During the last couple of years, most of us have gotten used to operating with a remote workforce. We’ve overcome the logistical issues and the technical. Zoom meetings are part of the everyday. And although a return to the office has been possible for a while now, many are finding that remote working works for them… With one exception. Company culture.
Maintaining company culture – its shared values, characteristics, and attributes – can be enough of a challenge when you have a whole team working from one place. But when everyone is working independently, in different towns, let alone separate rooms, keeping that feeling of a united set of goals and attitudes is far from easy. And it’s a trial that many managers are currently struggling with. So, what’s the solution?
Why is company culture important while working remotely?
Company culture is important for a number of reasons. It creates a sense of cohesion and shared ambition. This in turn helps employees feel as if they are working for more than just their pay packet – they are part of something bigger and play a valuable role within the company ecosystem. This has a knock-on effect on employee happiness, wellbeing, and productivity.
For remote workers, this sense of belonging and value can be integral to both company loyalty and the standard of work they produce. As well as their happiness in the job.
How can you preserve company culture in a remote team?
The most important part of ensuring that your company culture is maintained and understood within a remote workforce is communication. It underlies everything else that you do. And that’s communication between colleagues, as well as between management and employees. If people are talking, then they feel connected. But how can you use communication to forward your company culture?
- Share your vision. Your team members can only work to the same goals if they firstly, understand them. And secondly, understand their role within them.
- Create team unity. While few of us missed the daily commute during the worst of the pandemic, many did miss the sense of canteen camaraderie. Those chats around the kettle, the eye-rolling during meetings. Personally checking in with your team members daily or weekly can be a big help. But encouraging that interpersonal communication between colleagues is also vital.
- Let people know they are valued. ‘Thank you’ is such an easy thing to say. But it’s also an easy thing to forget. Acknowledging a job well done, or even the basic meeting of deadlines, and logging into the office system on time, is a really simple way to show your team members that they are appreciated.
- Keep your team informed. If a client is happy, if a new job has been secured, if there’s a system update ahead, or if someone has joined the team, you need to let your employees know. Because in a physical office, gossip is like grist to the mill. No one likes feeling as if they’ve been forgotten, or as if they’ve missed out on important news. Sending regular updates adds to the feeling of value and unity.
Communication is the overarching factor in all of these pointers. It’s what has driven our business, both throughout the pandemic and in better times. If you don’t communicate clearly and openly, your team stands no chance of understanding your vision, your goals, or their place within them.
Company culture can seem like just one of many overused buzz phrases. Something imported from America to make extra work for the overworked. But instilling a strong sense of company culture actually makes clear business sense. Helping employees to feel motivated and valued. And helping businesses to achieve their ambitions while reducing overheads through enhanced employee productivity and retention. But it’s not always easy to do when you’re managing a remote workforce. And that’s why communication is key.
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