Two thirds of businesses are set to embrace hybrid working by 2023. Offering employees more flexibility, hybrid working is now no longer a perk, but a requirement.
Although it gives us all more freedom and promotes a better work-life balance, there are challenges to consider. And building, growing and maintaining company culture is one of the biggest hurdles facing businesses today – regardless of age, size and industry.
It may now be a buzzword that employers are using to attract talent, but company culture is what keeps your business afloat. More than ‘butty Fridays’, regular socials and a free fruit bowl, company culture is a set of shared values and common goals, and similar or complimentary attitudes and practices that set apart a company from others. Essentially, company culture is different pieces of the puzzle that come together to form a business and ensure it thrives.
When companies were in the office five days a week, it was easy to keep this puzzle together; employers communicated in-person daily, collaborative working was moving around an office or booking a meeting room, and after work drinks were not just saved for Fridays. However, hybrid and remote working, although offering many benefits, doesn’t pave way for the same level of team building as full-time office work.
So, how can businesses keep their company culture alive for their employees?
GetBusy, the NetSuite integrated all-in-one work management platform, has put together top tips for how companies can build, restore, and maintain company culture in their businesses, that don’t include ad hoc gifts to workers’ homes and monthly company updates:
Have a thorough onboarding process
When onboarding new employees, it’s imperative you have a structured process they can follow as they find their feet. You should include an intro into the business and wider team/s, an overview of their role and responsibilities, expectations during the first week, first month, and first three months, as well as plenty of opportunities for feedback – both for them and you.
If you’re working remotely, organise sessions with individuals and make sure there’s minimal work talk; it’s all about ensuring current employees get to know the new hire, and vice versa. If you’re in the office, a lunch or drinks is the perfect way to break the ice.
Ensure the missions and goals of the company are clearly and regularly articulated
This should always be part of any onboarding process, but also communicated regularly throughout the year.
Set aside an hour to update the whole company or department on things such as new processes, business goals, year to date results, promotions and restructures. Employees will feel more included, have a better perception of their role, and understand goals to ensure they are performing to their highest potential and making a difference.
Keep work-life balance in check by sticking to working hours, avoiding emails and meetings outside these times
It can be all too easy to increase working hours when at home with the lines more and more blurred between work and play. In fact, global figures show that employees are working an additional 1.5 extra hours per week than they were pre-pandemic. As such, the total average of unpaid hours every week now sits at 9.1.
However, as a leader – whether it be business owner, director, or manager – it’s imperative work-life balances are kept in check with staff. If you notice emails being sent past working hours or employees on work platforms regularly, don’t ignore it.
Employee burnout is becoming a whole workplace problem; mentions of burnout on Glassdoor increased 128 per cent since May 2021, while a poll by the workplace reviews platform found that 52% of workers reported that work regularly ate into their personal life, while a 35% said they did not believe a healthy work-life balance was possible in their current role.
Regular 121s and team meetings to check workloads are manageable, as well as keeping an eye on any timesheets and employee output will help you identify any overworking and enable you to action it before it becomes a big issue.
Set clear standards for communication, such as daily and weekly check-ins
It can be tempting to reduce the number of meetings in a week, but when structured properly, meetings can be incredibly useful – whether they’re face-to-face or over video.
Meetings don’t always have to be a full hour; quick ten-minute catch ups in a morning to check in and discuss priorities, as well 20-30 minute calls at the end of each week to go through sticking points, successes and plans for the week ahead can bring the team together, pick up on any issues, and help to build better, happier workforces – without being bogged down with meetings.
Have a task management system in place
Regardless of whether you’re a traditional pen and paper list writer or embrace online tools for your own use, when working remotely, a collaborative work management system is worth its weight in gold. Not only does it help you to understand where they are in terms of progress, but it also gives everyone sight of every task and project so you can pick up on any issues, delays and blockers and resolve them early.