Strong Company Culture in a Hybrid Environment: 4 Tips for Success
The 2020 pandemic shattered the myth that productivity collapses when employees work from home. Now that most restrictions have been lifted, many employers have continued offering hybrid schedules in which employees work from home for at least a portion of the week.
But it can be challenging to develop and maintain company culture when your workforce is not fully present. Here are some tips to help you build community and foster loyalty in a hybrid workforce.
Set Expectations for In-Person Days
First, you need to recognize the strategic importance of in-person days. This is especially true when you onboard new employees who will need an in-person environment for training as well as understanding your unique company culture.
You can facilitate this by deliberately scheduling in-person days when the entire team is present. If necessary, you might consider appointing an employee to coordinate in-person days by ensuring that your team members’ schedules align.
Set expectations for these days. For example, you might ask team leaders to conduct meetings, agree on training procedures, or share progress updates on a given project.
In-person days can form multiple “centers of gravity,” providing stability for your hybrid workforce and helping your new hires feel like members of the team.
Measure Productivity by Output, Not Hours
It’s tempting for managers to assess employee success based on things like hours spent working. In fact, some computer programs even allow company leaders to keep track of how their employees spend their time. Not only does this communicate a lack of trust, but it also misunderstands what it means to be productive in a hybrid environment.
Instead, company leaders should set clear expectations and benchmarks for every team member. This means that employees are achieving their goals when they’re at their desks as well as when they’re making meaningful contributions to a larger project.
This strategy ensures that workers are engaged in the goals of the company rather than merely punching the proverbial time clock.
Provide In-Person Learning Opportunities
Sometimes, you’ll need to lure your staff members back to the office with in-person events. Training seminars or other learning opportunities can be a great way to do just that. You’ll likely discover that offering educational opportunities will foster greater loyalty among your staff, who appreciate the chance to develop new skills.
Combine these opportunities with a free lunch, and you have the perfect recipe for an in-person event. Even if the event isn’t mandatory, you may be surprised at how many workers come to the office to participate.
Find Ways to Create Community
Hybrid environments naturally favor knowledge workers who can access company data from anywhere. But warehouse workers and other employees don’t have the luxury of working from home. If you’re not careful, this can create friction.
Offering community-building events can be an effective way to bring everyone together. For example, if you find ways to give back to the surrounding community, your team members will be more willing to pull together for a common purpose.
Even remote workers can form a community. Tools like Slack or isolved can help your employees communicate and collaborate on all their projects, helping them feel like a part of a team even when geographically separated.
Deploy Satisfaction Surveys
Learn from your employees. Regular employee engagement surveys can help you gauge employee satisfaction and give you ideas about how to adapt. What’s going well? What needs to change? Your employees may be able to highlight challenges that you’d never have considered without their input.
At the very least, these surveys give employees a voice in your company leadership. But be careful. If your employees never see results or adaptations based on these surveys, they might conclude that their opinions don’t truly matter to senior management.
Find ways to regularly integrate employee feedback into the workplace so that your team members feel engaged in your company culture.
Boost Employee Engagement
Looking for additional ways to boost employee engagement in a hybrid environment? AssetHR can help. We offer industry-leading human resources guidance and assistance to help you develop a dynamic, engaging company culture. Contact us today to discover how we can enhance the way you do business.