Team Culture needs a climate that allows teams to thrive.
It’s winter, and if there is one thing that winter causes most people to consider it’s this:
Not climate change in the “global warming”, “carbon emissions”, “planetary catastrophe” sense; but, as in getting out of the frigid temperatures of winter and heading for fun, sun, and warmth. Yes, nothing brings out vacation dreams like sub-freezing temperatures!
The same can be said of business. Lower than average sales, high or low pressure in intra-team relations, and out-of-balance rhythms can affect the cultural climate of your remote teams.
Consider your ideal climate
We all have a picture in our mind’s eye of a place we’d like to escape to. Maybe yours is the tropics: A vibrant blue lagoon on a tropical island somewhere. With palm trees. Lots and lots of palm trees!
Or, maybe you’re the outdoorsy type: snow-capped mountains, lush green forest, a roaring fireplace.
Whatever it may be, there is a climate that allows for these environments to exist. Sorry, Olaf! But, the only things snow does is MELT in Summer!
Now, since we aren’t planning the perfect vacation spot, but running a business, you’ve got to consider the following as you develop your remote work culture:
Think of temperature in your workplace as a way to monitor how “hot or cold” the environment is that your team is working within. Are sales slow and causing teams to slow as well? Or are things so hot and heavy your team is struggling to keep up? Neither is ideal for long, so it’s important for leaders to ask:
How can we regulate the temperature of our teams work environment?
A regulated temperature helps to prevent two things:
Boredom and Burnout.
When the temperature is too cold, your top talent may start looking for a “hotter” opportunity. Likewise, your team may grow weary in a fast-paced, “hot” market without the added benefits that success can bring to individuals. Rewarding high performance with perks and bonuses that add value to your employees lives can be a great way to regulate the temperature within your team.
While temperature measures the pace of the environment, atmospheric pressure keeps track of conditions within the team itself. Here, stability is key. When the pressure around your team rises too high or falls too low, you’ve got a storm on the horizon.
Storms happen within our teams when we don’t appropriately manage the governing forces of business. If you have too low an amount of pressure in your atmosphere, you may end up with employees that struggle with motivation, clarity around goals, lack of a sense of direction, or the like. Conversely, pressure can rise too high when there’s an over-emphasis on performance benchmarks or accomplishing short-term goals.
The trick to controlling pressure in your teams atmosphere is striking an appropriate balance that encourages team members, celebrating wins, clarifying expectations, and rallying around your mission.
When atmospheric pressure is just right, you will have a great forecast to look forward to!
Is there anything more frustrating than unseasonal weather patterns? One day your wearing shorts and flip-flops heading to the beach, the next you’re looking for your parka and snow shovel! Ideal climates offer the seasonal stability that helps teams to prepare because they know what to expect.
You know what’s hard to find in Florida when it snows?
You can’t just go shopping for a snowsuit, shovel, boots, mittens, etc. the day of a snow storm where you don’t expect there to be any snow! And, teams that lack the stability of healthy rhythms will find themselves ill-equipped to find what they lack when problems inevitably arise.
Now, there are bound to be the occasional down-turns and slowdowns that seem to come from nowhere, but good teams (and good leadership) have a strategy and plan to execute that’s based on facts, data, and experience.
Seasonal stability is the product of a culture of evaluation and planning that lends itself to providing healthy rhythms of rest and work within a team. Especially in the days of remote work, teams need to know that their hard work is appreciated. Utilizing creative online gathering solutions, like virtual event planning with LetsVidya, can help provide stability by alleviating some of the unintended pressure that comes from the work-from-home revolution.
More than a Metaphor
It takes more than a metaphor to make all of this a reality. The truth is, the trend toward remote work is accelerating and not many companies and businesses are prepared for the transition. Yet, those leaders and teams that can bring together a healthy remote work culture, that isn’t afraid to eschew some of the traditional notions of workplace culture, will be primed to thrive.
As you consider your remote teams cultural climate, take the time to consider these three questions:
- What’s the temperature of our team environment?
- Is our atmospheric pressure balanced? Too low? Too high?
- How can we provide stability that helps our team to be better prepared as we face erratic conditions?