Can You Create Culture In A Remote Work World?Ramon Ray
Company culture isn’t just about ping pong tables and happy hours. It’s the set of values, behaviors, and beliefs that shape how your employees work together and how they interact with customers. Creating a strong company culture is essential for any business, but it can be especially challenging for small businesses.
If you have remote teams or have restructured your business to allow employees to work from home after the pandemic, it can be difficult to maintain your company culture. Maybe you’re worried that your team will miss out on the benefits of being in an office together, or maybe you’re concerned that employees won’t form the same kind of relationship when they aren’t all working in one physical space.
Fortunately, there are a number of strategies that you can use to create a strong company culture in a remote work environment.
But really, why is this so important? As Harvard Business Review notes, “A company’s culture is often how people remember that company-and can be more important than the products (or services) it offers.”
- Having a strong company culture can:
- Help you attract and retain top talent
- Set your business apart from the competition
- Foster a sense of community and belonging among employees
- Encourage employees to be productive and innovative
- Help you build a strong team that is committed to your business and its success.
So how can you create a company culture in a remote work world? Here are a few ideas on how small businesses can create a robust culture in a remote work world.
1. Define Your Values
The first step in creating a strong company culture is to define your values. What does your company stand for? What are your core beliefs?
Your values will guide everything from the way you treat your employees to the way you market your products or services. If you’re not sure where to start, consider surveying your employees or holding a focus group to get feedback on what they believe are the most important values for your company.
2. Focus On Building Trust And Focus On The Team
The foundation of any strong culture is trust. When your employees trust each other, they are more motivated and engaged, leading to better results for the business. As a small business owner, you need to focus on building trust in your team by creating an open environment where everyone feels comfortable sharing ideas and speaking their minds.
To do this, start by being transparent with your employees. Share information about the company’s goals, plans, and finances. Encourage employees to ask questions and give feedback. And be sure to follow through on your promises.
It’s also important to focus on building a team that works well together. When your employees feel like they are part of a team, they will be more motivated to succeed and less likely to leave. To create this sense of camaraderie, encourage team bonding activities such as company retreats or off-site meetings.
3. Encourage Employee Engagement
In addition to building trust within your team, you also need to focus on engaging your employees. Research shows that engaged employees are more productive, creative, and motivated than those who feel disengaged at work.
But how can you encourage employee engagement? One important way is to provide regular feedback on their performance. Not only does this help employees understand what they’re doing well and what they could improve, but it also helps them stay motivated and focused on the company’s goals.
Another way to encourage employee engagement is to offer opportunities for growth and development. Providing training, workshops, or mentoring can help your employees feel like they are learning and growing in their roles. This will make them more motivated and engaged in their work, which is great for the company as a whole.
4. Keep Communication Channels Open.
With remote work, there is a greater risk of miscommunication and misunderstanding. To prevent this, make sure you have multiple channels of communication open with your employees. This could include weekly team meetings, daily check-ins, or even a simple messaging system where everyone can ask questions and give feedback.
5. Use Technology To Build Connections
In a remote work environment, it’s more important than ever for employees to feel connected to one another. Thankfully, there are tools and technologies that can help you build deeper connections and foster a stronger culture.
For example, apps like Slack, Google Meet, Zoom, and Basecamp can help remote workers communicate more effectively with each other. Consider investing in online collaboration software and online performance management platforms to track team progress and maintain accountability.
6. Encourage Social Interaction
Just because your employees are working remotely doesn’t mean they can’t interact with one another on a personal level. In fact, it’s important to encourage social interaction, even if it’s just virtually.
One way to do this is to create virtual happy hours or social events where employees can gather online and get to know each other better. You could also host a monthly “lunch club,” where remote employees take turns hosting meals that everyone can attend and chat about non-work topics.
7. Promote Work-Life Balance
In a remote work environment, it can be easy for employees to feel like they’re always working. This is why it’s important to promote a healthy work-life balance for your employees.
One way to do this is to encourage employees to take time off. This could be through flexible scheduling, or simply a culture where taking time off isn’t frowned upon. Additionally, you may want to consider offering paid time off for volunteering, which can be a great way for remote workers to feel connected to the community and spend time outside of work.
I work for a business that embraced remote work even before 2020; this has made Qualio a useful lesson to me about how a remote culture should be built, lived and breathed.
Alongside our core work of providing eQMS software to the life science world is a bundle of remote cultural initiatives led by our People team, such as:
- Emphasis on asynchronous work to knit teams across time zones
- Mechanisms for non-work chat as much as business talk, with Slack channels for gardening, football, cooking, pets and more
- Meeting-free Focus Fridays and frequent wellness sessions
- Taking time to discuss personal lives on calls as well as work
The Bottom Line?
Creating a strong company culture can be a challenge in a remote work world, but with the right approach and tools, it’s possible to create an engaging and supportive environment for your employees. So what are you waiting for? Start creating your strong company culture today!
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