8 Essential Tips for Engaging a Remote Workforce
The sudden shift to remote work in 2020 brought unprecedented challenges for companies across size and industry. However, the added flexibility of remote work is an opportunity ripe for the picking. With a few best practices and adjustments, cultivating company culture can be done regardless of location. Businesses in Poughkeepsie, NY now have the same home-field advantage and access to talent across states, especially to those within the same time zone. With a little intentional monitoring of employee sentiment and company culture, leaders anywhere can cultivate a thriving and meaningful place of work, even in a remote world.
Let’s define culture. Company culture is company identity. It is the shared set of goals, values, mission, and attitudes from the top down. In practice, it is “what we do” and “how we do it” to the backdrop of a common “why.” Some companies don’t have culture, or their leaders don’t consciously think about cultures much. In these workplaces, assignments are given and work is done without much conscious thought. There’s a lack of uniformity in the company between teams, management, and even mission — business priorities can seem to be in constant flux because there isn’t a single underlying vision that ties it all together. One of the most critical misses in companies that undervalue culture is unequal standards.
Companies with a strong culture are easily identifiable because they’re usually already successful. They seem polished with a clear mission and goal. They have internal processes that manage the standardization of work quality, people processes, and leadership. They are conscious about the “one team, one dream” concept starting from the beginning with staffing and recruiting, and give all employees a clear purpose for their work. A common indicator of strong company culture is a positive, engaged, and motivated workforce.
8 essential pieces of knowledge for cultivating company culture remotely:
- Establish your company mission and reiterate it to your teams (often) from the top down. What does your company do and why? How does your company do it? What value are you adding to the industry? What value are you adding to the world? Fostering company identity is essential in creating purpose. Craft a clear mission statement and post it across all marketing and recruiting surface areas.
- Regular touchpoints with management and leadership are more critical than ever in a remote workplace. Managers are the primary source of leadership and business updates. Now is the time to make 1:1’s between manager and employee mandatory, regular, and consistent, whether they are on a weekly or bi-monthly basis.
- Company updates should also be more regular at this time. Weekly or monthly communications in the form of a big-picture update will boost the health of an employee-to-organization relationship. An all-hands meeting or communications newsletter will do the trick.
- Create an employee map and keep it updated. Highlight this resource tool for employees so that they can coordinate gatherings with other employees within proximity.
- Modify benefits so that they can be enjoyed remotely. Create stipends for gyms or other wellness benefits.
- Host remote social events and gatherings at least once a year, but don’t make them mandatory. Employees need to have the option of a social work function, but not all people will thrive in that kind of environment.
- Promote dialogue between leadership and the larger workforce by opening up feedback channels. Collect employee feedback on a routine basis and review them. Quarterly or semi-annually are suggested cadences.
- Promote your remote-but-engaged culture early on in the recruiting process. Share what benefits you offer as a remote company, but also emphasize how important it is for every team member to be engaged in the remote workforce. This will set expectations for candidates looking to join your “work hard play hard,” “one team” mentality.
Navigating remote work is new for most of us, but the same fundamental principles that have always led to successful organizations still hold. At SMART Staffing Group, Inc., we are a Minority- and Woman-Owned business that has helped people find meaningful work since 2014. We seek to extend the talent base for local companies within Poughkeepsie, NY as remote work becomes more and more mainstream. Make intentional staffing and recruiting a part of your culture.