How can you maintain company culture in remote teams?

company culture in remote teams

Company culture refers to a company’s personality and is determined by a variety of factors including the organization’s values, mission, ethics, goals, and expectations. Company culture determines the working environment and influences employee performance and the way they interact with their colleagues and management.

Developing a desirable company culture is a process that takes time and can be affected by major changes in an organization. One major change that many companies have had to endure recently is shifting to remote working during the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic.

While the government in BC has announced a phased reopening of the province, experts suggest that social distancing will be enforced for months, if not years, to come. For that reason, you may be thinking of extending remote working for the foreseeable future. But what does that mean for your company culture?

If you are worried about maintaining company culture as your employees continue to work from home, here are some things you can do:


1.     Refine your company values

Look at your company’s value statement, does it still convey the core beliefs of your company and the value you wish to bring to your employees and customers? If not, it may be time to reconsider your key principles.


2.     Communicate the culture to employees

Once you have a clearly defined set of values, you should outline the resulting culture you hope these values will inspire. Create a culture deck and share it with your employees. Ideally, you should share this document with employees when they start, so they can know from day one what is expected of them as part of the team. You may also want to finish regular team by asking your employees to share a story or example of the ways they have lived the company values.  This keeps culture top of mind when people can’t be together to see culture in action.


3.     Welcome new employees publicly

If you are hiring during this time, you should still make new employees feel welcome by introducing them to the whole team. You can do this via videoconferencing. Also, you may want to consider asking new employees to schedule one-on-one meetings with existing team members, even in different departments, to get a better feel for the company culture.


4.     Encourage open communication and feedback

Your employees not being onsite shouldn’t be an excuse for lack of open communication and feedback. Ensure you put systems in place for all team members to contribute to discussions and share their ideas. It would help if you also determined what channels will be used for what types of communication. For instance, you may decide that serious matters should be communicated via videoconferencing, while more casual conversations can take place via your company’s instant messaging platform.


5. Track employee engagement

If you want to measure the engagement of your remote team members effectively, implement formal assessments. Instead of focussing only on work-related matters in your assessments, also ask questions about employee contentment and connectivity as well. This will make employees feel like valued members of your team and not as though they are working in isolation.


6.     Teach your company values

Whether your company values innovation, customer service or integrity, it is important to demonstrate what those values look like by teaching them to your team.  You can host a webinar series, have your employees take on-line courses, or hold presentations where “culture stewards” present virtually to their fellow colleagues.


7.     Celebrate success

When the team has realized success by living out the organization’s values, it is time to celebrate!  Just because teams may not be working physically together doesn’t mean that it’s not possible to celebrate their successes.  A couple examples are to have each employee order in a meal to their home through Skip the Dishes or DoorDash (compliments of the employer) and share a team lunch over Zoom or send out gift cards to each team member at home with a thank you note for the work they did to contribute to the team’s success.


Do you need to maintain company culture in remote teams?

If you need help to maintain a positive company culture in remote teams, contact us at Pivot HR Services. At Pivot HR Services, our HR consultants will help you to create an environment where employees and employers have a shared understanding of values, and beliefs.

Contact us today to schedule a free consultation. Let us show you how your company can benefit from our culture-building services.


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