How to maintain company culture when working remotely

How to maintain company culture when working remotely

09/09/2020

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By Thomas Seymour, HR Director at mthree. Originally published on Finance Derivative.


With working from home becoming the new norm, and many of the UK’s biggest financial firms set to only bring around 50% of staff back into the office, finding ways to maintain company culture when staff aren’t working in the same place, has suddenly become a pressing issue.


Bringing new people into the business, keeping staff engaged and informed, and ensuring employee wellbeing will now present new challenges for the many businesses who are now having to navigate this transition to a work-from-home set up.


As remote working is likely to be a continued trend, businesses must be prepared to support and communicate with all of their staff, wherever they may be.


Below are the top three tips for how companies can keep their employees happy and most importantly, maintain its company culture in the coming months.



Refine and consistently communicate company values and busines updates (Top down and bottom up!)

With many businesses having a combination of some staff working from home and some in the office, it is important that strong lines of communication are made from the outset. While different teams and departments may have been finding their own new ways of collaborating and communicating, selecting one platform for communicating with staff, or putting key dates in all employees’ diaries, will enable updates to be given across the entire business.


Communicating company values regularly is also essential when it comes to ensuring company culture is maintained – irrespective of whether all of your employees are working in the same location. Following the recent months of lockdown and the business landscape changing drastically, this may be the perfect time to refresh values and encourage your employees to provide their own opinions on what they believe the business stands – or should stand – for. Again, this can be organised electronically so as many individuals as possible can attend the brainstorm, or a virtual event can be created to outline these new values. This will provide immediate direction for every employee that makes up the company.



Invest in employee wellbeing


With as many as 50% of financial businesses refraining from having every employee back in the office, this will leave many employees continuing to work from home. For many, this can be an isolating experience that can make them feel detached from the company and their colleagues. Investing in employee wellbeing, such as having dedicated Mental Health first aiders or creating a mentor set up, can be an immediately effective way of offering a source of support to whoever may need it.


Similarly, finding ways to boost staff morale is another way that wellbeing can be supported.


For example, businesses could create an internal award ceremony where employees can nominate their fellow co-workers. Here at mthree, we host a quarterly MVP awards where our staff can acknowledge their colleagues and the winners receive cash vouchers for some of their favorite online and high street stores. This has been a great way for peers to recognize their colleagues who go the extra mile, outside of day to day work. It is important to note we align the categories that colleagues vote to mthree’s values and strengths. This is a great way to maintain and promote our positive approach to our culture, mission and strengths we expect in all colleagues.



Prioritise an effective onboarding strategy
 


A remote working set up can be particularly difficult for new starters. If new employees are starting their new job from home, virtually introducing them to their whole team at the same time can be a great way for them to be welcomed into the business. This helps to build relationships from the outset and encourages all employees to be involved in the onboarding process.


Similarly, providing a thorough starter pack, that outlines all administration requirements that clearly directs new employees to where they can find useful information, will be a task that may have to be updated to consider the remote process. Ensuring there is a virtual alternative for every physical meeting is a must


Recent research has revealed that British office workers have returned to their offices at a much slower rate in comparison to staff in France, Germany, Italy and Spain and over 60% of Brits are still unsure about going back. Whilst businesses will now be making efforts to get their workers back into the office, remote working will inevitably be an option preferred by many. Adapting to these new working situations requires HR bosses to invest in their people, find new ways to support their staff’s wellbeing and implement effective onboarding strategies that will in order to maintain their carefully cultivated company cultures.