Company culture speaks volumes about your brand. It reflects your mission, vision, values, ethics, leadership structure, expectations, goals, and dedication to your stakeholders, products, and services. Your culture attracts and engages not only customers but potential employees as well.
Your employees can help define your brand’s culture. On-site employees have a front-row seat to how the work environment operates. It’s significantly more challenging to integrate employees working from home, though. However, since those team members are also shaping your company culture, they can’t be overlooked.
Your employees are doing much more than delivering on their assigned tasks. They are integral to what your company is all about, no matter where their office is located. Here are six ways to integrate remote workers into that all-important company culture.
Engage Them Via Your Payroll System
If you don’t think the payroll function is part of your company culture, you’re missing an opportunity. It is, after all, how you deliver the financial promises you made to your employees when you hired them. Compensating employees correctly and on time builds trust, which is the foundation of your brand’s culture.
A good payroll solution for small businesses reduces paycheck and withholding errors, and it routes benefits where they need to go. Providing real-time access to remote employees vacation time, payroll, and benefits information is a plus. By offering transparency into the payroll system, you can empower employees to self-manage and take ownership of their benefits.
Your brand’s success relies on employee talent, retention, and company loyalty. It stands to reason that their reward – compensation and benefits – helps build a better employee. Make sure your payroll solution delivers on the promises you make, especially to those who can’t stop by the HR office.
Open the Lines of Communication
Company culture is all about communication. It’s not just expressing your company’s mission, vision, and values statement to employees. It’s about an exchange of information and ideas.
Invest resources in communications systems that facilitate discussions, no matter where employees work. Your systems should be providing the best remote communication between remote workers and any in-house team members. That will ensure a two-way flow inside and outside the office walls.
Telling employees about your company culture doesn’t cut it. They have to feel free to ask questions, discuss answers, and offer suggestions that may strengthen that culture. If you fail to provide that opportunity, they may just hang up on you. Maintain a culture of transparency.
Revisit Your Company Culture
Prior to the pandemic, many companies didn’t have employees who were working remotely. Now that they do, a lot of them are thinking about keeping some positions permanently remote. Furthermore, many employees who have embraced working from home would like to keep it that way for the long term.
As you’re revisiting how and where your employees work, you need to revisit your company culture as well. Let’s say part of your culture was hosting regular events designed to help employees socialize.
How can you achieve the goals of such events when some employees aren’t physically there? Perhaps that’s an opportunity to offer events like virtual happy hours, online concerts, or at-home cooking classes instead of the regular company picnic.
Your company culture, like everything else, needs to be nimble enough to pivot in response to change. Take the time to make sure you’re accommodating remote employees in key aspects of that culture. Making a few remote-friendly adjustments might be all you need to keep your culture thriving.
Schedule Some In-Person Time
Remote employees may be producing work like a well-oiled machine. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t make the effort to schedule some non-virtual connections. Scheduling some in-person time offers a touchstone to your company culture.
Avoid the “drop-by-sometime” approach and schedule intentional events that all employees show up for, live and in person. Just because some employees work from home doesn’t mean they should never darken the office doorstep again. If your remote employees work in a different building than the corporate offices, travel to visit them routinely.
It’s a great expectation to achieve employee buy-in to the company culture if they never experience it up close and personal. Virtual technology may be fine for tackling day-to-day communication. But there’s no replacement for a handshake, or at least an elbow bump, between employees.
Celebrate Victories and Share Defeats
Engaging in company culture is a team effort. Win or lose, the team should always play together, celebrating victories and sharing defeats as a unit. Company culture, by its nature, is collective.
This doesn’t exclude individual recognition for those members of the team who excel. In fact, authentic, individual recognition is important to all employees, but particularly those working remotely.
Neither your best nor your worst employee operates in a vacuum. It takes everyone, including remote employees, to do their part to achieve corporate goals. Your company culture’s success will hinge on your ability to make all employees feel like part of the team. So provide recognition when it’s due, and face challenges together.
Onboard With a Cultural Core
Onboarding is tough for remote employees. There’s no showing them their new desk and walking around the office meeting co-workers. As helpful as virtual technology is, it simply can’t replace the in-office excitement of starting a new job.
From the very first minute of onboarding, make your remote employees feel like they are a part of something. Talk to them about your culture, let them question it, and devote all the time necessary to fully discuss it.
Don’t assume the same process you use for in-house employees will convey your culture to remote workers. You can still have the same overarching onboarding goals for every employee. Just make sure you adjust the program accordingly to truly bring remote employees on board from afar.
The term “culture” refers to collective norms established by the members of a society. In this case, those members are your company’s employees. Since interaction is inherent in a society, fostering it can be challenging when employees are separated.
In scientific terms, “culture” is about maintaining conditions necessary for growth. Your company might have had those prime conditions down before it had employees working remotely. It therefore stands to reason that those conditions must change for growth to continue.
Company culture doesn’t say a lot about a brand; it says everything about it. So take the steps necessary to integrate your remote workers into yours. Then, everyone, no matter where they are, will be speaking the same language.