With the easing of lockdown restrictions, companies have had to incorporate hybrid working into their workplace.
Hybrid working means that employees will work both remotely and in the office, and as would be expected, this can be challenging to manage. Companies need to continue to build their culture when employees are working in this way.
The company culture is what makes up the company, including its goals and values. Every employee needs to understand what the culture is and to feel part of it.
These are some ways to ensure you continue your company culture during hybrid working.
Create or Adapt
Your company culture is something you may not give much thought to, but it is the most important element of your organisation. It’s not just the values written on your walls, nor is it the office fruit bowls, bean bags or table-tennis tables. Beyond your nicely written values, mission and vision, your company culture is also the assumptions, beliefs and behaviour of the people that work there.
If you do not have a concise company culture in place, now is the time to do it while you are incorporating hybrid working. If you have a company culture, you may wish to reassess it and adapt it where necessary. Your company culture does not need to be static; you can tweak it as your business develops and changes.
Incorporate Values Daily
The values of a company are a vital aspect of the company culture. Employees should understand the values and use these in every aspect of their day-to-day work. Although it is a good idea to have the values on the company website, they can often get forgotten. For instance, if the values include trust and honesty, it’s important that you build an environment of trust and that starts with you as the business owner. You should trust people to carry out their responsibilities without the need to micro manage them. You may even consider a recognition for those employees that have stood out in terms of incorporating the company values.
In the not too distant past, it was difficult to maintain your company culture if you are not speaking to employees face to face on a daily basis. But the turn of events during lockdown has shown that people can work remotely and still deliver what is expected of them, if not more. Although it’s vital that you hold regular check-ins with your employees, it should include a combination of one to one’s and group conversations. You don’t need to pull in everyone into the office to do this. Invest in the right kind of technology to allow you to do this effectively both remotely and in-person. With regular meetings, you will be able to understand your employees and address any potential issues and behaviours promptly.
A good way to build and maintain your company goals and values is to organise company initiatives, such as team-building days, paid virtual lunches and company retreats. These will allow you to get your employees together to focus on building relationships and to learn more about the company culture. It can also allow you to understand more about your employees.
It is important to build a culture that employees feel they can engage and contribute to. One where they can share ideas, recommendations and generally enhance the organisation. A laid-back, informal structure for communication is much more effective than if they have many processes to counteract before they can provide any feedback. You are more likely to maintain and build on your company culture in a positive way by allowing employees to share their views and opinions.