How to maintain culture in the hybrid workplace
Hybrid working - it was once a novelty, then became a necessity and now it’s normality. Gone are the days of the traditional 9-5 office job; we’ve entered a world where flexibility is at the core. In a recent survey, 76% of respondents stated that their company had shifted to a hybrid workplace; only 11% said they’ll be going back to the office full-time.
There’s no denying the long list of benefits of a hybrid workplace, but there’s one concern that continues to arise when discussing the transition to a hybrid work model and that’s how to maintain culture.
Good company culture is crucial. It allows you to sustain positive employee relationships resulting in employee loyalty and reduced turnover. Plus let’s not forget the good old phrase of happy employees = happy customers. But while organisations know the importance, the same question comes up: how do you maintain culture when your employees aren’t all together?
If you’ve been asking yourself the same thing, keep on reading. Here’s how to maintain culture in the hybrid workplace…
1. Develop your employer brand
When it comes to company culture, your employer brand is everything. It’s how you can create a shared vision amongst your workforce. Define your values - what do you stand for? What’s your brand’s voice? What are your short-term and long-term objectives? In order to create that shared vision, it’s important to communicate all of this with new and existing employees; your values and goals should be clear and consistent throughout all internal communications.
2. Regular internal comms
When employees are working all over the place, having regular internal communication is super important. It’s a way to keep employees engaged by keeping them up-to-date with new things happening in the business and celebrating successes. You might choose to do this through weekly or monthly meetings (in person or through video conferencing) or a monthly newsletter.
3. Keep the office small talk
Something that gets lost when working remotely is office small talk. The daily conversations about the weather, what you’re having for dinner, plans for the weekend or our particular favourite, fun office debates. While small talk isn’t always everyone’s favourite thing to do, it’s a great way to sustain good relationships with colleagues and maintain culture. To keep the small talk going in a hybrid workplace, utilise tech such as Slack and WhatsApp to chat to colleagues. You could also add an office debate question to the end of your regular team meetings; here’s one of our favourites:
Should pineapple be a pizza topping - yes or no?
4. Encourage meetings in person
Face-to-face interaction will always remain one of the best ways to create closer connections; so although virtual meetings may be the go-to for the hybrid workplace, we believe it’s important to have in-person meetings too. For example, encourage employees to meet up to have creative meetings or arrange to have your regular team meetings in person. These don’t always have to be in the office either - you could rent a space for the day or employees might choose to meet up for a coffee.
5. Organise social events
Social events are great for team building; they give employees a time to connect with each other over something outside of work. Social events give colleagues a chance to build friendships and will also help to strengthen their working relationships too which in turn helps to maintain culture. Social activities can be arranged as in person or virtual events. For example, you might organise quarterly in-person socials but monthly virtual events like a quiz night.
6. Get feedback from your employees
When you’re considering how to maintain culture, listen to your employees - what are their wants and needs? Send out regular employee surveys to find out what they think about the hybrid workplace and give them a chance to share their views about what’s going well in the business or what could be improved. Not only does this let them know you’re interested and care about how they’re doing, it also enables you to address any issues before they escalate and gives you the opportunity to reevaluate your strategy to ensure your hybrid model is working for everyone. Remember the phrase from earlier: happy employees = happy customers.
So to summarise how to maintain culture in the hybrid workplace: work on your employer brand, stay clear and consistent with communications, keep the social aspect alive with regular interactions and keep listening to what is wanted and needed from your team. Do this and maintaining culture in your hybrid workforce should be a breeze.
Have you considered the use of technology to help you manage your hybrid workforce? Sign In App provides flexible tools built for the modern workplace, including remote and mobile sign in for employees. Learn more here or get in touch with the team to chat further.