With these strange days during the COVID-19 pandemic, many people are working from home. Whether you are a leader within your organization, or someone new who has just joined the company, company culture is important. When you’re not in the office, company culture can be difficult to sustain. How do you measure your company’s culture when you can’t see it in person in the office everyday? No matter the size of your organization, anyone can sustain (and even improve) company culture even if you aren’t in the office to see it everyday.
1. (Remote) Social Gatherings
One thing Sogolytics has done well is increase the number of check-in meetings we have – we will talk about work, but we will also talk about what is going on with everyone’s life. This is a simple way to still get the feeling of the office despite us not actually being there. Sometimes we’ll even play games on our video calls! These things are small but they have a large impact, and can make your company’s culture shine no matter how far away everyone is. It’s also a good way to get a breather into part of the day, which is easy to lose track of when the weeks can melt together while everyone is working from home.
Here are a couple of fun events your office can do:
- Jersey day
- Show and tell
- Game day
- Tea time/Coffee break
- Trivia day
Just because you aren’t in the office doesn’t mean you can’t still do fun office things. Having a fun social event at the end of the week virtually with all of your coworkers will give everyone something to look forward to as the week goes along, whether the week was a breeze or stressful.
2. Get Good Feedback
In the blog series Strange Days, we show our internal employee pulse results. This will show more than just how your team is currently doing: it can show you where you need to improve! There is always room for improvement. Measuring employee experience will provide you with valuable feedback, and it will allow your team to take a couple of minutes to sit back and reflect on how things are going. This reflection is healthy, and it reflects greatly on leadership as well.
Reflection on what’s going well and what’s going poorly will help each employee learn what they need to improve personally, as well as what the company can improve as a whole. No matter where you are reflection is important, but with remote work in full swing there will be new challenges and innovations that can be discovered by sitting back and thinking everything over for a minute.
3. Show Appreciate from Afar
When you’re in the office, it’s much easier to go and give kudos to someone who is right across the office. But just because people aren’t in the office doesn’t mean you can’t show appreciation. Having check-ins to show appreciation is simple, yet extremely effective when sustaining company culture. Even if a check-in isn’t possible, a quick appreciative message can make someone’s day. Appreciation doesn’t just have to be a direct message to someone – It could be shown through practice too. Appreciation could be illustrated through an afternoon off, or even some small gift. Or you could even show appreciation through a floating holiday or some kind of bonus. There are a variety of things you can do, and in the end if everyone puts in effort to show appreciation towards everyone your company culture will be doing fantastic.
4. Take Matters into Your Own Hands
I’ve written about everyone’s role to help build and sustain a company culture before, and it still applies here. Maybe you are working remotely and you aren’t feeling like you’re staying as connected as you’ve wanted to. Then schedule your own social gatherings with your coworkers, or you could schedule a weekly feedback meeting in order to see what the team thinks could be run better! Sometimes if you want to see change within your company culture, you might have to lead the charge. And leading by example is inspiring, and this will only spur more innovation and positive company culture changes.
We’ve been doing these things here at Sogolytics since the start of the pandemic, and it feels like we’re closer as a team and we’ve accomplished some of our best work. I feel like our company culture (which was already great before) has been thriving despite none of us interacting in person for months now. Maybe you’re doing different things to sustain your company culture and it’s thriving, that’s great! These are some small implementations that any company can do that will help keep the culture going strong even when you can’t see everyone you want to see!