Why Culture Must Transcend Work Location for Healthy, High-Performing Teams

Dear Senior Leaders,

To be blunt, I’m weary of hearing you say that your organizational culture will somehow be lost or diluted if you move to a permanent virtual/hybrid model.

I’d really like to know what you really mean by “culture” and how you see it reflected across your organization. Maybe you’re envisioning:

  • The updated buildings with the carefully-crafted company values on plaques lining the walls
  • The free meals catered by the new place that just got 4.5 stars on Yelp
  • The lounge area with foosball, ping-pong and beanbag chairs
  • The hallway chats where people gather to converse and commiserate
  • The all-hands meetings that always used to generate such a buzz
  • The offices that make it easy to check in for quick progress reports

Now imagine instead that your organization’s culture is a reflection, the sum total, of how people work, how they communicate and collaborate, and how they treat each other, instead of the place they go to work.  Download our Team Charter checklist for more ideas

Here are some signs of a healthy team culture, independent of work location:

  • People state their views without fear of damaging their careers
  • Discussion and debate are encouraged
  • People feel accountable for getting their work done, and count on each other to do the same
  • It’s easy to ask for or offer help
  • Team leaders trust people to do their work wherever they feel most productive
  •  Everyone is responsible for learning and sharing
  • Team members and leaders respect each other’s boundaries
  • New ideas are actively encouraged, even when they seem far-fetched
  •  Even when the news is bad, people share important information freely

It’s fanciful thinking to imagine that a healthy team culture will suddenly emerge simply by having people converge under one roof. If only it were that easy!

If you want to cultivate a healthy team culture where everyone thrives and the important work gets done, instead of focusing on the office as the primary enabler, focus instead on how people communicate and collaborate. The last thing you want is for your employees to join the swelling ranks of those who report being actively disengaged, because we know where that can lead.

If you’re struggling to create and communicate a virtual/hybrid team culture where people are productively and happily engaged and feel they can contribute their best work, you might want to start by creating a team charter or contract. Click here to download a PDF to use as a springboard.

You can use this link to schedule a quick call to talk through your situation with Guided Insights and how we may be able to help.


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