People work harder when they feel part of something bigger, writes Daniel Wood, and it’s important to maintain that sense of culture while we all work from home.
If you’ve been in business for a while, you’ll already know how important a strong company culture can be. Not just for the cohesion and strength of your business, and the united front it presents to your customers. But for the benefit of your team members. When people feel part of something bigger than their own interests, they not only work harder, but feel happier, and that’s really important for mental and emotional wellbeing. The difficulty comes from maintaining that sense of company culture when you’re managing a remote workforce.
It’s no secret that since the start of the pandemic in early 2020, swathes of employees have been working from home. And as Covid-19 continues to rumble on, many businesses are finding that this operating mode actually works for them. But maintaining that strong sense of company culture at a distance is harder. So, what do you do?
How to Build Company Culture into a Remote Workforce:
1.Keep communication alive
Communication is at the heart of all relationships. So, keeping that two-way communication going when your team are working remotely is integral to maintaining company culture. It doesn’t have to be the [strictly PC] touchy-feely reaching out. But both positive and negative information sharing is essential if you want your employees to fully comprehend their place within your business.
2. Share company values
You can’t expect to create a company culture without a set of core values. And you can’t expect your team members to buy into that culture if they don’t know what your core values are, and how their work fits within them.
3. Be open about future plans
There’s nothing more frustrating for employees than having an ‘oh, right, thanks for telling me’ moment when they stumble across something they feel they probably should have known. Whether that’s a new product launch or a change in direction that will see their current project being brought to an end. You can’t involve your whole team in decision making. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t keep them in the loop.
4. Encourage team relationships
You can’t force your employees to be friends. But by encouraging communication – free chat time before you join Zoom meetings, staff chat rooms, forums, and not monitoring project communication too closely – you can help to alleviate the sense of loneliness and isolation that many new remote workers experience. This will also help to build up the watercooler camaraderie that can be absent when working remotely.
5. Don’t forget to show appreciation
There are many benefits to working remotely. But if your work isn’t being acknowledged, it can soon begin to feel pointless. And that’s when employees will start to disengage. Checking in and congratulating individuals on their productivity or performance is an easy way to make them feel valued. And a sense of value will feedback into an appreciation of company culture.
Company culture is basically about giving your employees direction and helping them to feel connected and relevant. Which can seem a little fluffy from the outside, but can have a dramatic impact upon how your customers see your business. So, although company culture might feel fairly low down on your list of priorities right now, it’s worth giving it some attention.
Daniel Wood is co-founder of Momentum Property Education he is also the CEO and chairman of the board of the Swedish Wealth Institute AB that supports entrepreneurs and investors by bringing the teaching of experts from all over the world to the Nordics, among the partners they work with are Rich Dad Organisation, Kim Kiyosaki, Randy Zuckerberg, Success Resources, and through them Tony Robbins, and Momentum Property Education.