Pixar’s cereal bar is the stuff of legend. The famous first stop for anyone who tours the studio isn’t what the company culture is built on, but it is a noteworthy expression of a company culture that cultivates creative expression, communication, and a feeling of purpose among workers.
You don’t need a cereal bar, but that feeling? That’s worth emulating. After all, the experience your workers have working with and for your company affects not just their quality of lives but your business overall, too.
Don’t misunderstand: A positive company culture is more than ping pong in the break room, nap pods, or free bagels day. In fact, you don’t need a break room, or even a workplace at all, to have a company culture.
You already work hard to foster the culture within your physical space. Here’s how you can maintain that company culture with a remote workforce.
Integrate culture into interviews and on-boarding
One way to maintain and strengthen your company’s culture when working with a variable, contract, or remote workforce is to start from day one. Provide a culture orientation that introduces new team members to the culture. Whatever form the message takes it should do the following:
Explain what your culture is
Define your mission statement and core values
Give examples of the culture in action
Share this information with new team members as part of the on-boarding process. Make it available for all employees to reference. Train your hiring managers and staffing or crewing agency to make sure potential workers are a good fit for both the role and the culture. You could also create a peer mentoring program where teammates on-board each other and train new members on the brand.
By integrating your culture from the very first touchpoint, you can set it up for success — no matter how many miles separate teammates.
In co-located offices, important information often gets exchanged in break rooms, hallways, impromptu meetings, and at after-work drinks. With a remote team, you have to go out of your way to overcome the “watercooler gap.” Create digital opportunities for teammates to connect and collaborate.
Tools such as video conferencing, instant messaging, and online collaboration methods like Zoom, Slack, and Google Hangouts can help shrink the miles. Detailed meeting notes and recorded discussions can help make sure the right people are in the loop, even if they’re in different time zones.
Use tools that reflect and support your culture
Just like connections, the personality and culture of co-located offices develop through the interactions they’re home to. It evolves through the proverbial watercooler talks, whiteboard sessions, inside jokes, and shared experiences. Your remote team (or team of short-term contractors) can develop something similar through the tools you use every day.
As Nick Francis said, “A culture’s effectiveness revolves around how information flows.” That means you need to adopt tools and processes that will foster communication and that will also serve as an extension and vehicle of the culture.
Another way you can help maintain company culture across your remote workforce is by creating opportunities for social interaction and employee engagement. While a weekly happy hour wouldn’t be realistic, something like a virtual book club could be. Or if you’re aiming to build camaraderie or foster teamwork, you could host a monthly game night where workers team up for an online video game tournament.
It doesn’t have to be all fun and games. You could host monthly lunch-and-learns over Zoom or Google Hangouts, or you could create a Slack channel where workers can recognize and give each other kudos. You might also consider implementing weekly video updates where you share company-wide news, birthday announcements, or whatever’s culturally relevant to your organization. There are countless ways you can engage remote workers. Find what works for your team and make it a habit.
The bottom line
It’s worth investing your remote workforce’s culture. Companies with strong cultures tend to see higher rates of productivity, be more profitable, and retain top talent. Thankfully, you don’t need a headquarters to reap the benefits of positive company culture.
Learn how partnering with PayReel to manage your contingent workforce can free up your resources to focus on strengthening your culture and bottom line.
At PayReel, we minimize the time and effort it takes to get you ready for your project. Rely on PayReel to assume all of the risk associated with worker classification and get back to the business at hand. We make sure everyone gets paid quickly and easily and have Client Relationship Managers on call around the clock to answer your questions. All you have to do is call 303-526-4900 or email us. The PayReel team makes video production, live events, media, and entertainment payroll easier, faster, and seamless.