Building a team and a company culture during a pandemic can seem minor, but there is so much more to working from home than a good WiFi connection; you need to connect with your team!
Company culture plays a huge part in the success of a company, whether it is pertaining to recruitment, employee loyalty, or even employee performance. According to research done by Deloitte in 2012, “94% of executives and 88% of employees believe a distinct corporate culture is important to a business’ success.” Now more than ever, employees are looking for ways to connect with their colleagues.
So, how do you create and maintain a company’s culture in a virtual workplace to ensure your company’s success? Check out the tips below that empath worldwide has implemented to develop a positive and happy company culture.
1. Establishing Core Values
As a company, it is important to have core values to guide your decision making and relationship building. By having strong values, your organization can successfully communicate with employees and clients. In turn, internal and external stakeholders will not only know what is important to you, but what drives you as a company.
Our core values reflect our ability to overcome challenges. By establishing these values and clearly communicating them, our members know the standard we hold when making decisions for the company. This level of transparency offers members a way to connect with other members and the company itself.
2. Checking In
Whether it is in a Google Form, a weekly check-in meeting, or just 5 minutes at the beginning of normal team meetings, checking in with your employees. Let them know you value them, the work they are doing, and their #wfh situations.
At the beginning of your next team meeting, let everyone take 2 minutes to discuss what is going on in their lives besides work. We should be celebrating our colleague’s personal accomplishments and supporting them during difficult times.
3. Shorter Meetings
At the beginning of the pandemic, many of us booked our days with meeting after webinar after virtual coffee after virtual happy hour, so we didn’t have to be alone with ourselves in our tiny apartments or high school bedrooms. This quickly manifested itself in what scholars are calling “Zoom fatigue,” a type of mental exertion that comes from excessive web calls (named after the popular video chat software).
One way to combat Zoom fatigue is by encouraging employees and managers to shorten meetings from 1 hour to 45 minutes. I know there is a lot to cover so it might be hard, but those 15 minutes will help sustain your employees’ mental health. To save time, try sending an agenda to team members before the meeting so they can prepare their thoughts. You can also use Zoom’s “raise hand” feature to limit the number of interruptions and the awkward “you go,” “no you go.”
4. Fun Connections
While breaks from Zoom are necessary, it is also nice to open opportunities for members to connect and socialize with their team, without the pressure of work and responsibilities. Try hosting a company Happy Hour or Movie Night! It is a great way to relax and remind ourselves that it is okay to enjoy ourselves in these crazy times.
Netflix Party is a great way to throw a movie night so everyone can watch the same movie. A book club is a perfect way for members to slow down and get off our screens! Virtual Happy Hours can offer connection and a relaxing atmosphere. Strictly BYOB!
5. Working with Empathy
We are all human. It is almost impossible to have a perfect work environment at home. There may be children starting virtual school, loud roommates, or pets interrupting meetings to get attention. It is vital for us, as internal leaders, to understand that we do not, and can not, know every aspect of our colleagues’ situation. Nobody is perfect. We are all adjusting to this “new normal.” Compassion is essential during technical difficulties or when a meeting needs to be rescheduled. We are all trying our hardest to get through new challenges and it is easier to do it together.