Refreshing Your Workplace Culture In 2022
Hybrid working has been on the rise in recent years, namely due to the Covid-19 pandemic. With more and more staff working remotely and splitting their time between home and the office, a strong workplace culture is arguably more important than ever in 2022. But, how do you maintain a great culture wherever your staff are working?
88% of employees believe a distinct workplace culture is important to business success.” (Libertymind).
A great office culture is not simply the responsibility of a single person however, teams naturally look to people in a leadership role and take their cultural cues from them. In a hybrid setting this is removed as leaders/managers do not have the same opportunities to share these cues that they had before. To resolve this, it is important to find proactive ways of engaging with team members.
Everyone and every team works differently so of course, different solutions will work for different teams. There are some things to try however that can help you build and establish your workplace culture:
- All staff meetings– are a great way to bring teams together and encourage collaboration. All staff meetings allow each employee to feel involved and like their opinions are valued. It can be a powerful way to share company values, updates and celebrate successes.
- Smaller Team meetings– smaller gatherings of staff can be a useful way of collecting feedback and discussing issues that don’t need to include everyone. These can be held in person but also work well online as they can facilitate greater collaboration and brainstorming.
- Casual gatherings– taking time away from the workplace is a great way to strengthen your workplace culture. Enjoying spending time with your colleagues and get to know them as people helps to build a stronger relationship rather than viewing them as simply co-workers.
- Opportunity for Q&A sessions– creating a safe space for staff to ask questions is a really good way to build an open and honest culture. This often works well when done online. There are systems that you can use which allows employees to submit their questions or comments
- Internal communications– engaging with your team doesn’t necessarily have to be done in person or over a video call. Weekly or monthly emails keep staff in the loop or, pre-recorded videos that are shared within the business can help staff to feel included and immersed in the company culture.
Asking staff members to join meetings that they don’t necessarily need to be in or, that could be conveyed in an email is something that can be addressed when looking to improve office culture. Meeting fatigue is real and can negatively impact how individuals and teams work. In fact, low meeting engagement has been highlighted as one of the top three warning signs as to why a businesses culture isn’t working. This can be resolved by developing efficient protocols for meetings that set expectations for the entire business:
- Hybrid friendly– for the past two years, many meetings have been hybrid and that won’t change going forward. People can attend meetings either in person or online making it easier to arrange as everyone may not be able to make it to every in-person meeting.
- Stick to timings – ensuring meetings are focused on the agenda and that they don’t run over the agreed time is important. Following a meeting agenda and being clear about the goals of the session can help to make the most of everyone’s time.
- Consider your invite list– it sounds obvious but only invite people who need to be there. Sending your meeting agenda to those invited in advance means everyone can make an informed decision about whether they are needed or, what they can prepare beforehand.
- Cameras on– clear expectations for on-camera participation means that everyone is on the same page. Being able to see faces and read reactions can really help especially when it comes to creative thinking and brainstorming.
Onboarding new talent
Recruiting talented people who will stay at your company is a difficult task. Competition is fierce and having a great workplace culture is a big factor for new hires when looking for a new role. Being able to show potential new recruits the way your company operates and the team behind it is important if your recruitment process is taking place online. Employees often like to get a ‘feel’ for the office culture for themselves by visiting so offering that is a great way to showcase your environment..
Once you’ve recruited, developing an onboarding process that introduces your workplace culture and integrates new staff is essential:
- Mix it up– ensure each new employee gets some one-on-one time with people from across the business so they get a rounded view of the culture.
- Map it out– help new hires to understand the structure of the company, how their work fits into the bigger picture of the businesses and their potential career path.
- Keep it casual – take some time to get to know new employees on a personal level. Arrange a social gathering or lunch with other members of the team to build relationships and trust.
- Materials and mentors – provide culture resources to help employees start practicing the culture on their own. This could be a company handbook or access to a mentor for example.
So, what does a great office environment look like?
Culture is key. As the world of work changes, it’s never been so important to create an environment that staff want to work in. Prioritising your workplace culture in 2022 will help boost staff morale, improve recruitment and retention and you will also see great business impacts such as enhanced productivity.
For more information about how we can help you improve your office environment, get in touch with the VergoUK team today.