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Redefining Culture in a Remote Setting

Caroline Barada
May 31, 2022

Remote work environments are becoming the norm, and company leaders are now wondering how they can build and retain a culture that resonates with remote and hybrid employees. As of now, remote work best practices aren’t transparent, and employee engagement and retention are at risk. By building a remote company culture that prioritizes your employees, you can increase engagement levels and alignment. Here are some tips on how to redefine culture in a remote setting: 

Acknowledge employee wellbeing 

Psychological safety in the work field is the foundation of culture. Work culture is all about having people be comfortable enough at work to be themselves and be personable with one another. This only happens at work if employees know that they have security at their job and can express themselves without repercussions. When leaders support employees by letting them express their opinions and individual needs, employees’ wellbeing becomes better. In a remote setting, supporting workers and their individual needs can be done by creating different programs like feedback forms, mental health awareness week, mental health reminders, and informing yourself on what may deteriorate someone’s mental wellbeing in the specific field. It’s also essential as a leader to send a message that success and wellbeing go hand in hand. A culture of putting happiness first can have long-lasting healthy effects on workers that eventually lead to a shared space where people love their coworkers and can ask for help/share opinions. 

Create values  

Incorporating company values into daily operations can embed employees into the culture and future of the organization. Culture is not about the location or size; it is about how people can come together through the company’s values. Setting company values is like putting the anchor that supports the team through daily decisions. When employees can see themselves and recognize their work in the company’s vision and progression, they can become fulfilled with themselves and want to be involved in the company’s culture. Having set values can also attract like-minded individuals that can add to and improve the culture. With work from home, having a company vision is more important than ever. If your company used to be in-person, reevaluating the company’s values with employees is an excellent start to the transition to remote work. As employees work from home, values are able to give them direction and purpose. As a leader at the company, it is impossible to see every employee getting their work done. Values tie everyone together, including yourself. 

Create online group environments for employees 

Online group environments are tailored to different subjects in which workers can collaborate, synergize, and communicate. Some of these environment subjects that workers can join can be vacations, coffee lovers, sunsets, etc. These environments within the company’s software should be optional to join and based on workers’ interests. This is a great way to maintain and foster company culture. It’s awesome to get a notification while working and quickly see what a worker says about a non-professional subject. Workers are also just generally more likely to find their “group” or “work bestie” in these online environments. 

Create mentorship programs 

Mentorship programs grow the knowledge and skills of employees and can directly benefit the company’s overall culture. The overall morale improves when employees feel it is appropriate to be looking to advance their careers within the organization and are being encouraged by other employees to do so. As a result, there is a tremendous rise in employee engagement, satisfaction, and retention. Mentorship programs are also an opportunity to create an inclusive workforce by matching diverse employees across different teams. It also helps build relationships in the workplace as it lets employees see things from different perspectives. Continuous learning is crucial in today’s highly competitive world because stagnant roles lead to stagnant companies. Mentorship programs help employees improve skills and knowledge to support organizational goals. 

Distinguish culture from climate 

Culture is the values and beliefs that separate one group of people from another. Climate is the day-to-day atmosphere in a team and is derivative of how many people share the culture’s values and beliefs. It’s important to distinguish the two to focus on what can embellish the culture at your company. Define the behaviors that best support your organization’s values and your remote workers. Let everyone know what these behaviors are. Culture goes deeper to include the immediate environment and people’s beliefs and values, which is essential for all leaders to understand and educate themselves on. 

Creating a strong culture in a remote environment might be daunting. However, being aware and cautious about using these best practices can easily streamline your company culture initiatives. When leaders can effectively use their power to grow company culture carefully, everyone can collaborate better and elevate their work.