An engaging corporate culture is vital to helping any company thrive. But how does that engagement happen now, during a time when many of us are still working from our homes?
It’s important to start by recognizing that things are different right now: Not only is the current job market uncertain, we’re all tasked with trying to stay safe and healthy while still doing our jobs—it’s a lot to manage. Employers need to create a corporate culture that offers the stability and support our teams need most right now by providing opportunities for growth, professional development and a shared sense of connection and purpose. Here are some thoughts about how to make that happen in your workplace:
Be mindful. When your team is working from home, consider that they also have to manage the everyday responsibilities that come with it (like family schedules and childcare). So, be flexible with scheduling team calls; and always keep time zones in mind. Once you determine how and when each individual works, respect their working hours.
Go with video. If you haven’t already made the shift to Zoom meetings, embrace video conferencing. Not only is it a smart tool for efficiently connecting a remote workforce, it promotes team camaraderie and engages participants. Our brains prefer to see things rather than just hear them: we process visuals 60,000 times faster than words alone. This is why video meetings are more engaging than conference calls. Your team will feel more connected with that face-to-face interaction.
Level up. Regular job training can help employees develop the skills they need to feel more satisfied and engaged with work as they apply new insights to everyday job challenges. Look into online classes, webinars or workshops and share those opportunities with your team. If budget is a concern, encourage a few of your employees to attend these workshops and then allow them to share with your team the information or best practices learned, using video chat.
And be sure to use your resources: At Shamrock, we’ve reached out to our suppliers over the past few months and they’ve been happy to provide new product webinars and virtual demonstrations for our team. It’s been a great way to keep our employees up to date on new product and technology innovations—and the resulting experience and knowledge is mutually beneficial for our supplier partners.
Maintain traditions. Shamrock’s Culture Club distributes scratch-off lottery tickets to team members every month. Since we’ve been on work-from-home orders, we’ve continued with that program: Tickets are mailed to each employee at home and we now look forward to our monthly “scratch-off” video call. We’ve done the same with our employee appreciation program, pivoting to create virtual team recognition events, milestone celebrations, and more—an effort that has helped our team feel more connected, even though we’re apart.
Create a sense of community. With no breakroom banter or casual connections with colleagues, use technology like video conferencing or social media apps to bridge the gap:
- Intentionally make time at the start of video chats for small talk
- Encourage team members to share a feel-good story, a client success, or their priorities for the week using a Salesforce Chatter group or Slack
- Create team competitions like fitness challenges, quarantine bakeoffs, or other creative activities
Give them what they need. The right gear can make working remotely a whole lot easier. I’ve helped some of my clients create WFH kits for their teams that include items like wireless earbuds, notepads, adult coloring books, insulated mugs, reusable straws, etc. It’s a fun and functional way to surprise your team and show appreciation.
These are some of the ways we’ve found to build and maintain an engaging corporate culture for our team. We’re always open to new ideas: If you’ve got thoughts to share, chime in on our Facebook page.