Just about everyone in business recognizes that in recent years, the concept of traditional office environments has evolved, with remote and hybrid work becoming increasingly popular. While these new work arrangements offer greater flexibility and work-life balance, they pose unique challenges in maintaining and building a strong company culture.
Company culture is the heartbeat of an organization, driving employee engagement, productivity, and overall business success. How do you build company culture when your employees aren’t in the office? Here are five key ways companies can build and nurture their culture with every employee, regardless of location.
Foster Open Communication and Transparency
Effective communication is the cornerstone of a thriving organization, remote or not. Prepare to invest heavily in communication tools and platforms that facilitate seamless and real-time employee interactions. Encourage open and transparent communication, where team members feel comfortable sharing their ideas, concerns and achievements. Last year at one of Endeavor’s Collaborators & Cocktails events, Global Chief Creative Officer Susan Credle of international marketing agency FCB Global addressed this head-on, noting that creative and business success depends on “the freedom to speak our ideas (even the ‘stupid ones’) out loud” because “that triggers you or someone else in the group to say something brilliant – and collectively achieve better work and outcomes.”
Regular virtual team meetings, town halls and one-on-one video calls help bridge the physical distance and build stronger connections among remote team members. Emphasize the importance of active listening and feedback to ensure that employees feel heard and valued, fostering a culture of trust and inclusivity.
Define and Reinforce Core Values
Defining and reinforcing your core values is important to keeping your company on the right track. Your values serve as guiding principles, shaping employee behavior and decision-making. This core idea keeps everyone on the same page and gives both in-person and virtual meetings focus.
Regardless of what your values may be, as a leader, you have to live them. You should establish programs that recognize employees who embody these values, reinforcing the organization’s commitment to them. During Endeavor founder Joe Erwin’s time leading Erwin-Penland, annual awards weren’t tied to financial performance but rather to employees who best exhibited and reflected the agency’s core values of Integrity, Growth, and Customer Service.
The truth is, when an employee works from home, they don’t always get the encouragement they deserve for their work. By building these recognition rituals into your company’s operating rhythm, you consciously uplift those employees.
Cultivate a Sense of Belonging and Community
Remote and hybrid work arrangements can sometimes lead to feelings of isolation, and companies have to foster a sense of belonging among their employees to combat this.
At the end of the day, you want to humanize the work experience as much as possible (and as much as people are comfortable). Create optional opportunities for team members to share personal interests and hobbies in virtual team meetings or chat groups. Organize virtual social events, such as virtual happy hours, digital networking events, online games or team-building activities to help employees bond and get to know and appreciate each other beyond work-related discussions.
Additionally, utilizing coworking spaces occasionally throughout the year can be a powerful way to bring remote employees together physically. At Endeavor, we’ve been host to numerous such events in our space, from day-long meetings to weekend retreats and after-hours receptions. These events allow employees to collaborate, socialize and strengthen team dynamics without giving up their home office.
Invest in Professional Development
Remote and hybrid employees must continually grow and develop professionally to stay motivated in their roles. To meet this need, offer virtual training sessions, workshops and webinars to enhance skills and knowledge. Encourage employees to pursue certifications, attend industry conferences (like Endeavor’s Collaborators & Cocktails series) or explore other roles in your organization. Investing in employee development benefits the individual and demonstrates the company’s commitment to employee growth and success.
We briefly touched on this but recognizing and rewarding employees’ contributions and achievements is crucial for building a motivated company culture. In remote or hybrid work settings, it becomes even more critical to acknowledge employees’ hard work and dedication – not just one-on-one, but in front of their peers and company leadership
Implement a recognition and rewards program that highlights exceptional performance. In addition to financial compensation, simple gestures such as personalized appreciation emails, virtual shout-outs or digital badges can be impactful.
Building the Culture that Drives Success
Not every in-person initiative translates well for remote employees, so you must have specific initiatives dedicated to them. Companies that foster open communication, define their core values, cultivate a sense of belonging, invest in professional development and recognize achievements will reap the benefits.
If you would like to host your next employee gathering at Endeavor, reach out to our team today!