Now that the switch to remote working has been made, leaders should turn their attention to maintaining morale and a positive workplace culture, writes Caroline Gleeson, CEO and co-founder of Occupop
As employers and employees get more comfortable with the new working environment they find themselves in, the focus of business leaders should be moving from remote working productivity concerns to maintaining employee morale and a positive company culture in a remote environment. The priority of all businesses should be the wellbeing of employees, along with maintaining a positive work environment. This will enable staff, sometimes working alone for the first time, to thrive, which will in turn help company productivity and increase employee loyalty.
These are some of the ways that employee morale can be maintained when there is no physical company culture.
Promote company culture in everything you do
It is vital to create a culture that is felt and known by all employees, no matter their location. It is instilling the company values into every employee and their actions. For example, our company values are; Transparency, Fun, Forward-thinking, Integrity and Friendliness. In our office, they are written on the walls. Now, in a time of crisis, we look to our values when making critical business decisions.
In the remote environment, we actively encourage one another to embody these values in our interactions with each other and our customers. It’s hugely important for employees to understand and embrace the values of a company; not only does it give a sense of belonging and purpose, it is also critical to uphold yourself to a moral standard during difficult times like these.
Keep up company meetings
Before the health crisis we would hold weekly team meetings and monthly company meetings at Occupop, where everyone would be in attendance. Now, we have daily team meetings where we each catch up and discuss our focus for the day. We’ve also introduced two weekly group meetings so that the company can all get together for a short catch up and to socialise a little bit. Meetings like these are even more relevant when remote working, as people aren’t seeing the day to day activities of the company or the individual team efforts. Video conferencing tools like Google Hangouts and Zoom are excellent to facilitate these.
Encourage group discussions
Much like encouraging online ‘get-togethers’, the value of casual idea sharing is often underestimated and is notably missed now that it’s not an option. Video conferencing is not plausible for each and every discussion point, but online chat tools like Slack provide an ideal platform for idea sharing and informal communication. It’s also a great way to communicate with cross functional teams and promote inclusion.