Are you struggling to keep up with your company culture in spite of new regulations from COVID-19? If not done properly, going remote can interrupt your company culture and change the way your employees interact with one another. This can harm productivity and employee morale.
So, what can you do about it?
Instead of a generic list of suggestions, we’d like to take you through the steps Questco took to maintain our company culture in the midst of these major organizational shifts.
Before we could even start the process of transferring our culture, we spent a lot of time answering the following question:
What makes your company unique?
What do your employees value most about your company? What drives their productivity and attitude? These are the most important elements to replicate during remote work.
At Questco, the tenets of our company culture are frequency, consistency, authenticity, and positivity. We endeavor to bring those elements to all our interactions with our employees, even during uncertain times. What our employees enjoy the most is the comradery. So how do we translate that into how we are working in our current state?
Maintaining these elements requires an intentional plan. That means staying connected in every aspect: with our clients, between supervisors and their employees, as well as amongst team members.
Don’t Expect a Perfect Match
Because there is no physical interaction in a remote work scenario, you won't have an exact match between the culture in your office space and one that develops in a remote work environment.
However, you can approximate many of the effects of physical interaction by taking advantage of the technology and tools available to your business.
At Questco, for example, we heavily emphasize video chat options. This allows us to make eye contact with one another and see each other's smiling faces, which can create a deeper sense of relationship and help enhance the connection to one another.
Preserve Your Schedule
Your schedule is an important part of your employees' interactions with one another. If you have a Monday morning meeting at 9 a.m. in the office, you should continue to hold that meeting but instead do so video chat.
If you're used to separating into specific teams to work on projects, set up an online meeting space where those employees can connect with one another. This can help maintain the positive, collaborative culture you've always had for your team even when you cannot meet face to face.
Host Virtual Events
Right now, more than ever, people are looking for connection and interaction. At Questco, we've found that more employees sign up for our virtual events than have signed up for the company Christmas party.
You can host virtual coffee breaks, lunches, or even happy hours to help encourage connection across the company. At Questco, we hold a Friday virtual Happy Hour that lets our employees come together and shake off the stress of the week, and we're seeing immense success with these strategies.
Find a solution that works effectively for your business! Consider when your employees were, traditionally, most likely to get together and take steps to host virtual events that will allow them to continue those meet-ups.
Different employees will handle this transition in different ways. Some of them will adapt fairly quickly. They will intuitively figure out how to use the technology, and their days will continue virtually unchanged.
Others may be struggling. They might have kids at home who are making it difficult to focus on work responsibilities, or they might be struggling with the new technology required to make the transition to remote work.
Your management team should know how each employee is handling the transition. Check-in individually, not just as a group, to get a solid understanding of exactly how each team member is coping and how you can continue to support them throughout this period.
Tired of sending emails? Give your coworkers a call! At Questco, we provided a cell phone list that was sent out to every employee.Since we are no longer able to run into coworkers in the break room or meet up with a colleague for a coffee break, instead, we encourage you to give them a call. Seeing as we are all in isolation, sometimes just taking a quick break to talk to someone can help tremendously and it can also prove as a very effective way to get work done quickly as well.
Preserving every aspect of your company culture may take too much time, especially when your employees are still juggling their usual busy schedules.
However, you can take many steps to help maintain your culture and keep your business operating smoothly. The timing and content of meetings, for example, is one of the easiest aspects of your culture to recreate. Focus on replicating the parts of your company culture that make your employees happy and contribute the most to productivity.
COVID-19 has changed how we work and how we interact with each other. It forces us to take stock of our core message; the fundamental truths we hold about our company and its employees. In the process, many companies have abandoned their culture to focus solely on survival. This mistake ignores how essential company culture is to a business’ success.
Working remotely will change your company culture, but that doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice the principles that inspire your employees to do their best.