How do you build a phenomenal company culture when managing a global team that works remotely? The era of remote work has also become the age of the “life first” approach to business, where autocratic leadership is obsolete. These two shifts can be difficult for leaders accustomed to a brick-and-mortar environment and authoritarian leadership style. Autocratic Leadership is defined as a leadership style of complete control. The leader oversees all decisions and aspects of the project or organization.
How Autocratic Leadership & The Business Over Life Approach Impact Company Culture
- It stifles creativity and innovation.
- Lowers employee engagement
- Leads to high-turnover rates as top talent takes advantage of remote opportunities.
A new study by Kantata reported that “senior executives at professional services organizations spend 40% of their time each day dealing with employee turnover, and over half (53%) have a problem hiring full-time employees (Kantata, 2022)
The good news is the principles of building a positive culture are the same, whether your team is in an office or global. In this article, I will define culture in 2022 and share examples of companies known for their phenomenal work environments and principles that you can adopt in your business- when leading remotely.
What Is A Positive Company Culture?
Company culture is an organization’s collective core values, behaviors, and attitudes. It’s what makes your business unique and defines how employees interact with one another. Leaders who adopt a “life first” approach to business can shape their company culture through their policies, procedures, and initiatives. For example, if you value family first, you can model this by:
- Celebrating family milestones together. Leaders can celebrate family milestones with their remote team members to create a sense of community and kinship.
- Encouraging team members to take time off to spend with family. This could be done by unlimited vacation days or late start times during holidays and summer.
Company culture is critical for leaders with Personal Brands that drive business success. The more influential you are, the more stakeholders want to know about your team and their work environment. Just look at how often Microsoft and Amazon employees are interviewed and quoted in the press. I’ve found that the strongest cultures are those your team has a hand in creating. Sit down with your management team and brainstorm ways to increase employee satisfaction. If you work with contractors, you can still create a positive culture while respecting their autonomy (and rights). Looking across industries for best practices is another strategy you can use to shape your company’s culture.
Organizations Known For Their Positive Cultures
I’m not here to debate whether I agree or disagree with Chic-Fil-A’s stance on social issues in recent years. I want to focus on the company’s customer service track record, as reported by numerous surveys.
The fast food chain is known for high employee retention rates. Customers expect to be addressed by name and greeted with common courtesy. Their employees seem happy, which leads to positive customer interactions. In an article by Mashed, a franchise owner stated that this is because, during interviews, they place a significant emphasis on hiring people with positive attitudes. Does your interview process place equal emphasis on soft skills as it does on hard skills? Hiring positive people may be the best advice for remote team leaders.
Photo credit: via mashed.com
Another organization known for its positive culture is Salesforce. The company culture is based on core values communicated to employees from the beginning. These values include trust, customer success, innovation, and equality. The company has been able to scale successfully because they’ve stayed true to its values and made them a priority. As a result, the software giant has seen significant growth. Salesforce is also known for its phenomenal resources like their Trailhead Learning Platforms that teach you different skills needed to learn the software. What resources and additional training do you offer employees? Studies have shown that companies that value personal and professional growth retain top talent.
P.S. I had an opportunity to speak at Dreamin In Color, an event for Black Salesforce Professionals, which was phenomenal. Here is a clip of me speaking on The Power of Soft Skills
How to create a positive environment
Employees don’t leave companies; they leave bad managers and toxic environments. It will take more than remote work if you want to attract and retain top talent. Think back to your “Life First” Approach and ask yourself what you can do to align your company’s mission and core values to the desires of top talent-seeking.
Ask yourself and your leadership team.
- Have I defined work-life balance as a leader?
- Does my current company culture encourage balance?
- Are my policies surrounding pay and compensation transparent
- How can solicit employee feedback
Next, answer the questions in this article while brainstorming ideas on how to foster meaningful relationships in remote environments. Look at the companies’ policies I listed above and apply them to your organizational culture. Finally, give employees the freedom to work how they want. Even within remote teams, Autocratic Leadership styles prevail through non-stop Slack messaging phone calls related to how work is being performed vs. ensuring that the projects are completed on time and with a high degree of excellence. According to a recent study by Gartner, “74% of employees said they would leave their current job for one that allowed them to work remotely half the time” (Gartner, 2019). Your organization is positioned to attract the right talent when you lead with a “life first” approach to business.