The shift to remote work over the past year has been rife with opportunity, but there’s no denying the growing pains. It’s hard to overstate the impact of a 180° turn in standard operating procedure. Businesses have been facing down endless tough questions: How do we keep track of performance without in-person work? How do we reach new clients without conferences and trade shows? How do we even run a video call?
Fortunately, most questions have proven to be not too difficult to answer. Companies have stepped up, learning new technology, and implementing creative solutions. These innovations have led to plenty of success, but lingering challenges remain. Most prominently, the challenge of maintaining cohesive company culture. How do you build togetherness when you’re not together?
It’s not as difficult as it sounds. Just like anything else in remote work, it comes down to good planning and good communication. Make supporting your company’s culture central to your daily work, and it will continue to flourish. If that's a bit too general, then here are three specific strategies to help you get the ball rolling.
1. Make your company’s values explicit
If you haven’t already made a point of this, now’s the time. Your company’s guiding values are what dictate your company culture, so be intentional with them. Consider including them on your website, social media platforms, and in your regular communications. Leading off a weekly email with a reference to or reflection upon your values will keep them front-of-mind for far-flung staff.
2. Keep up with regular communication
In the office, it’s easy to get up from your desk, take a stroll down the hall, and pop your head into a coworker’s cube for a quick conversation. No one needs to think too hard about it, and that ease may make it seem like communication will always come naturally. Not so with remote work. Without a plan, it’s easy for coworkers to become out of sight out of mind, and for teams to erode.
Actively foster communication, and you’ll be able to keep the team identity healthy and thriving. It starts with management keeping everyone apprised of developments through newsletters, weekly emails, all-hands meetings, and one-on-ones. For general communication though, chat applications are the go-to solution.
Slack, Microsoft Teams, and Google Hangouts are all popular choices for remote work. They allow employees to ping each other with quick questions and collaboration requests, keeping communication fluid and fast. They also support company culture by keeping socialization easy. Watercooler chats go virtual, so the camaraderie born of small talk can continue uninterrupted.
3. Celebrate everything, from birthdays to badges
Life doesn’t stop just because we’re working remotely. If birthday and anniversary parties were celebrated in person, keep it up online. Heck, even if those things were not common in the office, it’s a great time to start making them a habit. Use video chats to give everyone a chance to say congratulations face-to-face. You can even go the extra mile and order in food or treats to employee homes.
Another perfect opportunity to celebrate comes with professional successes. For example, sharing good news when employees earn badges through Credly's Acclaim platform. From praising achievements in weekly emails to company-wide virtual parties that call out all the badges earned in the past month or quarter, celebrating upskilling has tangible value. Not only does it incentivize continued professional growth, but it also keeps your company’s positive culture alive and thriving.
Though the office has changed, your people are the same
The culture that made your company special before the pandemic is still a vital asset. Finding new ways to support it will help to keep your staff focused, and their execution exceptional.
Credly not only provides an easy way for employees to earn valuable digital credentials, but it also gives employers a natural opportunity to offer praise and encourage growth. To give your company more chances to celebrate together, fill out the form below and we'll be in touch shortly.