Creating Culture in a Work-From-Home Team
By Anna Sudbury, Head of Sales at Flume Sales Training
As businesses continue to adapt to a hybrid model of working, virtual sales teams are becoming increasingly common. At Flume, we all work from home. As a working parent, the flexibility is genuinely life-changing (mostly for my dog, who is thrilled to have me home all day). As a company, we save money on overheads, which we can reinvest in the team. But some days, I miss the hustle and bustle of an office, the watercooler moments, the shared camaraderie that you get in person. How can you replicate that in a work-from-home model? How can you keep your team fully engaged in virtual comms, and also build a culture that attracts and retains talent, boosts productivity and wellbeing, and fosters innovation?
HERE ARE SOME TIPS THAT HAVE WORKED FOR FLUME.
Start the day with a virtual coffee break: Just because you don’t have the fancy work coffee machine, doesn’t mean you can’t start the day with a coffee break. Here’s an area where the team can share plans for the day, exchange news and updates and get energy flowing. We have a pub quiz demon on our team who brings trivia challenges and quick games to keep the mood light and energetic.
Gamify the sales process. As a salesperson, I’m naturally competitive. Friendly competitions, challenges and rewards keep me and the rest of the team engaged and motivated, and I am always buzzed to drop a closed won deal into our team slack channel.
Make Zoom work for you. How can you make your team meetings more engaging when they are over a screen? If you are juggling Zoom attendees as well as people in the office, what works best to ensure the team members dialling in aren’t forgotten? Try collaborating on an agenda in advance to get team buy-in. Why not rotate meeting chairs to ensure everyone has a voice? Use the chat and breakout features. Lean into the virtual platform and it will work hard for you.
Back off. Bosses who micromanage their team are nobody’s favourite. Don’t hover over your sales team – measure their output. At Flume, we ensure our training has a quantifiable output to ensure return on investment, drive buy-in, and encourage further growth. In a virtual world, we should be measuring the metrics and KPIs we want to impact more than ever before.
Encourage self-care. My dog helps again with this one, demanding a couple of outings a day. Getting out of the virtual office with him is refreshing and resets my day. Working from my spare room blurs the lines between work and personal life, and stepping away for a few minutes, or taking a proper lunch break, ensures I’m at my best when I’m back at my desk.
Celebrate success. Acknowledge the hard work and achievements of your team, just as you’d do in the office. Remember birthdays, cultural celebrations and milestones, celebrate even the little wins, and build a culture of positivity. Work out what virtual high-fives work best for your team and recognise accordingly.
What’s working for you? Find me on LinkedIn and let me know.
Anna Sudbury, Head of Sales at Flume Sales Training