In the midst of a global
pandemic, RPI wants to help you and your organization move forward. Our wealth of resources and knowledge will help you become even better at recognizing your employees—wherever they may be. In today’s post, we will take a brief look at companies that are doing remote work well and see how we can improve our own remote teams.
Google is seen as a major innovator in workplace culture, so it only makes sense that they would make the list of best virtual teams. Veronica Gilrane, People Analytics Manager at Google, published her findings on Google’s virtual teams on their blog. Gilrane found that there was no difference in efficiency between in-person teams and remote teams, but many “Googlers” (as they call their employees) felt that they missed out on the culture and the ease of communication that comes with an in-person team. As a result, they found that there are three things teams can do to help. First, make sure the team members get to know each other beyond their work by making time for casual conversation and icebreakers during remote calls. Second, set and respect team members’ boundaries by learning when they like to meet and what time zone they are calling from. Third, be very clear about opportunities to meet in person and virtually so that team members know about every chance they have to engage with their colleagues.
According to a LinkedIn article, IBM manages over 200,000 employees worldwide both in person and virtually. One of their main challenges is connecting everyone in different time zones. They manage this problem by maintaining a flexible hour policy worldwide. They have found that employees are more productive when they have the ability to pick when they would like to work. It also gives them freedom that helps with family responsibilities. IBM also uses collaboration software to connect their employees globally. This commitment to flexibility and communication has helped employees trust their employer and build successful virtual teams.
LinkedIn also gave insight into how GE’s virtual teams work. The company has over 90,000 employees worldwide, which made training a challenge. Now, they have a robust virtual training platform with professional development as well as new employee training, diversity training, and games. This has helped GE manage their global employees and keep them connected to the worldwide company culture. For organizations that are continuing to hire while working remote, this is a great example of a company that has successfully onboarded employees virtually.
Doist is a fully remote company that builds productivity tools. It makes sense that they emphasized the need for a communication platform. According to their blog, they started off using Slack and found that the platform was not great across multiple time zones. As a result, they created their own platform, Twist. They also encourage organizations to embrace a “remote-first” mindset. Many organizations that have both in-person and remote employees unintentionally keep remote employees out of the loop. With nearly every professional able to work from home doing so, this is easier now more than ever, and will be good training for when employees are back in the office. What we can learn from this case is the importance of a solid communication strategy between remote team members. Think about how far your team is spread, what different time zones they may be in and how they would like to communicate with their team members.
While we are in times unlike any other, it is important to remember that organizations have faced a variety of circumstances that prompted them to find solutions to problems many of us are facing now.
Learn more about RPI’s 7 Best Practice Standards.
Register for our virtual conference in September.
Become a Certified Recognition Professional.