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  • Writer's pictureOxx

How do we scale culture in a remote-first world?

Whether you've planned it or not, your company has it's own cultural identity. It's in your decisions, your behaviour, your leaders and your team. But in the past few months, every aspect of people management has changed. We brought together three experts to hear how they've tackled the huge change to the human element of business.

Here's three things we learned from Goodlord's Head of People Leah Ellis, Seedcamp's Head of People Marina Gorey and Codility's CEO Natalia Panowicz as they joined Oxx's Bob Thomas in a panel and Q&A.

Hard conversations just got harder

Giving feedback remotely is incredibly delicate and there's no 'one size fits all' for difficult conversations, so consider the individual and their needs. Ask for consent to have the discussion. You have a duty to understand if they are ready to receive this information, and if this is a good time for this discussion. Without the addition of in-person warmth or a supportive office atmosphere, it's particularly important to balance psychological safety with accountability. Express your intention: "I'd like to give you constructive feedback because I'd really like to see you grow." Lead and close out the call with care and kindness.

Middle management has never been more important

Empower your middle managers, because that's who your team is speaking with the most everyday. Give managers the information they need to answer hard questions and the support to be good leaders in their own right. Your managers are helping your team feel valued, connected, and avoid burnout.

Bring back chit chat

Your team has the tools to be productive at home, but they don't have the high five in the hallway or smile after a rough presentation. Bringing back spontaneous interactions to a remote environment is important for your team to feel connected and retain the heart and soul of your team. Got 5 minutes between meetings? Pick up the phone to chat with your teammate with no agenda. Encourage your team to 'do more chit chat' - and if that doesn't work, formalise it. That could be a fortnightly team coffee, or use tools like Donut pairings for randomised 1-on-1 chats - or take inspiration from Goodlord's Thursday breakfast radio show! The key is to lead by example, so that your team feels permitted to do the same.


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