How to Enhance Your Remote Team Culture Using Video
I’m going to take a wild guess and say that your company had to switch to working remotely… sometime in the last 3 months.
And you might be wondering what this means for your team culture.
How will it change now that your teammates can’t meet and work face to face?
That’s a valid concern. I mean, it’s hard enough to foster a great work environment with everybody in the same building! How on earth are you supposed to do it remotely?
Well, as someone with years and years of experience in managing distributed teams, I have good news! Building an amazing team culture isn’t any different with a remote team. If your company has a strong vision, values, and core beliefs behind it, you’ll do just fine.
All you have to do is get creative about how you express them.
And in this “new normal,” video is going to be your secret weapon for building an amazing remote team culture.
So for today’s article, I’m going to show you 4 different ways to use video to bring your remote team closer together — emotionally and psychologically, if not physically.
Here they are…
(If you want to listen to this blog post instead of reading it, click here to jump to the audio version!)
1. Introduce new hires to the rest of the team
Onboarding new employees isn’t just about training them to do their job. It’s also about integrating them into the team socially and making them feel welcome.
In a regular workplace, it happens naturally over time. New hires have plenty of opportunities to get to know everyone face to face, socialize inside and outside of work, and get comfortable with their teammates.
This is harder to do in remote companies — so sometimes new employees can feel disconnected from the rest of the team. To make sure it doesn’t happen, you want to include a healthy social component in your onboarding, not just on-the-job training.
Here’s one little thing that makes a big difference:
Ask all new hires to record a short introduction video, sharing anything they want about themselves with the rest of the team. If you want, you can even put these videos together into a nice “highlight reel” showcasing all the top talent that joined your company.
Of course, developing great relationships within your remote team takes time. But a simple step like this will help them start on the right foot!
2. Share your teammates’ skills and passions
As I’ve said before, remote work can make it challenging to hang out socially and get to know your coworkers better. Everyone is working from home, there’s no watercooler to gather around, and having a work lunch over video is just… weird.
So instead, encourage your employees to share something they’re good at — or passionate about — on video with everyone else.
Maybe Joan from Accounting is a pro-level chef, Paul from Marketing is super into D&D, and Sam from Sales makes amazing art in her spare time. Details like these help your teammates see each other as more than just coworkers, but as deeply fascinating, fun people!
There are other things your teammates could tell about themselves. They could give a short tour of their home office setup, brag about their pets, show off vacation photos, share their favorite books, movies, or shows, etc. Everything is fair game as long as they want to share it.
Of course, you might be wondering: why would this help you improve company culture? Great question!
According to Gallup polls, having close friends at work can boost employee satisfaction by as much as 50%. And people who care about their teammates are 7 times more likely to engage fully in their work! The science is clear: a team of workplace friends is happier, more cohesive, and ultimately — more productive.
3. Summarize long meetings into snappy video “minutes”
If you want your team to remember everything that happened in a long meeting, you usually have three options.
- Make everyone attend, pay close attention and take notes — which isn’t always possible.
- Ask them to rewatch the meeting recording later, effectively doubling the time commitment.
- Task team leads with recapping the meeting to everyone who reports to them. Not the best use of their time by far!
Or… you could record a short video recap that gets everybody up to speed in a fraction of the time.
The power of video to convey oodles of information in a short time comes in very handy here. You can easily distill the key points of an hour-long meeting into a 1-minute video — and make it much more engaging and entertaining than the real thing was!
You don’t need high production values or fancy editing, either. Just turn on the camera, or a screencast of your meeting agenda, and start talking. Now even the folks who couldn’t make it to the meeting will have an easy way to catch up.
Keeping everyone on the same page about what’s going on at the company is essential for a healthy remote team culture. And these video “minutes” are a terrific way to do just that!
4. Celebrate your company’s milestones and wins
Two things help to bring a team together: overcoming challenges and celebrating wins. As managers and leaders, we sometimes focus too much on the former — and not enough on the latter.
This needs to change.
Don’t let good news fly under the radar. Let it sink in! Whenever you achieve something awesome together, as a team, make sure you bring it to everyone’s attention.
Create a short celebratory video to announce the win, thank everyone who contributed, and get your team pumped for what comes next.
Here are some examples of video-worthy milestones you could celebrate together:
- Hitting a revenue goal for the year, especially if you crushed it and it happened early!
- Reaching a new milestone in terms of traffic, customers, orders shipped etc.
- Finishing up a huge project everyone’s been working on.
- Releasing a new product, service, or feature.
- A company anniversary.
Nothing boosts team morale and long-term productivity like seeing the results of their hard work acknowledged and celebrated. So shine the spotlight on those wins and pop the champagne!
Learn more about managing remote teams
If you want to know more about what it takes to run a great remote company, check out our other articles:
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