Overnight, the way we work dramatically changed in 2020. Companies with employees that are able to work from home have transitioned into remote work. Hiring new employees has been done with the help of remote onboarding processes. Videoconferencing platforms, like Zoom, have allowed team members to stay connected and work together.
One aspect of the workplace that has been a key topic of discussion during this time is company culture.
How does company culture translate beyond the traditional office into remote work? Some businesses have struggled to keep their company culture strong in a time of great uncertainty. However, as a recent Glassdoor study has revealed, companies that already have a strong culture baked into their business have found there’s a link between employee culture and real-world financial performance. Employers in fast-growing sectors of the economy with skilled talent and above-average stock returns are investing in enhancing employee culture as a talent-attraction strategy. This strategy, according to the study, is helping to position 2020 as the start of a culture-first decade for organizations.
Creating a fantastic company culture will vary a little bit for every business. Through my experience, I have found it’s important to know the answers to a few questions before you’re able to create a fantastic company culture.
- What motivates your team?
- How do you inspire leadership?
- Are you available?
- What’s your communication style?
- Do you encourage feedback?
Let’s take a closer look at how the answers to these questions aids to the creation of a strong company culture.
1. What motivates your team?
COVID-19 has changed the way employees are motivated in the workplace. When we know what motivates our team, we are better able to create benefits and perks that tap into an employee’s needs.
Ask your team what motivates them. Then, ask them what motivates them through the COVID-19 lens. Some team members, for example, may express a desire for mental healthcare options as part of a benefits package. Others may continue to seek opportunities for growth in the company or, in a post-pandemic normal, would like to keep some of the flexibility found in remote work. The answers will not be the same across the board, so ask before you make any decisions to better create a happy, healthy environment.
2. How do you inspire leadership?
Getting members of your team to act as leaders should not be based around picking “favorites.” Nor should anyone assume all individuals in senior roles want to lead.
Focus on how you can inspire others to lead and take the lead. Many individuals thrive and step up when they are invested in the business and feel trusted in their respective roles. Take a moment to seek out leaders in areas that allow you to step away and give them the chance to flourish.
3. Are you available?
The one thing leaders have in common is that we are all part of this present moment. There is no more closed office door to hide behind, and no golf course to disappear away to early in the afternoons. We’re here and we’re available for our teams.
Part of what helps create a fantastic company culture is accessibility. If leaders are available and present at work, it shows the team that they care and are actively contributing to the overall success of the company. Use this time to listen to employees and learn from what they have to say and share.
4. What’s your communication style?
After months of working remote, many individuals have been able to discover their specific communication style. Some like to send emails together, while others enjoy using messaging apps to chat. Individually and as a group, however, everyone enjoys celebrating the successes of the team.
However you communicate, communicate openly. Transparency in the workplace is critical for building a strong company culture and helps to create a strong employee culture where team members are dedicated and aware of the opportunities ahead.
5. Do you encourage feedback?
Teams want to feel not only that they are making a difference, but that their voices are being heard by leadership. Every employee is influential with the thoughts and ideas they have to bring to the table. The best way to start this kind of conversation is by welcoming feedback.
Keep an open mind and get ready to listen up. Be willing to accept feedback — both on yourself and the business — and you’ll quickly find others will accept the same.