Today’s world is increasingly remote, which means you need to rethink your employer brand and adjust your work culture-building strategies accordingly.
In 2019, the typical employee would leave home, commute to work, and arrive at their desk by 9. They’d work, take lunch, keep working, and then leave at 5 (or later!) to return home.
Then, everything changed in 2020. At the onset of the pandemic, companies started implementing remote work policies. As employees adjusted to working from home, many decided they want to continue to do so after the pandemic subsides. However, since your employees rarely see colleagues face-to-face — and the Great Resignation is still alive and well — you might need to rethink your remote work culture to create a better employee experience and boost your employer brand.
What Is Remote Work Culture?
Around 40% of the global population considers company culture a top priority when choosing a job, so creating an incredible culture is essential for your employer brand. It won’t be easy, but it’s worthwhile, as employees will be happier and more productive. They’ll also feel more fulfilled, appreciated, comfortable to take risks, and ready to help their colleagues.
In the past, the office environment influenced how employees felt about their work and its culture. You might have forgone cubicles in favor of an open floor plan or invested in a ping pong table to give employees a place to relax, socialize, and re-energize. However, the remote culture definition looks a little different.
No longer can you rely on office design to boost morale and productivity. In fact, 51% of survey respondents felt less connected to their company culture with remote work, so you need to adjust your strategies to keep your employees engaged, protected, happy, and connected with their co-workers. Facilitating bonds between employees involves ensuring they have shared experiences, priorities, and interests.
How Can You Create A Remote Company Culture?
Companies with great culture enjoy happier and more productive employees, which leads to lower levels of turnover. This means less work for you in the long run, as you won’t need to spend time interviewing and training replacements every few months. Understanding the importance of creating culture in remote teams and how to go about it will tie your company’s employer brand to your people, no matter where they are.
But first, you need to understand what employees want and see whether your employee value proposition aligns with their needs. Nowadays, simply offering insurance and a decent salary isn’t enough to entice workers. Instead, employees want to feel included, empowered to do their job autonomously, and see the potential for personal growth within your organization. They also desire flexible work arrangements, better work-life balances, and companies that care about their physical and emotional health.
Once you’ve figured out what your employees prioritize, you can then adjust your employer brand and look into how to build culture in a remote team. You might consider:
Update Your Online Presence
Since 73% of job seekers consider a company’s employer brand essential, you should ensure your online presence consistently reflects your employer brand and attracts ideal employees. Make sure your digital profile, such as job posts, social media pages, and website, embody your company’s values, mission, and purpose. For example, if you’re open to remote workers, make sure to conduct remote interviews. If you pride your company on its high employee retention and promotion rates, try to showcase employees who have risen through the ranks on your social media pages.
Focus On Onboarding
When you are onboarding new employees remotely, it’s no longer effective to just send emails and pre-recorded welcome videos. Instead, attend video meetings with them, go over the paperwork together, and introduce them to other people on the team. You can also send a care package with snacks or company gear, set clear expectations, and host a small virtual party to help them feel welcome.
Schedule Synchronous Or In-Person Meetings
It can be easy to solely rely on async communication. After all, employees are remote and want flexibility, so making everything asynchronous makes sense, right?
Actually, you still need a few regular meetings to bond employees and help new members become adjusted. 57% of remote employees missed small talk with their colleagues and 53% missed collaborating in person with their team members, so set up weekly staff meetings and encourage virtual collaboration on projects. Also, think about hosting culture-building activities online or in person. Having company-wide retreats, happy hours, or fun classes can go a long way towards strengthening your culture and building connections.
Be Fair And Inclusive
Most employees want the option of working in a hybrid environment yet fear potential inequality. Around two out of three employees believe working remotely will mean fewer advancement opportunities. Plus, harassment and hostility rates are much higher in remote environments, particularly among the Asian, Black, Indigenous, Latinx, nonbinary, and transgender communities.
You’ll need to schedule training and use technology carefully to avoid inequalities. For example, using Zoom exclusively could sideline women because they’re ignored disproportionately in virtual settings. On the other hand, solely relying on Slack can make it difficult for workers in different time zones to find the information they need. There’s no one-size-fits-all answer, so you need to examine and listen to your workforce.
Let Employees Know You Care
Going remote isn’t just an adjustment for your company; it’s also a significant change for your employees that can lead to burnout.
To show employees that you care about their work-life balance, consider instituting a no-emails-at-night policy, offering flexible leave policies, and providing child care support. Even something as simple as scheduling meetings at convenient times for your employees can help. For example, if you know an employee needs to pick up their children after school, try to schedule meetings in the late morning.
A lack of trust is a recipe for disaster. If you respect and trust your employees, they’ll likely be happier and more productive, and you can create a culture where employees thrive, feel proud of their work, and let all their friends know. However, micromanaging can make employees feel frustrated and discouraged.
Trust goes both ways, so you need to be transparent with your employees. 38% of employees believe their company isn’t doing enough to keep them informed, so let employees know about your company’s goals, successes, and problems, as well as their performance.
Build A Great Team With Betterleap
Not only should your employees inform a large part of your culture, but they can also serve as ambassadors and let their connections know what it’s like to work at your company. They’re at the heart of every company’s culture and employer brand, and Betterleap can help you find and build the perfect team! Sign up today to get started!
While Anna cut her corporate teeth on the product team at Airbnb, it was her early-stage startup experience that really introduced her to the world of recruiting. While she was growing the team there, she realized how painful, arduous, and challenging recruiting really is. That is, until you find a stellar recruiting team. Today, she leverages her deep recruiting experience as Betterleap’s co-founder and visionary.