You worked hard to cultivate a great organizational culture that fostered a happy and healthy work environment for your employees, but in March of 2020, everything changed. Overnight, companies of all sizes had to overhaul the way they work and culture took a back seat as priorities shifted to remote-only work. It will be a long time before we can return to anything resembling “normal” operations, so now is a great time to re-focus on company culture to fit into our changing world.
Can You Maintain Culture When Everything Is Different?
The short answer is yes, you can. Your priorities should, of course, be on maintaining customer relationships and keeping your business afloat, but none of that is possible if your employees feel disconnected from the organization.
First and foremost, collaboration tools that are essential for workflow can also help maintain connections. If you use a platform like Slack, leverage it to start conversations and boost interactions between employees. Those interactions can be work-related or fun. Make channels for trivia questions, photo challenges, and other fast, fun ways to connect.
Also create channels where employees can recognize colleagues who have been helpful, who delivered exceptional service, whose work impressed a client, etc. Peer recognition can help maintain company culture and boost engagement across the board.
Try, as well, to incorporate some of your old traditions. If Friday happy hours were the norm, move them to Zoom. If team lunches were a regular occurrence, host them online as well. You can even surprise your team by mailing gift cards they can use to order in lunch on those days.
Support Your Newly Remote Team
People are starting to settle into a work-from-home routine, but not everyone is thriving. Set an example and show you care by offering tips to your team like:
- Keep as normal a routine as possible.
- Get dressed.
- Take lunch breaks.
- Set a regular working schedule.
- Disconnect from work at the end of the day.
- Video chat with colleagues rather than calling them.
- Get up and move throughout the day.
You can also connect with employees by sharing some of your own work-from-home mishaps. Did one of your kids barge in on a video call with a client? Did your cat jump onto your computer and ruin progress on a project? Sharing your own struggles can help you build connections and shows your team that everyone is struggling right now. Use this challenge as an opportunity to encourage new ways to stay connected to one another and to feel engaged with the organization. You may even build a better culture when all is said and done.