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Company culture is something that’s been in the spotlight more frequently in the past few years as employers and employees alike recognize its importance. In recent studies, it’s been shown that for younger generations, the workplace culture can actually rank above pay. You read that correctly—some employees are more concerned with the company culture than how much they’ll be paid.
While this can be a shock to employers, it makes sense. Younger generations are all about authenticity, transparency and relationships. They’re not going to walk into a job that goes against their own core values. If they sense a disregard for a healthy work-life balance, employee well-being or team relationships, they’re likely to walk away.
If you’re hiring staff who are under the impression that you operate a healthy workplace culture, you need to make sure you’re living it out and promoting it in every aspect of your company. However, communicating your company culture in the remote workplace requires a bit more finesse and consideration. Here are some ways you can go about achieving this goal even if your company works remotely.
Communicate culture during interviews
If you want to hire the top candidates, you should be displaying your company culture through more than your words. Actions and nonverbal communication are just as important during this phase of the hiring process.
“When candidates ask questions to the interviewers, they often ask about company culture. Sharing about your company culture in an interview is crucial,” says Chris Gadek, vice president of growth at AdQuick. “Giving insight about the company culture in a remote workplace can help candidates feel a sense of connection to their remote coworkers. How you interact virtually matters just ask much as how you interact in person.”
“If you clarify the core values and approaches to company culture during the interview process, it’ll be easier to live it out in your remote workplace,” says Harry DiFrancesco, CEO and co-founder of Carda Health. “Not all remote workplaces have a positive company culture, so it’s important to get a good start with each staff member. If people start their first day with an understanding of the culture they’re going to be a part of and contributing to, there’s a higher chance they’ll uphold that culture rather than causing it to falter because of their previous experiences with other remote employers.”
Display culture and values in everything you do
What you do has a direct impact on your staff. If you’re telling them to live out your company’s culture but aren’t showing great examples of it yourself, the culture of your remote workplace is going to fall apart. Recovering from a culture collapse is a very challenging process, so check your own attitude and interactions with your remote staff to make sure you’re communicating your company’s culture strategically.
“As a leader, you have to set an example for professionalism, attitude, communication and more,” says Annu Daniel, CEO and data specialist at Elohim Company. “The standards you set will be followed by your staff. Go above and beyond to inspire them to reach for the healthiest remote company culture they can. Ultimately, this will improve not only their work experience, but your own as well.”
Promote healthy habits according to culture
Positive thinking and mindfulness only go so far. Encouraging your staff to take care of themselves mentally and physically can make a big difference in the culture you create within your remote workplace. Remote work can be isolating and it can be more difficult to know what your staff is going through in their personal lives without some intentionality. Even if someone hasn’t shared personal information with you about a struggle they’re having, it’s still a great idea to offer some tips and be generous when it comes to mental and physical health.
“A little bit of understanding and empathy can go a long way,” says Brittany Dolin, co-founder of Pocketbook Agency. “As you work toward creating a positive remote company culture, refrain from coming down harshly on people who are asking for time to deal with mental or physical health concerns. Ask them questions and discuss with them how they plan to move forward rather than using an authoritarian approach. Discuss the possibility of more flexible hours to work around counseling or doctor’s appointments or adjusting timelines for projects so they can focus on getting better rather than stressing about deadlines.”
“As an employer, how you react to your staff in their most vulnerable moments can really cement what the company culture is,” says Serdar Ozenalp, managing director of Ocoza. “With a remote workplace, it’s hard to visually tell if someone’s having a hard time because they’re not themselves due to illness, stress or an emotional situation they might be dealing with. One of the benefits of working from home is that you can make it to appointments without taking a ton of time off—remind your staff to take advantage of that!”
Encourage staff to share how they’re living the culture
Simply reminding your staff that they’re encouraged to live out the company culture can assist in successfully integrating a positive culture into the workplace. Having your staff communicate the practical ways they are incorporating company culture into their day-to-day lives can help others see how they can do it too.
“Each member of your team plays a slightly different role when it comes to creating a company culture,” says Kirin Sinha, founder and CEO of Illumix. “Having a time set aside for people to talk about how they’re contributing to the company culture or showing the company’s culture to customers or others within the supply chain can make a big impact on your company.”
“Creating a team that not only looks to create a positive culture within the remote workplace but also goes out of their way to put words into practice can be difficult,” says Brian Munce, managing director of Gestalt Brand Lab. “But having time to allow team members to discuss practical ways of implementing company culture into decisions and interactions can give others ideas that they can try. It also takes the pressure off of the leaders and prevents it from being something they tire of hearing from one specific person.”
Provide encouragement and rewards for promoting company culture
As your staff share what they’re doing, make sure you are encouraging or rewarding them for promoting the company culture. A big part of communicating company culture successfully in the remote workplace is to have all members of the team on board and holding each other accountable.
“One of the best ways to show your appreciation for staff that are communicating and showing the culture you’ve created within your remote workplace is to have some sort of reward system,” says Ian Heyman, creator of Male Drip Protection. “This could just be a moment of recognition in a meeting or even a gift of some sort. Whatever works for your team.”
“Giving public recognition to the people who are exemplifying the company culture in all that they do can communicate what you’re looking for from your staff,” says Dr. Jimmy Minhas, founder and CEO of GerdLi. “Pointing out the great example that’s being set by someone or showing your appreciation for the entire team that’s been putting the culture into practice by providing a reward or incentive can help communicate the importance of culture.”
Communicating a company culture successfully in the remote workplace doesn’t require a fancy degree in leadership or experience working in a remote work environment. Understanding the needs of your team, promoting healthy habits and having empathy is another great way to communicate company culture to your employees. Finally, it’s great to encourage your staff to share how they’re living out the company culture and recognizing the great job they’re doing.