It has become more popular and increasingly necessary to allow some employees to work from home in the digital age. Unfortunately, working remotely can foster disharmony in the workplace because employees are no longer surrounded by company culture; instead, they are encapsulated by family and home, which represent comfort and ease.
It would help if you wanted your employees to feel relaxed in their day-to-day activities, but employees also need to remain focused on company objectives. In some cases, working from home can be a distraction, but that is not the fault of the company or the employee.
Traditional workplace culture does not work in a new and remote world. Employers and employees need to adapt and learn how each operates efficiently in a new paradigm. Despite the necessary changes and challenges during workplace transitions, one thing holds: employee engagement is paramount.
Engagement is a natural side effect of company culture and community. Still, company culture is fosterable because it is curated and created.
Benefits of a Company Community
How do you describe your company culture? If you cannot sum up the community in a sentence or two, the company has not done a great job sharing its corporate vision or explaining its culture. While every business strives for a unique and purposeful culture, each is different. Still, most share a few foundational characteristics: a supportive environment, communicative and approachable management, and an enriched and accessible environment for optimal productivity.
Working with a virtual team can seem challenging to cater to the last, but it is not impossible. Most organizations struggle with the definition of environment, seeing only the brick-and-mortar establishment.
With remote work on the rise, companies need to review their virtual or digital environments. How intuitive is the company website for employees? Are there built-in tools for troubleshooting and FAQs? Is there a direct line of communication between management and the workforce? A remote employee might have the comfort of a home office, but they still require the same level of support they have when working on site.
A company cannot afford to dismiss the digital landscape when allowing employees to work remotely. There are too many benefits to a cohesive and supportive corporate community, including:
Higher employee retention
Stronger corporate reputation
Instilling Your Company's Values
A key component of company branding is the definition of core values. Most business execs know that establishing a company mission is crucial for engaging company culture, regardless of remote offices or home offices. The values help unify the brand voice and performance. Still, how can you ensure that company values carry through to different work environments, from in-office teams to virtual employees?
First, ensure that the business's core values are present in every business area, from websites to memos. The company must give employees and management every opportunity to see and practice the values. Some areas to include the core values include:
Annual review materials
Digital work environments
Second, find ways to fit corporate values into team dialogue. Have managers explain the importance of the values. Ask team members to discuss core values and predict possible conflicts and resolutions. Produce a company survey to determine how employees feel the company emanates its core principles.
Third, hold all community members accountable, including management and upper executives. A team needs to see that no one is exempt from the principles of the company and the community.
Finally, recognize those who go above and beyond to uphold company values. Whether an employer chooses to honor an employee with an award or a face-to-face meeting, employees who are excellent examples of company culture should receive praise.
Curating Online Virtual Programs
A corporate community is not effective without employee engagement. The problem with remote work is finding ways to encourage engagement beyond the average needs. A company wants employees to excel and drive future business and progress. If employees are not motivated to act beyond their current status, they risk remaining stagnant.
To increase employee motivation, a company can curate virtual programs. The programs can focus on a range of things, from learning a new skill to manage. Essentially, anything to help team members improve their performance.
Still, sometimes, enticements are necessary. An online program could be the prerequisite to moving up in position and salary. You will need to figure out how the new programs will motivate the workforce.
Increasing Engagement With One Another
It is so much easier to improve employee engagement when in the workplace. Still, virtual or remote environments are quickly becoming the norm for several companies and industries. While some HR managers held in-office exercise classes followed by brief breaks, they might feel that such options are no longer viable. However, there are virtual options for companies interested in starting with an energy boost every day.
Additionally, most workplaces allow for a morning and afternoon break, typically about 15 minutes. You can encourage an online coffee break or chat session as virtual team events. Take the time to promote free dialogue. Allow employees to share stories and talk with each other. Free interaction allows team members to build rapport and establish bonds, positively affecting job performance.
Finally, consider virtual mentorship programs. Employees are often looking for ways to improve performance and get on a fast track with management. A mentorship offers guidance and support to help create the company's workforce and leaders.
While establishing a corporate culture or company community can seem challenging in the digital age, it is not impossible, especially with remote teams. Companies only need to look beyond the traditional and often stiff strategies for building in-person relationships and focus on employee engagement and interaction with digital tools and virtual meetings. Contact a digital corporate specialist to help establish a virtual culture or improve engagement.