How To Build An Inclusive Virtual Culture With These 4 Effective Strategies

A virtual culture is more than Zoom Happy Hours and random meme sharing. It’s a space where each employee feels comfortable, safe, respected and treated like a valued member of the team; it’s where they feel like they belong.


A recently conducted remote work survey by FinanceBuzz revealed, 46% of workers feel isolated from their team and a reported 30% admitted it’s challenging to collaborate with their colleagues. While no two cultures are identical, healthy ones have a similar foundation: they support the happiness and growth of their employees while fostering a culture of inclusivity, collaboration and engagement.


According to research conducted by EY’s Center for Talent Innovation, “39% of respondents feel the greatest sense of belonging when their colleagues check in with them, both personally and professionally.” Furthermore, “when people feel like they belong at work, they are more productive, motivated, engaged and 3.5 times more likely to contribute to their fullest potential.”

These four effective strategies will help managers build a thriving and inclusive virtual culture.


Drive A Sense Of Purpose With Over-Communication

Repetition in communication is a powerful and effective tool that isn’t used as often as it should. Redundancy or repetition prevents misinterpreted, erroneous or the loss of information when transferring from one person to another. This is why marketing abides by the “Rule of 7” which suggests an individual needs to hear a message seven times before they will consider taking action.


Tsedal Neeley conducted a study with Elizabeth Gerber and Paul Leonardi on the outcome of managers who over-communicate. They discovered managers who over-communicated through different mediums were able to get projects completed in a timely fashion compared to those who only delivered a message once or twice. Examples of different communication mediums consist of email, Slack channels, Zoom video calls or text message.


Despite what many managers believe, there’s no such thing as over-communication. In fact, under-communicating is one of the top reasons employees leave their job. It not only breeds doubt and uncertainty, but it contributes to missed deadlines, uncompleted tasks, decreased productivity and higher turnover. Companies lose millions of dollars annually due to employees not performing at full capacity which results in poor customer experiences.


Champion A Culture Of Collaboration

An inclusive workplace culture values peoples abilities instead of focusing on their limitations. Inclusive managers bring together employees, at all levels, and empower them to contribute their own original thinking and unique skills. Successful teams have a balanced mix of talents, personalities, skills and ideas where they’re able to communicate and collaborate together. A Salesforce survey uncovered 86% of employees and executives cited a lack of collaboration was responsible for failures in the workplace.


Championing a culture of collaboration is essential to growth. For example, instead of presenting a problem to a select few individuals, managers can host a video conference call to solve it together. Likewise, managers can make meetings more interactive where everyone has a chance to share and say what they need. Additionally, they can use the time together to celebrate individual and team milestones.


Kerry Wekelo, COO of Actualize Consulting, a management consulting firm, has found great success in conducting team building activities to keep employees engaged and connected. Wekelo said they do this through friendly group challenges where teams earn points while enjoying theme based team building activities. Recently, they did an elevator pitch challenge that turned out to be successful. Team building helps employees better understand their strengths, interests and weaknesses while getting to know their co-workers better.

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