Nurturing a Resilient Organizational Culture for Remote and Diverse Teams

Published in Women's Health on November 14, 2023

Nurturing a Resilient Organizational Culture for Remote and Diverse TeamsBy Raquel Ita, Fulfillment Director of People and Culture, VGM Human Capital

In today’s rapidly evolving business landscape, remote work and diverse teams have become the norm. As business leaders, cultivating a strong and vibrant organizational culture across remote and diverse teams is essential for driving success and employee engagement. In this comprehensive article, we’ll explore five key strategies to maintain a robust culture that transcends physical boundaries and fosters a sense of belonging and collaboration within your diverse workforce. Additionally, we’ll delve into how business leaders can adapt to the increasing demand for remote work.

Remote employees

Core values serve as a compass, guiding employees' decisions and actions.

1. Core Values and Clear Communication

A solid organizational culture is built upon well-defined core values. As a business leader, it’s crucial to clearly articulate these values and ensure they are consistently communicated to every member of your remote and diverse teams. Core values serve as a compass, guiding employees’ decisions and actions, even in a virtual work environment. Utilize various communication channels, such as video conferences, emails, and collaboration tools to keep remote team members connected to the organization’s mission and purpose.

VGM Fulfillment’s People and Culture team is the HR liaison for the business unit and the corporate Human Capital team. We support anything that has to do with the employee experience and projects ranging from onboarding and internal communications to training and development of new and existing staff. Each month on the People and Culture team, we discuss how our projects fit into the overall core values and goals of the division we serve.

Business leaders must recognize that diverse teams drive innovation and creativity.

2. Embrace  Diversity and Inclusion

Diversity within teams brings a wealth of perspectives and ideas. A McKinsey report, “Diversity Wins: How Inclusion Matters,” states companies in the top quartile for ethnic diversity outperform those in the bottom quartile by 36% in profitability. Embrace and celebrate the diversity within your remote workforce, creating an inclusive environment where each team member’s unique background is valued. Business leaders must recognize that diverse teams drive innovation and creativity.

VGM Fulfillment has a majority of employees who speak Spanish first, and we’ve worked to accommodate the language barriers this brings through events that are meaningful for them. Foster an environment where every individual feels comfortable contributing their insights and experiences as this will lead to well-rounded solutions and better outcomes.

Establish shared rituals or traditions that bring remote team members together regularly.

3. Foster Virtual Interaction and Bonding

Physical distance doesn’t have to hinder team interaction and bonding. Organize virtual team-building activities that cater to the unique dynamics of remote work. These activities could include virtual brainstorming sessions, online icebreaker games (e.g., Kahoot!), and knowledge-sharing webinars. Establish shared rituals or traditions that bring remote team members together regularly, such as virtual coffee breaks or weekly video updates, to combat feelings of isolation.

Virtual Interaction

The VGM Fulfillment People and Culture team’s weekly meeting is where we celebrate milestone achievements, touch base, and test out new employee engagement tools to promote interaction and participation. We recently have been playing Kahoot! during our new hire onboarding class and our quarterly staff meetings. This has helped bring our team together in a unique way.

4. Balance Flexibility and Trust

Remote work offers flexibility, and as a business leader, you can harness this to empower your team. Strike a balance between providing flexibility and fostering trust within your remote workforce. Trust your team members to manage their responsibilities effectively and make decisions aligned with the organization’s values. Offering autonomy not only enhances job satisfaction but also demonstrates your confidence in their capabilities.

Spending time getting to know each of your team members and how they feel the most valued is very important. Finding creative ways to provide flexibility to the workload and the way work is completed helps engage employees to put their best foot forward when completing the task at hand. This in turn strengthens the relationship and helps trust grow within the team.

VGM Fulfillment’s People and Culture team uses a ticketing system that tracks requests from across the organization and prioritizes them based on due date and frequency. This helps each People and Culture coordinator know what is on their plate for the week and helps provide the best experience for everyone they interact with.

5. Adapt and Sustain

A resilient organizational culture is one that can adapt to change and remain sustainable over time. Regularly evaluate your remote work culture through feedback mechanisms. Encourage open discussions with your remote team members about their experiences, challenges, and suggestions for improvement. 

Employees are looking for a company that is willing to invest in them through career experiences or promotions.

According to an article in Harvard Business Review, “It’s Time to Reimagine Employee Rention,” managers need to focus on having career conversations with employees. Employees are looking for a company that is willing to invest in them through career experiences or promotions. We pulse our new hires weekly and current employees annually to help drive a feedback culture at VGM Fulfillment. Those metrics are brought into the weekly one-on-one meetings with the team so we can track immediate changes and create the environment and culture where adoption is expected. Use this feedback to make necessary adjustments and ensure your culture remains relevant and supportive of your diverse workforce.

Here are some additional strategies to consider:

  • Implement flexible work policies
  • Invest in technology
  • Provide professional development
  • Prioritize well-being

As a business leader managing remote and diverse teams, the task of cultivating a resilient culture and adapting to the changing work landscape rests squarely with you. By anchoring your culture in core values, embracing diversity, facilitating virtual interactions, balancing flexibility and trust, and continually adapting, you can create a culture that thrives regardless of physical distance. Such a culture not only boosts employee engagement but also translates into improved collaboration and overall team performance. Embrace these strategies, and your remote and diverse teams will stand as a testament to your leadership in fostering a vibrant and inclusive organizational culture, prepared to meet the challenges of remote work head-on.

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VGM Playbook Elevating Performance Harnessing Human CapitalThis article was originally featured in the VGM Playbook: Elevating Performance: Harnessing Human Capital. To read the full article and more like this, download your copy of the playbook today


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