This is a question we are really focused on right now as we build the Her Corner team.
We have amazing team members in DC, Arkansas, Louisiana, Arizona, Montana, and Connecticut. We are all committed to the same vision of bringing Her Corner to as many women and as many cities across the country as we can. But day-to-day, how do we create the kind of culture that fosters teamwork, loyalty, and community when we don’t actually see each other?
There are a few ways we’re tackling this challenge.
First, we are using different technologies to make our communication as close to seamless as possible. Specifically, we have adopted Trello as a project management tool and we have been thrilled with the results so far. We use it as a way to organize every single facet of Her Corner and it allows you to assign different team members to different tasks, as well as assigning due dates to keep everything moving forward. Instead of creating a new agenda for our weekly team meeting, we simply go through the various boards on Trello that we have created.
Another technology we’ve adopted is Slack. Slack is an instant messaging platform that lets you create different conversations or chats so that not everyone has to see every single message. We have chats going for different projects where only those team members working on that particular project are included. We also have a general chat for everyone in the company.
One of the best suggestions a Her Corner member made and that we adopted is a ‘Hello’ channel. Every morning each team member says hi and lets us know the 3-5 things they are going to get accomplished that day. That way we don’t have to worry about whether the priorities are getting taken care of.
We’ve found that another key to building team culture in a remote setting is showing gratitude. Often when teams work remotely, people begin to feel like they are an island out there by themselves in the middle of the ocean.
We have started sending small gifts to team members to acknowledge the hard work they are putting in and the positive impact they are having on our company. Again, it doesn’t have to be something huge or super expensive. It feels good when your efforts are appreciated and it can also build team loyalty.
As I said, this is certainly a work in progress for us so we’d love to hear any and all suggestions you have about ways you create company culture and keep your remote team engaged. What’s working for you?