How do I protect my company culture?
Company culture is the set of shared values, beliefs and norms that define how a company’s employees behave. A common observation is that “culture eats strategy for breakfast” and it’s true that a strong culture can overcome the biggest of obstacles. But how do you protect your company culture when people are working remotely?
Adopting the 4 principles below will help:
- Make sure your teams have a clear understanding of the company, it’s values and its ways of working and behaviour
- Create opportunities for connection and interaction, even when people are working remotely such as scheduling weekly social ‘happy hours’ or starting online discussion groups, on subjects unrelated to work, where people can share their interests and passions and create personal connections
- Promote and reinforce the positive aspects of your company culture – celebrate when people live up to the values and norms important to the company
- Make it clear that remote work doesn’t mean that anything goes – there are still standards to uphold, even when people aren’t in the office.
Company culture is important, treat protecting it as a priority – even when employees are Working Remotely.
How do I improve my company culture?
There are several ways to improve company culture, including offering incentives to encourage behaviour which extols core values and strengthening communication on important issues.
- Instituting new policies that encourage employees to work together and support each other. Examples include creating a policy that allows employees to take breaks together or offering incentives for employees to develop new ideas for improving team morale.
- Fostering open communication to make sure your employees feel comfortable sharing their thoughts and concerns with their peers and senior management
- Actively recognising and rewarding employees for positive contributions to company objectives such as bonuses for those who go above and beyond the mandate of their job, or vouchers to employees who suggest ways to improve customer service
- Introducing an award system that formally recognises employees who exemplify the company’s values.
But perhaps the most critical aspect of improving a company’s culture is to strengthen communication between senior management and employees. Culture stems from the company’s Board and senior executives – they each need to embrace, extol, sponsor and talk openly about the values that represent the organisation’s culture.
Video text transcript (excluding videos and images):
How do I protect my company culture?
Hello and thanks for joining me. I’m Grant Price from YOHO with another … ‘Question of Work’.
Oliver asks about something that seems to have been on a lot of our minds lately: “How do I protect my company culture?”
Well Oliver, the days of the company assault course may be over – but culture is important! When we talk about protecting our culture (because of remote working) what are we concerned about?
Dilution of our values? Divergence from our mission? Corruption of our ways of working? Loss of team spirit? The emergence of sub-cultures? Or perhaps, it’s a loss of control?
All of these are so much easier face to face – we can observe our new colleagues and learn so much just from their body language ….
Loss of this face-to-face time has highlighted 2 things…. Firstly, it’s important to make the most of each minute of the face-to-face time we do spend together … and Secondly, the importance of being direct and explicit about those things that impact company objectives AND staff wellbeing –
There are tried and tested ways to achieve this – such as revising the staff handbook and allocating a ‘cultural buddy’ to answer the raft of questions we all have when we are new. At YOHO we research, analyse and share best practice to help you adapt quickly to new ways of working.
If you’d like to talk through your cultural concerns, or anything else, book a free 30-minute consultation with me by clicking the link above.