Many businesses are currently moving into remote work models in response to COVID-19, which implies that it is normal for employees to feel a sense of isolation. Your employees are the glue that keeps your organization together. In that case, ensuring that you have communication options while maintaining company culture is critical.
What Is Culture?
Every organization is unique in the way it operates and culture is the aspect that shapes such behavior. When you delve deeper, you will discover that organizational culture relates to;
- How companies do things.
- The sum of values and rituals that act as the glue that integrates members of a specific entity.
- A product of compensation.
- Workplace civilization.
- A jointly shared description of a firm from within.
- A lifestyle demanding adaptation to reality as fast as possible.
- The company’s immune system.
- Lastly, the outcome of the society surrounding a particular firm.
Defining Your Culture
Outlining what you want to preserve as part of your organizational culture as a leader is paramount. The reason is that company culture significant impacts the process of attracting, hiring, and retaining top talent. So, when you define what you want to preserve, you will be in a better position to identify the individuals to recruit.
So, how do you define the culture of your establishment?
1. Write It Down and Own It
Having your company culture in writing acts as a means of outlining the code of conduct. Indeed, the kind of workplace you want and the people you want to work with and for will be instrumental in shaping the organizational culture you adopt.
Some of the things you can consider as you seek to define your company’s culture include respect, transparency, humility, open communication, an entrepreneurial spirit, and innovation.
2. Appreciate That Culture Evolves
The culture of your enterprise is bound to change as your operations expand, and for that reason, you need to consider the input of your workers. So, as you build your firm’s culture, you should evaluate how your employees are aligning with it and whether the organizational culture you adopt is in line with the kind of workforce you have in-house.
You also need to understand that there can be more than one culture in a company because there are several aspects that dictate the same including;
- Working groups
- Geographical location
Leveraging Remote Work to Correct “Broken Culture”
As the business world evolves, adopting an exceptional culture is not an option. The implication, in this case, is that over and above promising your employees a great experience, you need to engage them from time to time as well. On the other hand, as a leader, you should focus on consistent communication, setting the tone for the right culture, and holding your managers accountable for team performance and engagement.
The problem is that if you have a “broken culture”, it may be challenging to achieve what you want from your remote workforce. Here are steps to fixing your organization’s “broken culture.”
- Establish What Your Team Craves. If you want your remote workers to perform at optimal levels, you need to incorporate the interests of the various groups of individuals you work with into your company’s culture, including millennials, Generation Z, the silent generation, Generation X, and baby boomers.
- Examine Your Culture. Since your firm’s culture affects your workers in one way or another, asking for their feedback to help you adjust your approach accordingly is necessary. You can ask your employees to rate your company’s culture in terms of belonging, safety, and mattering, which will help you identify the changes you should make.
- Develop A Cultural Game Plan. After identifying and addressing underlying issues in your company culture; you should go ahead and develop a game plan that provides a fulfilling experience for your employees. Some of the things to focus on in this case are engagement, growth, measurement, and appreciation.
By fixing your organization’s “broken culture”, you solve such hindrances to your business operations as inefficient communication, information silos, and disorganization.
Classifying how you communicate in the modern workplace is crucial because it will dictate the results you can expect. Remote work communication will also vary from one enterprise to another, depending on the size of each. Official and cultural engagements are the two options you need to consider in the case of modern workplace communication.
- Open Loop – this refers to external communication with vendors, clients, partners, and prospects.
- Outer Loop – refers to the engagement of all employees within your organization.
- Inner Loop – focuses on communication with the teams you work with daily that rely on private messages, business unit channels, and working group channels.
- Watercooler Channel – imagine explaining a Kubernetes joke to your marketing department. Well, that is now possible thanks to the watercooler channel. Here individuals can share jokes while still upholding the guidelines of proper etiquette.
- Organizing such outside groups as Netflix watch parties and sharing Xbox profiles.
- Events – you can plan a virtual happy hour or an 80s party in teams with a Bonus.ly prize for best costume to crown the event.
- Resource Sharing – consider sharing personal effects, reaching out to the restaurants that are still delivering, and involving your kids in activities that will occupy them.
- Memes, gifs, and jokes.
How to Communicate
Working out in the open by engaging in one-to-one interactions can help your team achieve a lot. Thus, you should prioritize this communication approach. You should also avoid involving a PM if this will help others perform better. Then, maintain an office buzz and ensure your employees are on the same page. Here is a strategic approach on how to communicate.
Microsoft Teams facilitates the governance of your watercooler channels in line with the policies you have in place. You can also configure Microsoft’s Insider Threat tool to capture HR threats across your entire organization.
Lead By Example
Although organizational culture is a useful tool for building the right working environment, leadership goes a long way towards influencing and cultivating healthy workplace practices. As such, leaders should use the watercooler channel, work out loud, and remain boldly open in their communications.
In light of the current situation, meetings appear to be downing, but ensuring there is a cadence for purposes of connecting everyone is paramount, and here is what you can do.
- Avoid the temptation to hold many meetings just because you are remote.
- Open the floor during all company meetings by asking feedback from both employees and customers.
- Consider a formal briefing for all your firm’s meetings and a townhall style engagement for everyone to contribute.
With over 2 million accounts migrated to the cloud, Agile IT continues to provide change management and productivity services alongside its Teams and SharePoint engineering services for tens of thousands of users. For more information on how you can make your shift to remote work more productive, cost-effective, and secure, contact us today!