Maintaining Company Culture Remotely

When you have employees working remotely from various different locations, it can be difficult to maintain a consistent company culture. Your company culture is comprised of how each person thinks, makes decisions, works, and communicates – and it can have important ramifications for how productive and satisfied your workers are.

You can maintain your company’s attitude and values remotely by recruiting the right people, communicating effectively, and promoting an inclusive atmosphere for both local and off-site workers.

culture management

photo credit: niels-mulder via photopin cc

Recruitment

Leading with your culture in your recruitment strategy can ensure that you hire remote workers who hold the same values, goals, work ethic, and attitude as the rest of your company. The more you can ensure that your new hires fit with your culture from the start, the more likely you’ll be able to continue promoting that culture in your relationship with both local and remote employees.

  • Your job listing have to convey not only the position and the requirements of the job, but also information about the company itself and its values. Use your job applicant recruiting software to post listings that sell your company and use language that is appropriate for your company culture.

Look for potential employees who have the right attitude for working from a distance. If you plan to give your remote workers free reign over their projects, look for candidates who excel at time management and self-motivation. Should you desire more day-to-day managerial control, find candidates who are excellent communicators and good at taking direction.

  • Open-ended interview questions that seek to determine what kind of work style and environment the candidate is most comfortable with. Whether the interview takes place in person, over the phone, or through your office’s video conferencing software, it is integral that you assess potential remote employees beyond a resume read-through.
  • Don’t neglect reference checks. Try to get a sense of what kind of values the candidate has and how well those fit with your company.

Communication

Communication is key in any business, but it is especially important in one that deals with a mobile or remote workforce. The more closely you communicate with your employees, the better you will be able to maintain the relationship according to your company’s culture and values.

  • Make sure your remote workers have the right communication skills. They should be comfortable using web conferencing, telephone, email, and social media to touch base with their managers.
  • Chat clients – whether cloud-based, located within the email client, or installed on the desktop – help employees communicate more efficiently. They can message their team members or managers instantly in order to ask a quick question or get into a lengthy discussion.

Inclusion

One of the dangers of hiring remote workers is their exclusion, due to location, from their coworkers and the rest of the company. You can increase the inclusiveness of your company by implementing an enterprise social network (known as “Facebook for business”).

  • Employees use the platform as a means of communication inside of and between different departments, helping them to align goals, increase productivity, and promote interdepartmental cooperation and collaboration. Since the discussion is all taking place on the web, it matters little whether the participants are located across the office or across the country.
  • Since all conversations are open, everyone can see what everyone else is working on. Coworkers can provide input and align their own work to fit better with company-wide efforts. Everyone –whether local or remote – feels more tied to the company, its goals, and its culture.

Although it may be difficult to promote your company culture with employees working remotely, the right strategy and tools can make it much easier. Work on hiring employees who have values that align with yours, communicate with them regularly in accordance with those values, and help them feel included with the rest of the company.

About the Author: Megan Webb-Morgan is a business blogger who focuses on startups and small businesses. She writes for lead-generation provider Resource Nation. You can find Resource Nation on Facebook and Twitter!

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