Are you constantly trying to create or keep the company culture you have worked tirelessly to build up?
Most find this even more difficult since moving to the distributed workforce (DWF) model.
With the vaccine out and more and more being vaccinated daily, is the end of DWF in sight?
Have we weathered the storm, and we now return to pre COVID work life?
A couple surveys before COVID and during COVID would suggest otherwise.
One survey from Global Workplace Analytics states that 25-30% of the workforce will be working from home multiple days per week by the end of 2021.
This is well past the herd immunity projection date.
Why is the DWF number so high?
Because another survey says 80% surveyed want to work from home or have the option to work from home. The employee demand is still their post COVID. COVID was the catalyst that pushed DWF but wasn’t the start of the movement. With DWF here to stay, why is it so important for companies to invest so much time and energy into a good company culture? There is a lot of evidence that relates productivity to company social interactions. The more satisfied socially we are at work, the higher output we provide with our work. Because of this direct correlation, we must continue to invest our time into building our company’s culture.
What we did for company culture before COVID should not be used in the post COVID life. Even as we go back to work in a hybrid model, dynamics have changed, and what once worked should not be assumed to work now. A distributed workforce presents unique challenges to a culture and must be addressed differently than before.
How do we move forward with a DWF environment and keep a great company culture is dependent on how we implement the technology and social interactions. We must start to think online, hybrid, and offsite events instead of lunches, office gatherings, and office events. Listed here are ways we can keep a great company culture post COVID:
- Communication through multiple platforms –Communication in a Growing Distributed Workforce is a great resource for more information about effectively using technology to assist with a DWF environment.
- Watercooler group chats – using your chat client, setup a watercooler company wide channel. This channel should be used to keep alive what we used to call “watercooler” talk. From this one channel, you will find multiple new chat groups will arise with more specific interests. This will help keep the social interaction at the company, which as discussed, will keep higher productivity.
- Annual Retreats – As companies continue to be hybrid, it is critical to the in-office and remote workers come together at least once a year to have team bonding and get holistically excited and focused for the coming year. This 1-3-day event should include breakout sessions, team building, cocktail hour, games, activities, and leadership updates. It is highly encouraged to bring in outside speakers as well.
- In Person and Online Social Gatherings – Use your preferred video chat service to host non work events. Some of these events should be during business hours (like events in the office) and others should be scheduled for outside core hours. These gatherings should be optional but highly encouraged to attend. This will be your social gatherings and team unity between in person events. These meetings should be built around communication and fun activities.
- Send Swag to all Employees – Employees like swag. It is considered internal marketing and helps build brand recognition and value internally. What is typically low dollar can have a big impact on company loyalty.
- Executive Monthly Meetings – If your company’s executive team was not meeting monthly pre COVID, it is critical to be meeting at least monthly moving forward. Meeting regularly allows you to be agile and make changes as needed. This proactive approach will help the company adjust as needed and better communicate to the team via trickle down communication and regularly scheduled CEO Updates.
- Lunch & Learn Department Projects – Most companies effectively communicate what is happening in their own department. But all too often we don’t share across departments. Having regularly scheduled lunch & learn meetings, optional, for employees to hear what new things are happening in other departments, is another great way to keep each group of individuals feel connected to the company’s overall mission.
To keep company culture healthy and strong, you must meet as a leadership team to discuss these ideas and identify options that may fit well within your business model. Build a plan that you believe is best for your company, spend time thinking through it, then implement company wide.
“You will find employees will adopt the new hybrid culture better when they feel management is dedicating time to identify ways to meet their social interactive needs. It will make your employees realize you see them as people and not just workers to do “a job”,” says Joe Beaulieu, CEO of eStrategic.
He continues to say, “At eStrategic, we are helping companies identify best practices, technologies to align with said practices, and structuring timelines for implementation.”
We are here to help you, too. Give us a call, and we will discuss your business structure and learn if perhaps these options are a good fit for you. Contact us today!