When employees are working on site, they have the benefit of being exposed to your company culture day in and day out. But the shift to remote work changed that. Does company culture still matter in a work-from-home setting?
In a word, yes! But it’s also fair to say that your cultural probably looks and functions differently.
Here’s why corporate culture is still very much alive in a remote work setting and how to re(create) and strengthen it.
Yes, You Still Need Company Culture in Remote Work
At HiTouch Business Solutions, we define company culture as the perceptions that your employees (current and prospective) form about the type of workplace you’ve created. Savvy companies take an intentional approach in crafting their company culture. They promote the values they want employees to associate with them.
In a physical workplace, companies can let the environment shape the culture. They might rely on the general office vibe to share more about their image as a business, or even the products or services you offer or the marketing materials you produce. Your associations with other companies and your image in your industry also contribute to the image your employees receive.
But in a remote work setting, a lot of these elements are lost in translation. Your employees don’t have the benefit of seeing, hearing, and experiencing your company’s values every workday.
But they do still care about what defines you as a company. Your mission and values impact the type of candidate you’re most likely to attract. They give your employees a greater purpose than the tasks they’re assigned. And when a company promotes (and lives up to) a positive company culture, they’re better able to retain and attract top talent.
How to Shine a Spotlight on Remote Company Culture
While you might not have facetime with your employees every day, you can continue to instill your company culture in all of your communications, assignments, and expectations. Here are some best practices for promoting a remote company culture.
Go Back to the Basics
Fostering a remote company culture takes more than bottling up your current culture and putting a new label on it. Employees have different expectations when working from home. They have new needs that the company needs to support (e.g., help with mental health, balancing work and home life, etc.). And work itself may take a new approach in terms of measuring performance, completing tasks, and sharing innovative ideas.
Our best advice: go back to the basics. Think about the type of image you want your remote teams to have of your company. Then, figure out how you can translate that image in a way that doesn’t require physical presence.
For instance, if you want to be a company rooted in teamwork, then you’ll need to find tools that support good collaboration and communication. If you’re creating an image that’s employee-focused, then you might consider guidelines on when to turn off work for the day, avoid contacting people about work after hours, and encourage taking time off.
Share Your Visions for Remote Work Culture
Employees shouldn’t have to guess what your company values. Rather, a culture is something to be shared. Talk with your employees about your vision for a successful remote work environment. Focus on your priorities and the type of workplace you want to foster, then share the steps you’re taking to create that environment.
It’s also helpful to ask your employees for feedback. Make sure they’re clear on the mission and values that matter to your company. Let employees know how they can get involved and how they can contribute to fostering the culture.
Communicate Early and Often
Communication is always essential in the workplace, but even more so in remote work. From email to chat apps to project management tools and more, companies need easy, straightforward ways to share news and keep employees in the loop on things they might otherwise miss by not being in the office.
Increasing the frequency of communication gives you more opportunities infuse your culture with your messaging. Maintain a consistent tone and help your employees get to know your company better by the information you share.
Try New Forms of Team Building
Team building has always been a big part of culture building. Team members need to feel connected to each other and the work they’re doing together. They need to be able to trust each other, achieve common goals, and feel confident in each other’s skills and abilities. In a distributed work environment, these connections are formed in different ways. Companies need to continue helping their employees get to know each other across the distance and become greater than the sum of their parts.
Whether you’re taking a hybrid approach or have shifted entire to a remote setting, HiTouch Business Services helps you bridge the gap with services to support your business. Get in touch to learn how we can help.