As Canadians emerge from the pandemic shutdowns, they face a changed work environment. Remote work has become an inexorable part of many organizations, meaning you’ll face a new set of challenges as you plan a post-COVID future. Specifically, you’ll have to find new ways to build a strong culture that includes your remote workers.
In a hybrid world, it’s easy to lose sight of culture. You can’t assume that employees will absorb your values directly, given that they won’t gather together in the office on a daily basis. Rather, you need to foster new techniques to deliver your cultural message.
Four Ways Canadian Companies Can Build a Strong Culture When Working Remote
Set Clear Goals
Building a vibrant remote culture starts by setting transparent objectives and establishing clear values. These goals should operate on multiple levels:
- Corporate: Communicate a vision for the company’s future that will inspire your remote employees. At the same time, demonstrate the values you want them to share.
- Team: Find ways to build team spirit among your remote workers. Facilitate relationship-building and establish collective goals that they can achieve together.
- Individual: Each remote worker should know how they fit into the larger picture. They should understand their role and what’s expected of them on a daily basis.
Focus on Communication
Don’t let anything get lost in translation. It’s one thing to define an engaging, inspiring culture. It’s another to communicate that vision to your employees.
Imparting your values gets more complicated in a remote setting. You have to become more deliberate about transmitting your cultural priorities. Here are a few steps you can take to maximize your ability to convey your broader mission to workers who don’t spend a significant amount of time in the office:
Create Multiple Lines of Communication
Take advantage of technology. Don’t rely on one method of keeping in touch. Leverage text, email, internal messenger, and social media to deliver your message.
Also, vary the form your communication takes. Create videos to describe your culture and disseminate them among your remote staff. Make memes to show your sense of humor. Provide handbooks and other materials, so that remote workers have a reference guide to your cultural underpinnings.
Make Sure Everyone Is Included
An inclusive culture is crucial to fueling innovation and collaboration. This becomes even more important in a remote situation, where it’s easy for employees to become isolated from the overall organization. As a result, you need to take steps to make everyone feel like they are part of the team.
Try to Involve a Social Component
Building culture isn’t just about work. It’s also about creating bonds between your employees. That’s why you host events like holiday parties and summer barbeques.
Of course, these get-togethers become more difficult with a remote workforce, which could include contributors scattered across Canada and even in other countries. Still, you can foster the social aspect of culture.
Consider events like Zoom happy hours. Celebrate milestones like marriages and births. Encourage your remote workers to make connections with each other.
Build a Strong Tech Backbone
Remote work requires a strong technological support. The process is only possible when facilitated by devices like computers and smartphones. As a result, you can’t encourage a strong workplace culture without bulking up your tech capabilities. After all, in the modern world, technology becomes your workplace.
Ensure your team stays connected by creating the right tech backbone. Provide equipment to your remote workers, so you know they have the tools they need. At the same time, find communication and workflow management software that facilitates collaboration and discussion. This will help you maintain a cultural connection with your remote staff.
Create a Dialog about Culture
Don’t let your cultural communication become a one-way street. You should also encourage feedback from your employees. This will let your culture evolve over time and make your team members feel more included in the process.
For remote workers, you face an added challenge in sparking this back-and-forth discussion. It’s harder to engage in casual conversations or gather off-hand opinions. Instead, you need to be more conscious of the process of generating a dialog.
Here are a few steps you can take:
- Use employee surveys.
- Include culture as part of your regular employee review process.
- Emphasize your desire to hear employee feedback.
- Continually reinforce that you want to hear from your remote workers.
- Make yourself available to your remote workers.
- Create an anonymous way for workers to provide suggestions and air complaints.
Need Help Finding Employee That Fit Your Company Culture?
Building a strong culture starts by having the right staff in place. By partnering with a strong recruiter, like Elby Professional Services, you find the remote workers you need to take your team to the next level.
Contact Elby today to learn more.