How to Build Your Company’s Culture in a Remote Workplace

Caitlin Weiser, aPHR
March 12, 2024

Building a strong company culture is imperative for business growth, no matter where your team is located. While in-person organizations can organically build company culture through employee interactions and water cooler talk, remote companies need to be proactive and intentional with how they approach culture building. In this blog, I explore strategies to build a culture in a remote environment to keep your employees engaged and your business thriving.

Can a Fully Remote Workplace Have a Company Culture?

Every organization has its own unique company culture, even if it has not been clearly defined. For example, the way in which your employees interact with each other, how you tackle tough situations, and the expectations you set for employees are all things that indirectly affect your company culture. It is more difficult for company culture to happen naturally in a remote organization because there is less opportunity for employees to regularly interact with leaders and peers outside of pre-scheduled meetings. Since remote organizations cannot rely on in-person interactions to help shape their company culture, the onus is on the company to take the initiative to build a remote culture that feels good for you and your workforce.

The Role of Remote Working Culture in Your Company’s Success

Your company’s success is significantly influenced by your workplace culture because it guides employee productivity, job satisfaction, and engagement. Remote companies who lack a strong workplace culture often experience lower employee engagement and higher turnover. This is because remote work makes it easy for employees to feel isolated from their colleagues and disconnected from the company at large.

Six Strategies for Creating an Optimal Remote Workplace Culture

When working to build a thriving remote workplace culture it is important to focus on strategies that will create an environment of trust, communication, and collaboration. Remote employees are more productive, engaged, and committed in organizations with a strong workplace culture because they feel well-supported and valued. Below are six examples of strategies you can implement to shape your remote company’s culture.

1. Consider Company Values and Goals as a Team

If you want to build a strong remote culture, start with your core values. For many organizations core values only exist on paper. For your core values to genuinely impact your remote company culture, they need to be integrated into all aspects of your organization. By connecting employee recognition to your core values, highlighting them in internal communications, and using them to guide decision-making, you create a universal understanding of what behaviors are acceptable within the organization. Regularly communicating your core values and backing them up with actions shows employees you are a values-led organization which is the foundation of a strong company culture.

2. Create an Employee Portal

To ensure unified communication amongst your remote workforce, utilize an employee portal as a central hub for employees to access important information and stay connected. An employee portal gives you the ability to provide employees with quick and easy access to company news, training resources, and standard operating procedures. Share employee shout-outs, such as promotions, on your portal to celebrate individual accomplishments and create community amongst remote employees.

3. Invest in Onboarding and Training

A remote employee’s onboarding experience can make or break their long-term success within an organization. One of the biggest challenges with remote onboarding is ensuring employees understand the company’s organizational structure, who to contact in different situations, and where they can find tools and resources to help them in their roles. A good remote onboarding process starts with an HR onboarding session and includes additional pre-scheduled meetings throughout the employee’s first week, month, and quarter. Onboarding sessions should cover topics like company culture and core values, meetings with team members, and regular touchpoints with their managers. Investing in new hire onboarding reduces the risk of new employees becoming overwhelmed. Once employees are onboarded, providing ongoing training and development promotes a culture of growth and development which keeps remote employees engaged long-term.

4. Prioritize Communication

Open, honest, and consistent communication is crucial for building and maintaining a strong remote workplace culture. In a remote environment where physical interactions are limited, communication is key in ensuring employees feel connected and supported. Effective communication helps prevent misunderstandings, sets expectations and alignment, and promotes collaboration. Prioritize relationship building by using technology tools such as video conferencing, direct messaging, and team collaboration software. Having members of leadership regularly participate in non-formal communication channels like Slack or Teams allows them a greater connection with the rest of the workforce. Communicating with transparency, actively listening to employees’ concerns, and building relationships can help foster trust and create a sense of shared purpose within your organization.

5. Prevent Isolation Despite Physical Distance

Individual contributors within a remote company can easily become siloed within their role or team. To combat this, you’ll need to create regular opportunities for virtual connection amongst your workforce. Provide opportunities for employees to build personal relationships with their colleagues to encourage connection despite physical distance by setting up non-work-related communication channels on topics related to employees’ interests such as fitness, pets, and music. Additional options for preventing isolation amongst remote employees include monthly internal newsletters with employee shoutouts, quick 15-minute “get to know you” video calls between employees on different teams, and proactively identifying opportunities for collaboration between departments.

6. Empathize and Collaborate With Your Employees

It is important to listen to and address the needs and concerns of your employees, especially in remote organizations where employees have less opportunity to interact with business leaders. Showing empathy towards employees includes actively listening to their feedback, addressing issues in a timely manner, and working towards solutions to their concerns. Since most employees don’t feel comfortable sharing critical feedback, create avenues that encourage employees to share their thoughts. This can be done through administering employee feedback surveys and including 180-degree manager feedback in performance reviews. When you actively seek out employee feedback, are honest about how the company can improve, and take time to address concerns, you create a culture of empathy and understanding that shows employees you care about their well-being.

Invest in Your Remote Workplace’s Company Culture with Red Clover HR

While remote work makes it easier for employees to feel isolated, creating a workplace culture that prioritizes connection, communication, and teamwork can help employees thrive. Building culture within a remote organization is challenging and if you find yourself struggling with where to start, Red Clover can help. We have extensive experience working with remote companies to define core values, improve collaboration, and implement solutions to address employee feedback and drive business success. Contact us today to see if Red Clover can help you lay the foundation of a long-lasting company culture!

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio

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