During the last year, there have been many difficult challenges that owners and staff have had to face, in what has been a turbulent 12 months. However, out of this there will undoubtedly be many positives in the long term. Many companies are looking to move to a more hybrid and flexible work environment accommodating employees based both remotely and in the office. One of the questions will be – how do they maintain their company culture under these new ways of working?
Building and maintaining a Company Culture is not just about team building activities, it’s about how employees feel connected and secure in their company. It’s about making sure that the team is still collaborating, functioning as a unit, everyone working to a shared goal and having impact on delivering their companies’ objectives.
Whilst the hybrid way of working is a step forward, many staff will miss the day to day of seeing their colleagues for a chat, working with their team, and collaborating. Some will feel it is difficult to separate work and home.
There are 5 things to think about
Define your culture
Think about your workplace and be specific about what your culture is, and what you would like it to be. This is a time to write a new strategy, thinking about and putting down what your culture is and mapping it out for the future.
- Be clear about what Hybrid working means to you and your staff. When planning out how it will work, involve the staff in the discussions. Think about how the business will operate in this new way of working.
- Once clear goals and expectations are in place – trust your team. Set targets and put performance tracking in place so you don’t need to micro-manage. Stop thinking about whether the work is getting done.
- Be supportive even when times are hard. Empathise and let the team know you understand.
- Put in more communication. Ensure that team meetings are happening on a regular basis through each week and that staff member monthly reviews are taking place. This is a chance for staff to raise any issues they may be having with working remotely.
- As well as maintaining and increasing transparency from management to staff, make sure to take time to listen and react to your employees. Do a company survey. Find out where things can be improved and areas you need to work on.
- When you move to a more hybrid way of working, can some meetings take place in the office?
- Make sure to keep staff training and coaching in place, many tools are now available to make this possible remotely.
Keep the social side
- Keep the social elements going even if it has to be virtually, such as annual awards and quiz nights etc. Even though it might not be quite the same, it’s to show that it’s not just all about work.
- Maintain the small day to day gestures that people enjoy – if you bought cakes for training sessions, meetings or for celebrating success – think about how you can keep these in place.
- Celebrations – whether it’s celebrating a birthday or a success. Send gifts out if it’s not possible to see the staff member in person.
It’s incredibly different times so don’t be too hard on yourself if you don’t get this perfect from the start, we are moving into new territory. Keep a balanced mindset.
Make use of the times when people are in the office to really work on it and emphasise it. Make those days special. Buy some cakes or pastries.
When the time comes and the new way of working is firmly in place, think about having a welcome back day.
If you are looking to hire a new staff member or wanting more advice on maintaining company culture, contact the team at Better Prospects. Don’t hesitate to get in touch as we can support you now with filling your vacancy!