Building a Thriving Company Culture in a Remote Environment

The COVID-19 pandemic has transformed the way we work, forcing many organizations to adopt remote work policies. For some organizations that means 4 days per week in the office and for other organizations it means 100% work-from-home. While remote work has some wonderful advantages, it can also pose challenges in terms of building and maintaining a strong company culture.

Company culture is essential for attracting and retaining top talent, improving employee engagement, and driving organizational success. With companies fighting for and poaching talent, building a strong company culture in a remote environment is more important than ever before. In this article, we will explore a few strategies for building a strong company culture in a remote environment and how organizations can overcome the unique challenges presented by remote work.

If you’d like to work with Motivier to help bolster your company culture, schedule a free consultation to find out how we can work with you.

  1. Define and Communicate Your Company Values

Defining and communicating your company values is an important first step in building a strong company culture in a remote environment. Your company values must reflect your organization’s mission, vision, and goals. Be candid in this process. When you hear these values read out loud, does it sound like the company you work for? Or do they sound overly aspirational and disconnected from the real company culture? Gather input from stakeholders across the organization to ensure these values resonate.

Once defined, incorporate your company values into your new hire onboarding process. Make sure that new employees understand your organization’s mission, vision, and values from day one. Use video conferencing and other communication tools to create a sense of connection and community.

  1. Foster Communication and Collaboration

Communication and collaboration are essential components of a strong company culture. In a remote environment, it is important to use a variety of communication tools to stay connected and foster collaboration. This can include video conferencing, instant messaging, or platforms like Gather.

To build a culture of communication and collaboration, it is important to set expectations for how remote employees should communicate with each other and with their managers. Encourage employees to be proactive in communicating and collaborating with each other. Foster a culture of trust and openness that encourages remote employees to share ideas and feedback.

It can be helpful to set aside recurring time every week to bring the entire team together over video to discuss projects, challenges, or just to socialize.

  1. Prioritize Employee Engagement and Recognition

Employee engagement and recognition are essential components of a strong company culture. In a remote environment, it is important to prioritize employee engagement and recognition to foster a sense of connection and belonging. This can include regular check-ins with remote employees, recognizing employee contributions and achievements, and providing opportunities for professional development and growth.

One way to prioritize employee engagement and recognition in a remote environment is to use employee engagement surveys. These surveys can provide valuable feedback on what is working and what needs improvement in terms of remote employee engagement. Use the feedback from these surveys to make adjustments and improvements to your remote work policies and practices.

  1. Emphasize Work-Life Balance

Work-life balance is important for employee well-being and job satisfaction. In a remote environment, it can be challenging to separate work and personal life, which can lead to burnout and decreased productivity. To build a strong company culture in a remote environment, it is important to emphasize work-life balance and provide resources and support for remote employees to achieve it.

Encourage remote employees to establish boundaries between work and personal life, such as setting specific work hours and creating a dedicated workspace. Provide resources and support for remote employees to manage stress and prioritize self-care. This can include wellness programs, mental health resources, and flexible work arrangements.

One concept that has worked for several organizations is to have the owner or CEO send a calendar block to all employees for an hour over lunch time or after the work day is over. This sends the message to all employees that work-life balance is important at the highest levels in the company.

  1. Celebrate Successes and Milestones

Celebrating successes and milestones is an important part of building a strong company culture in a remote environment. Recognizing employee achievements and milestones can foster a sense of pride and accomplishment and build a culture of positivity and motivation.

To celebrate successes and milestones in a remote environment, consider using video conferencing to host virtual celebrations. Recognize employee achievements in team meetings and in public forums, such as company newsletters or social media channels. Provide rewards and incentives for achieving goals and milestones.

  1. Listen to your employees

No one knows what’s important to your employees more than your employees – so ask them. Conduct surveys, schedule focus groups, and virtual suggestion boxes. Empower your employees to form groups and lead initiatives to improve company culture and engagement. Remember, not all change needs to come from the top.

  1. Use Tools and Assessments

Tools like StrengthsFinder, DiSC, and other assessments can help team members learn about one another and how to better collaborate.

  1. In-Person Meetings

Despite technological advancements that make remote work easier and more achievable than ever before, for some employees there is no replacement for in-person interactions. This will vary for every organization, but I encourage leaders to assess their teams’ desire to meet in person on a recurring basis – whether that’s monthly, quarterly, or annually.

Building a strong company culture in a remote environment presents unique challenges, but it is essential for attracting and retaining top talent, improving employee engagement, and driving organizational success. By defining and communicating your company values, fostering communication and collaboration, prioritizing employee engagement and recognition, emphasizing work-life balance, and celebrating successes and milestones, you can create a strong and cohesive culture that will keep your remote workforce engaged and motivated. Remember to regularly assess and adjust your remote work policies and practices to ensure that they align with your organization’s mission, vision, and goals. With the right strategies in place, building a strong company culture in a remote environment is not only possible but also necessary for long-term success.

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