It all starts at the very beginning. Because you don’t have the benefit of in-person communication, it’s critical to make sure you’re hiring with intention and onboarding with clarity. For hiring, leaders should have a clear understanding of their project goals before setting out to hire.
This is reflected in the candidate’s experience, which is critical, as Gartner reports that 83% of IT job candidates have quit a hiring process because the company “didn’t meet their preferences in one or more attributes.” At Distributed, our Talent Acquisition strategy is built around clarity. Understanding our clients’ project goals and skills needs inform how we curate Elastic Teams for each unique customer.
The journey doesn’t end once new talent joins the team. Once you get to the onboarding stage, it’s all about the quality of resources that you provide. Make sure you have key documents prepared, including one document that acts as a guide for your new hire which offers an overview of the introductory stage, ramping up, and eventually hitting goals. This should include key stakeholders they’ll be working with as well as the main business goals they’ll be contributing to from their position.
Elastic Teams are well-prepped each time they start with a new client. Since the Distributed Fulfilment Team gathers all the critical details about a client’s project (goals, budget, skills, and experience requirements), Elastic Team members receive briefings that prepare them for a new project, in addition to continued management through Managed Services to ensure Talent oversight throughout the timeline.
You’re on your way to building a remote-first culture
Take these learnings on your journey to cultivating a remote culture that inspires productivity. While it’s not impossible to achieve this, it takes intentional work to successfully lead a remote team. Our experience building remote Elastic Teams for clients means that we curate teammates with remote collaboration in mind. Get in touch to learn more about how an Elastic Team can complement your remote team’s growth.