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Nurturing Culture in a Dispersed Workplace

When you think about great workplace culture, what do you picture? Probably company events, friendly colleagues working one-on-one, and employee perks. But what if all of that is taken away?

With more areas following social distancing orders, an unprecedented number of Americans are working from home for the foreseeable future. This transition has upended many business norms, but especially company cultures. Employees can no longer see visual culture cues, chat by the water cooler, or use company perks. Instead, working alone in makeshift home offices is causing feelings of isolation and disconnection. 

So what can companies do to nurture culture among dispersed employees? And does workplace culture matter enough to make this a priority when so many other things are changing too? 

Let’s look at the importance of culture among remote workers and how you can promote yours during this uncertain time.

Does Workplace Culture Matter?

When a manager interviews candidates for a job, they look at two basic things: qualifications and personality. Qualifications tell them how well they can do the job. Personality shows them how well the person will work with others and contribute to the work environment. 

Workplace culture is like the company’s personality. A good culture creates a work setting where employees are comfortable, engaged, and productive. Employees are not robots who work well in a spartan environment. They need a positive, social atmosphere to thrive. 

When companies nurture a healthy workplace culture, they remove much of the stress of the workday and make working a pleasant experience. This translates into better job satisfaction for employees which leads to:

  • High employee retention
  • Better performance and productivity
  • Better collaboration and engagement
  • Good company reputation
  • Higher profits

Workplace culture is essential for promoting good work among employees and helping them succeed. And when employees are successful, their employers are too.

Nurturing Your Company’s Culture from Home

We often think of culture as the shared values and practices of a group of people. When a group is separated from each other, that image falls apart. However, there are other ways to connect as a group and continue to share those things that unify people. You just have to think outside the box, especially when everyone is outside the office! 

The good news is that many of the things your company has done in the past to maintain its workplace culture will still work. They may just look a little different with employees working from home. But the same general principles apply, such as:

  • Hire people who are compatible with the culture you want. 
  • Define everyone’s roles and responsibilities, especially if anything has changed recently. 
  • Hold regular team meetings, preferably with video so everyone can see one another.
  • Establish reliable channels of communication, so workers can still collaborate. 
  • Schedule virtual social events for employees who are feeling isolated.
  • Create a channel on your communication platform for employees to use throughout the day. 
  • Continue to invest in employee development, whether that’s offering online learning resources or offering cross-training opportunities.

You can also take some tips from companies who have relied on remote work all along. Here’s how remote-work businesses handle company culture:

  • Be deliberate. With everyone at home, there are fewer visual markers, like dress code or office layout, to define the culture. Instead, look at your values and demonstrate them through actions. For example, if your culture values communication, use reliable communication tools and processes. 
  • Be inclusive. There’s always someone in every group who is less likely to speak up or struggles to click with the group. Those employees can be forgotten much easier when out of sight. Don’t let that happen. Check in with everyone, ask people directly for input in meetings, and recognize everyone’s contributions equally. 
  • Don’t rely on employee perks to define your culture. 
  • Prioritize transparency. Keep employees informed and up-to-date on company actions. Especially at a time when the market is so uncertain, employees will stay invested in their work and employer when they trust that they are receiving honest information. 

Maintaining your company’s culture with a dispersed workforce may look challenging, but this can also be an excellent opportunity to reassess and strengthen your culture. You might even find that a renewed focus on culture at this time will make it even better than before! 

CTA How to Improve or Develop Company Culture Guide

Connect with Your Talent, New and Long-time

Who you employ has a significant impact on your company’s culture. Your long-time employees are solid contributors to your culture, but what about new hires? 

Find new talent that fits the job and culture with the services of SelectOne. Our technology and experience help you pinpoint the kind of employees you want to hire and find them, even in such uncertain times as these. To learn more, contact us today.

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