Company culture can be difficult to define. In general, a company’s culture includes how the people accomplish their work, as well as the company’s mission, values, expectations, and standards.
Companies with partially or fully remote workforces may struggle to maintain a positive, unified culture. However, a well-established culture can help increase employee engagement and productivity. A positive culture helps each team member understand their role in the company and how that role contributes toward a common goal.
While it can be challenging, leaders can still create a cohesive, productive culture within a dispersed team. Here are some ways to overcome some of those challenges:
Before you can cultivate a company culture, you must first determine what that culture is and how it is manifested in the workplace.
Clearly establishing your company culture will help guide your efforts in promoting it.
Once you have defined your company culture, it is crucial to share the same information with all employees. This communication is not a one-time action, but an ongoing process.
This does not just apply to explaining your company’s culture. Leaders of remote workforces should make communication a top priority overall. When employees do not pass in the hallways or stop by each others’ desks or offices, communication needs to be more proactive. Managers and team members should schedule regular phone calls, emails, or video calls to connect with each remote employee.
When sharing company information, do not use just one kind of information. “If the company is only sending information via one format—let’s say email—then you may be limiting your reach and end up with employees who feel disconnected,” says Ana Flor, EVP, People & Culture at ATTOM Data Solutions. “Using various channels of communication will make remote employees feel included and part of the culture.”
Leaders should promote the company culture during the hiring process and on an employee’s first day. This helps new hires become more engaged and productive sooner. This requires the right onboarding process for remote employees.
Remote employees may easily feel left out, so taking deliberate steps to include them from day one will help strengthen their engagement in the company culture.
Giving and getting feedback appropriately can help guide company culture, especially in a remote workplace.
Incorporating remote employee feedback can help leaders understand what is and is not working in the company culture. At the same time, asking employees for feedback can make them feel more engaged, which helps create a more positive culture.
The fully remote workplace is still a recent development. Company leaders should expect to stay flexible and experimental when it comes to establishing and promoting the desired company culture.
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