How to maintain company's culture remotely
Jun 29, 2020

How to maintain company's culture remotely

Company culture is the heart of an organization, a combination of your business’s values, mission, and goals and it is not built overnight.  When employees work remotely, building a company culture that reaches everyone across their various locations is even more challenging. HR needs to set up an environment of productivity and belonging that brings the entire team together, even if everyone is scattered.

Whether your organization already includes remote workers or is making the transition, company culture is essential to your success. Below are tips HR can use to maintain a positive culture for remote employees.

  • Share your company values

A big part of your company culture is your values. They are the core pillars guiding your organization and need to be at the front of your employees’ minds.

For remote employees, your company values are an objective understanding of how your organization operates and how you create a positive work environment.

For instance, Start a weekly roundup: Create a weekly email for employees to share how they integrated the company values into their workflow

  • Improve communication

One of the biggest obstacles to remote culture is communication. Because everyone is working from different locations, it’s easy for things to fall apart.

Establish communication norms to ensure clarity, including chat best practices, response time frames, and email etiquette. Setting communication standards will prevent people from getting attacked with messages, reduce interruptions, and make communication easier. Below are some of the strategies to improve communication;

  • Develop a company-wide report: Shares the happenings, goals, and achievements of different departments to bring the entire organization together.

  • Send a survey for feedback: Allow employees to share what they do and don’t like about the current culture and ways to improve it.

  • Investing the right technology: Equip employees with appropriate hardware, project management software, and real-time chat applications to make communication easier.

  • Build sociability and avoid isolation

Remote employees are often working from a home office, kitchen table, or even a couch. There’s no space for employees to catch up and chat around making it challenging to not only form, but preserve a sense of sociability. You can start channels for employees to bond over mutual interests such as movies, pets, and fitness. Or start a video chat happy hour. This will bring together the team and promote the company’s culture

  • Make face to face meetings a priority

There is no replacement for seeing your colleagues face-to-face, even if it’s via a screen. Seeing and hearing others allows you to pick up on delicate clue like body language, helping you identify issues and connect with employees. It establishes trust and helps people feel like a part of the team.

Appoint time for managers to meet individually with employees via video to establish trust, build connections, and celebrate individual accomplishments. Also, promote teamwork and reinforce values when you see your colleagues face-to-face. Give each meeting a theme such as presentation skills, negotiation, or grammar to learn from fellow employees.

  • Establish company-wide initiatives

Coordinate company-wide initiatives or even department-specific retreats, offsite, training seminars, etc. to help promote your culture.

Hold these events throughout the year to keep the spirit of your values alive and bring people from different departments and locations together virtually.

  • Hold meetings: Update the entire organization on important events and milestones. Even start a channel for employees to use during the meeting to ask questions and add comments.

  • Company retreats: Bring everyone together, in person, once or twice a year. Take time to focus on team bonding and the company values without the pressure of work.

Developing a strong remote culture, where employees feel empowered and trusted to complete their work, is a continuous process that requires time and hard work. Whether you're adding a new remote team or transitioning your organization to go remote, HR needs to be prepared to act as a point of contact for employees to rely on. Make the most out of your culture and focus on encouraging transparency to create an environment of trust so your organization can keep moving forward.

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