When a team works in the same location, company culture develops relatively organically with the right leadership. Of course, with more and more companies embracing remote learning arrangements for their employees and hiring talent from all over the world, creating and maintaining a company culture can be more difficult. It is important that all your employees, whether they work in your head office, from home, or in another country, feel like a valuable part of your organization. This guide includes some ideas and tips to consider if you want to ensure that your virtual employees feel part of the company culture.
Vary your communications
If your virtual employees are only contacted by email or invited to occasional virtual meetings, it is likely that they will become disconnected from the company. Working in an office environment typically means being surrounded by colleagues, which means they could interact with others regularly or at least feel part of the everyday comings and goings of the company. Give your virtual employees plenty of communication options, including video calls, virtual team meetings, emails, instant messaging, and audio messages.
Schedule regular catch-ups
Another way to help virtual employees feel valued is to check-in with them regularly, not just when you need to speak to them about a specific project. It can be easy to get lost in your own work and forget to reach out, so consider scheduling a weekly or monthly call with each of your employees. This will enable you to find out what they are working on if they need any support, and how they are finding work in general.
Send branded accessories and gifts
You need to ensure that you recognize and acknowledge achievements and effort. To show your virtual employees that you recognize and value their contribution, why not send them a gift? This could be a voucher or something tangible such as branded custom socks, a t-shirt, or items they can use every day, such as a water bottle or coffee mug. These branded products and garments can help establish a brand identity for your team members wherever they are located. If they use or wear these items in public, they may also increase awareness of your brand.
Encourage social interactions
Team members who have personal connections tend to have stronger professional relationships and are more likely to pull together in times of stress. The best employers recognize the value in allowing employees time to interact on a more informal and personal level. This would usually happen on breaks, at the water cooler, and during work parties or trips. To ensure this can happen for all employees regardless of their location, encourage employees to connect socially online. You could also give your employees reasons to interact in a more lighthearted way, such as organizing competitions.
Monitor employee engagement levels
Ensure that you are in touch with employee engagement by regularly taking a survey. Give all employees the opportunity to feedback to you, contribute ideas, and raise concerns. Without a way of tracking employee engagement levels, you may find that employees become disengaged over time, and they may start to look elsewhere.