What was an excellent job perk is now fast becoming the new normal. After the pandemic showed companies that working from home can be more cost-effective, various businesses are now going fully remote. And while many employees may prefer skipping the daily commute, the sad truth is that most also feel a weaker sense of belonging.
This is alarming news for business owners who want to maintain high employee retention levels. But how can you foster a strong remote company culture when everyone is working from their home office, and water-cooler chats are out of the question?
Be Clear About Your Company’s Mission, Vision, and Values
The first thing you need is to make sure employees can effortlessly access the main characteristics of your business culture. The easiest way to do this is to have an ‘About Us’ page with the company’s mission, vision, and values. If it is public, job applicants can also visit this page to check whether your company culture meets their expectations. Additionally, we recommend showcasing employee interviews showing why they enjoy working for your company to humanize it.
It’s also important to be clear about your work policies. Many companies promote flexible remote job positions, but what does this really mean? Does flexible mean employees can make their own schedules or just that they can work from anywhere? Making sure team members understand how the company operates and what is expected is essential for remote working. After all, you won’t be nearby to point them in the right direction. Fortunately, there are many ways to present your business’s work policy – a team guide or an on-demand webinar are just two of many examples.
When you work in an office, it’s natural to have regular conversations. Even small interactions such as a ‘hello’ create bonds between coworkers. But it’s easy to forget about communicating with team members when each person is working alone in their favorite spot. As the CEO, you should lead the way by communicating regularly with your employees. Something as simple as asking how the weekend was can make a difference in the long run. Plus, you can create a water cooler group chat where team members can talk about anything they feel like.
We also recommend hosting online meetings with everyone from time to time. For example, at clovio we have a monthly meeting to share what we’ve been doing the past month, both professionally and in our spare time. This allows us to get to know everyone on the team, even those in different departments. Also, be creative – we loved our virtual escape room, which was an affordable way to have some fun.
Schedule Face-To-Face Meetups
Most companies host engaging events throughout the year to make people leave their desks and get to know their fellow team members. From volunteer work to happy hours, there are many ways to blow off steam while reinforcing the company culture. This shouldn’t be any different with remote businesses. Although you might not be able to bring everyone together because of travel expenses, you should still plan some events for the employees who live near each other. At clovio, we try to go out at least once or twice a year. Some of the activities we’ve already done include a boat trip in Lisbon and virtual reality park in Budapest.
Have a Mentorship Program
Starting a new job is exciting but stressful. New hires never know whether things will go as they expect or if they’ll get along with their new coworkers. Creating a mentorship program is a great way to ensure they receive a smooth onboarding.
Going remote doesn’t need to be scary. If your company has a solid foundation and keeps your employees’ best interests at heart, you’re on the right path to building a strong culture where no one feels lonely or left out.