A Workplace Culture of Fun, Trust and High-Performance for Your Virtual Staff

By: USource Team | Outsourcing

A workplace culture gives your remote team its identity and sense of belonging. Virtual staff usually work alone or collaborate with your other freelancers. Find out how you can turn your virtual team into a “company” with its own water cooler or cafeteria bonding– and why it’s great for you!

Freelancers have worked with both solo clients and whole teams. But even when it’s just them and the boss, one on one, each boss has an identity. Anyone who has worked for others has experienced this: you like working for this boss, while you only drag yourself to work for that other boss (and you leave sooner or later).

That’s the “culture.” Like a person, your little company has its own personality. Would your company be well-liked? Is it charismatic and inspiring? Every entrepreneur or small business that hires a freelancer or a remote team establishes a culture– and should because culture is what makes your virtual staff love working for you.

When they do, they’re dedicated and motivated.

Dedication and motivation produces initiative and results way beyond your expectations.

Basics for a beloved workplace

Think about ripples. Define what kind of company you want yours to be. The kind employees remember fondly, even when they’re no longer in it?

Hire smartly. More than 25% of employees resign because of their colleagues. Safeguard your workplace from bad eggs. They can stink up the whole place. Look beyond skills to soft skills that contribute to a workplace where no one is bristling at anyone else (either due to incompetence, arrogance, tactlessness, etc).

Take feedback. Be genuinely interested. Asked what they would like to see, change, or do at the end of the year. Establish an open-door policy where your freelancers can speak to the head honchos anytime.

Make your team your partner. Speaking of open-door, share results as much as goals. What’s going on, and why? The need-to-know policy is cold and dead. Establish transparency, a partnership. When your employees feel like they are included, they become invested.

Just as you take feedback, be sure to give it. A reward for work well done doesn’t always have to be material. Recognize, praise, and thank for every achievement and milestone. A “thank you” is a motivating catchphrase. It’s a tiny thing, and yet so powerful.

A Culture of Warmth: Fun, Caring, Good Times

Create inside jokes and traditions. Working remotely, you can build groups and channels not exclusive for work on platforms like Slack. Talk to each other, make fun of each other.

Your hired freelancers don’t dread going to work.

Don’t be a drill sergeant. Oh, freelancers love structure. But find a happy medium between expectations and freedom. Care for results, not procedure.

And care for their freedom– let them know how much notice you require for personal days, and when they’re ill, they should rest. You’ll be surprised how much they make it up to you.

Chat with each other – Before it became something that meant instant messaging, a chat meant an informal, friendly talk. Outsourced staff who chat are happy freelancers.

Many others don’t get any chat at all. It’s lonely.

If you start off with ‘strictly business only’– your employees will adapt to that. But warmth in daily working is a long term strategy to set the positive culture.

If you have yet to set the stage, improve communications gradually by chatting on tools like Skype or making your own virtual break room on Slack. This also builds a communal space for them to socialize and strengthen their team relationships.

If people are shy, start talking. Ask after them, their kids, their plans for the weekend. Let their personalities and hobbies be known to each other, so they can truly make connections.

Let social media be social – Sure, you use your accounts for business, too, but social media is meant to be social. All work and no play makes your company dull. A workplace culture of fun and great humor attracts customers, too. Don’t just post things about work– post things that happen at work, like jokes, or fun holiday events.

People love to laugh– social media specialists have a treasure trove of hilarious content. And happy employees make happy customers.

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