How to Maintain a Company Culture While Social Distancing?
Let’s state the blatant obvious first: Company culture is essential regardless of where your company is located. So, whether you’re social distancing and working remotely or you’re located in the office, company culture is the set of shared values, goals, attitudes, and practices that characterize your organization. All of a sudden, social distancing is starting to challenge these core company values. How do we protect this at all costs?
During socially distancing, you may feel a shift in your company culture. After all, it is a different vibe communicating remotely than it is being in a single office. To ensure your culture thrives, treat it like a relationship and remember that the small elements matter… a lot. Overaccentuating these seemingly small aspects can make all the difference.
Here are a few things that could hep you either keep things fresh or help form a new culture:
1. Provide more people the opportunity to bloom
By providing more opportunities to people, you not only diversify your culture because more people have a say, but you also make everyone feel as if they’re part of something great. Remember morale is low and the future is uncertain. Your company culture will thrive when the leadership is a collective effort. If you spread out the responsibility, you make everyone a stakeholder.
2. Bring back the suggestion box
It may not be a physical suggestion box but be sure that your employees know that you’re open to feedback. When there’s a shift in work styles (i.e. office to remote), there are quite a few changes that come with that. Constructive criticism and constant feedback can be vehicles that allow your employees to feel heard and help move the group in a more productive direction.
3. Solicit ideas from individuals (not groups)
If you’re looking to obtain the best possible company culture, always seek out ideas from individual employees rather than the group at large. While a group brainstorming session on any topic may sound like a good idea, you’ll actually miss out on the best ideas by going in this direction. Research has shown that more ideas and better ideas are generated when individual brainstorming occurs. Don’t let the group conform to the majority’s taste! An original culture can be fostered by using this technique.
This may be a bit extra work for the person leading this, but once you get used to this it will feel like second nature.
4. Prioritize company values
Your company culture is all about your employee’s shared values – so make sure they’re rooted in your company’s values. Remind everyone that they’re united in what your company finds important (for example: serving the community) during this difficult time even if they’re no longer in the office. This can help draw everyone together.
Maintaining a company culture when your company is spread out can be challenging. Yet, the above steps focus on ways to make your employees stakeholders, increase their creativity, and help them feel heard. At the end of the day, your company culture comes back to the values and practices you put in place. If you prioritize your company values and adjust your practices as needed, you’ll find your culture follows suit.
Company culture is the set of shared values, goals, attitudes, and practices that characterize your organization.