No one needs to tell you how important company culture is. And if you’re an experienced manager, CEO or small-business owner, by now you don’t need anyone to tell you how to build the culture in your office, either. Whether it’s coffee breaks, in-house breakfasts, appreciation perks or just your everyday water cooler conversations, your team members have ways to communicate and connect – with each other and with you.
Great job. But now, whether as a result of the pandemic or by choice, your business has gone partially or fully remote. Which means that part or all of your team is now no longer in the same office or even in the same building. You might even be spread across multiple time zones.
Now, maintaining a great workplace culture is a bit more difficult. If you made the transition to remote working months ago, then you know that unlike an in-house office, your culture no longer runs more or less on its own. If remote working is new for you, then you’re faced with the prospect of building your company culture more or less from scratch.
So how can you keep your company culture vibrant and engaging, no matter where (or when) your team members are? Here are some great ideas to get your creative remote culture juices going.
How to Boost Remote Company Culture
Company Culture Tip #1: Use Slack
When we asked some of our employees for their top tip for maintaining remote workplace culture is, one of the first responses was “Use Slack.”
And with good reason.
Slack is a fantastic tool for keeping all team members in the loop, for team-wide announcements and collaboration. But it doesn’t stop there. Slack can be a really fun way to bring your company culture into the remote world you’re now in.
Because you can designate a channel for just about anything you want, you can create channels around hobbies, favorite books, pandemic woes, photo-sharing – anything you think your team will enjoy. In other words, this is a great place for those water-cooler and coffee machine conversations you used to have in the office that helped make your workplace culture what it is.
And don’t worry about how much time your employees are or aren’t spending on these channels. One major shift from in-house to remote is to focus more on productivity and less on the clock. If a member of your team is meeting deadlines and performing well, don’t sweat it if he or she is hanging out a bit longer at the #pilates channel, unless it gets really excessive.
Company Culture Tip #2: Have Designated Coffee Breaks
In the office, coffee breaks often just kind of happen. When your team – or even just some of your team – is working remotely, that’s not the case. Make sure your team members are actually taking breaks. To make it more fun – and get everyone having a good time together – have daily, biweekly or weekly designated coffee breaks, where you:
- Swap favorite recipes
- Share pics of children and/or pets
- Send an article to everyone and then have a coffee break to discuss it
- Trade crafts ideas
- Take other team members on a virtual tour of your home or workspace
- Do two-minute exercises or stretches
A variation of this is to give your team a question, and then everyone gets to answer it during the designated coffee break, like:
- Where was the best place you ever went on vacation?
- Tell us one weird thing you did to keep yourself sane during quarantine and/or lockdown.
- What books are you reading lately?
- What’s your favorite dessert?
You get the idea. As long as your team enjoys it, it can work – and go a long way to giving everyone the feeling that they’re part of a coherent company culture that’s there for them.
Company Culture Tip #3: Virtual Game Night
There’s almost no game you can’t play online, and a great way to promote your company culture is by organizing a weekly or monthly virtual game night. Ask your team members what their favorite games are, and have a blast.
Are your employees in different time zones? See if there’s a time that works for everyone, even if it’s on work time for some of your team. They’ll get the paid vacation hour next time around.
Company Culture Tip #4: Happiness Surveys
When you’re in-house, it’s easier to see what aspects of your company culture are working and which ones aren’t. When you’re working remotely, it’s much harder.
One way to see what is and isn’t working for your team is to do happiness surveys. These can be multiple choice, “rate from 1-10” questions, or any other format you feel will give you the feedback you need. Your employees will feel that they’re working within a workplace culture that cares about them, and you’ll have a picture of how to fine-tune so everyone’s needs are met.
Company Culture Tip #5: Keep Those Benefits Coming
If there were periodical benefits that were part of your company culture before you went remote, keep them coming – perhaps even more frequently than before.
Because when your team is working remotely, one of the things you lose is the “pass-someone-in-the-hallway-and-give-them-a-compliment” personal touch. By stepping up the frequency of perks and benefits, you can show your employees how much you appreciate them.
So let’s say your office used to send a few team members for coffee or lunch once a week. Keep that going, just switch to remote: Give each employee a budget and let them order takeout. Then give those members time to join each other virtually for lunch.
Gift cards are another great way to boost your company culture and morale. And they don’t have to be expensive. You can give gift cards for sites like Amazon or Walmart or find out what your employees’ favorite haunts are and see if you can arrange a gift card there.
Not all perks have to cost money, by the way. Let your employees feel the love with birthday and anniversary shout-outs. When someone has done a great job, let everyone know. And if a member is having a hard time (and who hasn’t had hard times this past year), reach out. Show them that their company culture is there for them. Send a card. Send flowers. Or just send a personal message that you care.
Whether your company has been remote for ages or just made the transition now, these are five fun ways you can reboot your company culture to make your company a place that your team wants to be.
And isn’t that what company culture is all about?
Consider Remote Hiring
Now is a great time to take advantage of the benefits of remote recruitment and staffing. If your company is looking for the right employee to join your team, the recruiters at Outsourcing to Israel have the expert knowledge to get you top American talent, with the education and experience you need. They are ready to take your call today at (847) 677-6477, or email [email protected].