Over the last year and a half, many people have proven that they can be productive when working from home. Even so, as we begin to recover from the global pandemic, we’re seeing leadership ask employees to return to the office. Whether they’re asking for a partial or full-time return, management is being met with resistance, and some employees will even take this as a signal to begin a job search.
Management is now left with a challenge. We know company culture is key to employee retention. In fact, we surveyed a pool of applicants and found that 30% of them were seeking a new company culture.
So, it seems like the most effective way to prevent attrition would be to maintain your company culture remotely.
Create Effective Lines of Communication
We saw the power of communication all throughout the global pandemic, as tools like Zoom and Microsoft Teams were jettisoned into our everyday working lives. Leadership will need to maintain and even improve the lines of communication that were set up during the dawn of widespread remote work.
Bi-weekly or monthly calls with leadership could be extremely effective and valuable for employees at all levels of your organization. While these should be regular and brief, they should also have a certain level of interaction. Q&A sessions can be particularly useful, as transparency and accessibility are paramount when maintaining company culture. When employees feel informed, they feel like they are truly part of the organization they work for.
Cement and Communicate Values and Goals
Part of these aforementioned calls should be about your business’s values and goals. Update your employees on the organization’s progress and how their work has contributed to success. This will help them see the purpose of their daily tasks and help increase motivation and job satisfaction.
Values are a bit harder to quantify, but put in the effort to clearly define and communicate them. If employees know what their organization stands for, they can be sure that their own personal values align with those of the company they work for. This will in turn strengthen their relationship to the wider business.
Show Camaraderie from the Top
Members of leadership should always be aligned when interfacing with the business. Even if there is some disagreement behind closed doors (which can always be expected at some level), ensure that all C-suite members and other managers are communicating a single vision and strategy to employees.
Avoiding mixed messages is key to getting everyone on board and working towards the same objectives. The opposite could create division, confusion, and isolation within the organization, which will only fester more when people are working remotely. Ensuring that there is a single strategy will help employees to feel connected even from miles away.
Maintain Employee Programs
Employee programs are a phenomenal way to keep everyone engaged in company culture. This includes maintaining rewards and recognition plans, training and onboarding, performance management, and more. You will have to get a bit creative with remote implementation, as it’s quite hard to take a group of employees out for a meal when they are all miles away, but the effort will pay dividends.
Employees who feel valued and know that they are growing and learning in their position have higher job satisfaction and are generally more engaged at work, leading to a positive company culture.
Ask for Feedback, Then Listen
The only people who can tell you for sure that your company culture is what is should be are your employees. If you want to assess the success of your efforts in this area, simply ask them how you’re doing and how you can improve.
Surveys are a great way to do this, as they can be anonymous, and employees will be empowered to be honest and speak their mind. Report on your findings to the wider business and discuss actionable steps and takeaways, then be transparent about progress. We’ve done this at PageGroup for years and find that it is extremely valuable.