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Cultivating Team Culture

It won't be the same as an office — and that's OK

Key Takeaways for Cultivating Team Culture

Be intentional about implementing remote work practices - it’s likely that not every tip and tool are relevant to your unique culture.
Memorialize your values in writing and communicate them relentlessly - there is no informal & inherent way to reinforce them in a remote environment.
Social opportunities must be designed and as a leader, you need to participate in order to build a permission structure for people to lean all the way in.

Build your culture like you build a product

Discard your expectations of what culture looks like when generated from an “in-person” perspective. A distributed team environment is wholly different and requires a bespoke approach.
Start from first principles and consider what problems you are trying to solve/prevent.
Don’t pick and choose random features of “remote work” to implement. Reflect on your first principles and implement tools/processes to meet you goals accordingly.

If it’s not written down, it will not persist

In a distributed team environment, your company culture does not exist unless you write it down, share its tenets, and actively champion it.
Culture is often viewed as energy in office - a distributed team democratizes culture (since office culture can often be dictated by the most gregarious people on the team).
is an excellent example of memorializing values - the key is being sure to regularly reflect those values through concerted action.
🚨 Caution: Power dynamics can be exacerbated in a distributed environment: people who don’t feel heard may be less likely to speak up in a Slack channel.
Give credit for good work.
Even post on their behalf (giving them credit) to lend your power.

Build a team, not just a cadre of workers

Be intentional about creating social opportunities. Everyone should feel they have a place in your company beyond their title. Suggestions include:
Giving house tours via Zoom.
Budgeting for a lunch/coffee between team members.
Coffee chats twice a day for 15 minutes- anyone online at the time can quickly pop in for a “watercooler” chat.
“Lunch & Learns” where team members can teach the team something they care about (yoga, cooking, beekeeping, etc.)
Weekend updates.
Crowdsourced cookbook.
Photo competition: Best Zoom background.

Now that you’ve made it to the end of the playbook, do you feel like your company is ready to join the remote work world? We hope so! You’re in good company. Here’s our of all the startups in the space.

Building a distributed team? can help. Our early stage venture fund’s talent team equips our portfolio companies with our predictive recruiting engine called Beacon that helps them find the best and most poachable job candidates to contact. Our in-house recruiters then ensure they bring their top job candidates on board. SignalFire’s specialists and invest-advisors can also help you with engineering challenges, go-to-market strategy, PR, data science, and fundraising. .
Since the challenges of remote work are not going away, we will continue to host sessions with experts on related subjects. Click the button below to get on our list for updates and future events.

And here’s another look at our top takeaways. Thanks for reading and sharing!
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Tools for Cultivating Team Culture
Our Picks
Slackbot to get to know your remote teammates
Culture Amp
Take action to improve employee engagement, retention, and performance
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Distributed Team Culture Experts
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Full Name Linked in
Next Level Leadership
Co-Founder & CEO
Director of Editorial Development
Ryno Media
Founding Partner
Local Industries
Sr. Developer Evangelist
VP of Operations
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