How do you still embody a workplace culture with most people - leaders and employees - working remotely?
Organisation culture is a huge part of why people are attracted to work there and why employees remain engaged, as well as why many clients may instruct the organisation.
Such culture is typically centred around the organisation’s values or its mission/vision statement which may embody traditions, ambitions, working environment, social responsibility, diversity and behaviours expected.
Those that live up to their values during this challenging period are most likely to ensure the loyalty and mental wellbeing of their staff and the longer term wellbeing of the business, notwithstanding potentially essential changes in the short to medium term.
How do you do this from a distance?
Organisations have undoubtedly had to be creative since lockdown has come into force. Here are 5 things that may help to reinforce a healthy “remote workplace” culture:
1) Effective IT solutions – ensure everyone has working systems with easy access to what they need in their specific role; ensure IT issues can be addressed as quickly as possible, providing resources to those that require it for such resolution.
2) Wellbeing – keep appropriate channels of communication open and, as leaders, ensure you initiate conversations not only about work progress but also about a person’s life, situation, challenges or concerns. Show compassion and understanding for what may be going on in someone’s life that may be different to your own without micro-managing or offering to “fix” them. Lead by example, perhaps sharing what you find challenging, curious or new for you. Offer internal or external expert wellbeing support services.
3) Have fun with, for example, a quiz evening or a “mindful minute” morning. Several organisations have started to do this, or similar activities, in order to encourage engagement and visibility away from the “office.”
4) Career Progression – Without making assumptions, be transparent about what this means in the current situation so that employees can share their own thoughts, concerns and expectations.
5) Update staff – as you become aware of significant developments, ensure employees are made aware too. Keep them updated of any plans at sensible intervals, removing room for insecurity or reduced employee engagement.
A strong employee experience “at” work is essential for highest levels of engagement and performance. As such, embodying your company’s values throughout this challenging period is key.
Anita Gohil-Thorp is a credentialed coach with the International Coach Federation with several years experience of working with corporates and professionals, helping to build resilience and success.