The past few years have shown that the modern workplace is in a state of ongoing transition. A huge part of that transition involves employees’ increasing desire for more work flexibility, especially after experiencing remote work.
Most employers would love to bring everyone back into the office, but a recent poll reveals that 59% of employees prefer the hybrid workplace model. Whether in a remote or hybrid workplace environment, business leaders face the problem of instilling and maintaining a strong corporate culture while giving employees the schedule they prefer.
A decentralized workforce makes it challenging to build and nurture the cohesive and productive work culture they envision.
What Does a Healthy Corporate Culture Look Like?
A healthy corporate culture is one in which you daily establish, express, and exhibit your corporate values and mission to everyone in the organization. Further, you ensure everyone on your team is on board to support and carry out your mission because they understand and believe in its value to themselves, your business, your customers, and the community.
Common indicators of a flourishing corporate culture include:
- High retention, low turnover
- An across-the-board sense of wellbeing and belonging
- A universal view that work is challenging and rewarding
- Job seekers desiring a role in the organization
- Minimal complaints, gossip, or need for mediation
- Leadership as a shared value, seeking decision-making input from executives, supervisors, and employees
4 Ways to Maintain a Corporate Culture
Fortunately, a physically dispersed workforce doesn’t prevent you from developing and maintaining a united corporate culture that ensures everyone feels informed, included, and invested in good outcomes for your business.
There are several ways to maintain a high-functioning company culture, and here are four of them you can implement immediately.
1. Foster Intentional Shared Purpose
Establishing and maintaining a shared purpose is a core element for strong organizational performance. With a combination of remote, in-house, and hybrid work schedules, it becomes even more important to reinforce your organization’s purpose and a sense of camaraderie.
Mutual dependencies remain critical to your organization’s success, but without diligence, they can seem less obvious to everyone. That’s why it is important to ensure that it is intentional. You’ll need to remind everyone of the big-picture goals and ensure that they remember their work is central to your success. Make sure everyone is on board, from your executive team and managers to all employees.
2. Encourage and Support Social Connections
An excellent way to keep everyone in the loop regarding your shared purpose is by encouraging and supporting social connections. You don’t want your hybrid team members to feel alone or isolated from the in-house and remote teams.
A few ways you can encourage and facilitate social connections among employees include:
- Ask individual departments and project teams to create their own dynamic and consistent communications timelines and methods.
- Provide regular updates to your organization, which invites departmental and team leaders to relay specific news from their area.
- Encourage regular (perhaps monthly or quarterly) gatherings to include everyone, such as an after-hours happy hour, dinner, or another outing.
3. Build Inviting Spaces
If you build an upbeat, comfortable workplace, your employees, managers, and executives might decide to come in, despite their hybrid status. An increasing number of organizations realize that the days of employees tolerating tiny cubicles and unpleasant fluorescent lighting are numbered.
More businesses are taking the coworking design approach, which looks more like Google or Facebook headquarters than traditional work environments. In these environments, you’ll find various unique workspaces, such as long communal tables with stools in a kitchen area, a game room, a quiet area with a sofa, and comfortable chairs.
You can get creative with this and ask your employees and other executives for input on what a welcoming, comfortable, and productive space would look like to them.
4. Enlist the Services of an Executive Staffing Firm
In some cases, employers might need an executive who can help shape modern hybrid corporate culture. A fresh outlook from a top executive could make all the difference in helping you make a smooth transition to ensure everyone understands and enables you to realize your organizational purpose and goals. A branding-focused executive staffing firm can help identify, contact, attract, and secure the right executive for your business to find this well-suited executive team member.
This evolutionary time is probably a blend of excitement and frustration for business leaders, but these steps should help you maintain the corporate culture you want for your organization.
David Harap is Managing Director for the Austin office of Stanton Chase, a premier global executive search and leadership advisory firm. He has over 25 years of experience in the industry and focuses on senior-level executive search consulting.