8 tips to building a remote, people-first culture

People-First Culture People-First Culture

Almost the entire business world moved to a remote working environment in March 2020. Now, eighteen months later, 45% of employees are still working partly or entirely remote, making remote work a persistent trend.

It’s no wonder employees are looking at remote or hybrid work models moving forward. According to one study, three out of 10 remote employees are highly likely to seek a different job if their company eliminates remote work altogether.

But to thrive in a remote work environment, employers must develop a people-first culture that keeps employees engaged and feeling like a valued part of the workforce.

Let’s dive into 8 tips for building a people-first remote culture.

1. Adapt your company values to the “Digital First, Remote First” philosophy

The shift to remote is a significant change for your business. Building a solid remote team starts with knowing why you are in business. Reassessing your company values and asking your team to contribute to them now can help your team get aligned.

A truly digital first culture needs to put innovation, education, and communication first. This means ensuring your employees have:

2. Hire well and have a clear and engaging onboarding process

When hiring new employees, remember that the best employee for a remote position may not have been the same employee who would thrive in an office environment. It’s best to hire first, based on skill, and second based on cultural fit and great soft skills that are coming across in a remote-style digital interview. You’ll get a lot of knowledge of how a potential employee will fit into your remote-first culture by conducting remote interviews.

While remote work has many benefits, new employees can sometimes feel left behind without an adequate onboarding process. Employing a solid, extensive, and easy-to-follow onboarding process is vital. In an office environment, it’s easy for new employees to soak in new information, interact with their colleagues, or seek help on new projects by simply overhearing conversations and walking up to a co-worker’s desk. Working remotely requires employers to foster a very intentional culture of inclusivity and easy access to information and people.

Small initiatives like using cameras on zoom calls and setting individual ‘get to know you’ times with current employees with the new hire can go a long way.

3. Foster collaboration and interactivity by having the right tools

A people-first digital culture cannot happen without the right tools. Organizations cannot expect their employees to thrive if they constantly encounter roadblocks with everyday tasks. Better tech allows for better communication between internal staff. This, in turn, is better for productivity and minimizes frustration.

You may want to adopt a couple of platforms that integrate with your workflow for internal communication.

4. Consider how leadership roles change in a digital-first, remote-first culture

It’s not just employees that need to adapt to remote work. Management may find remote work an even more significant challenge. For managers, the way they communicate with and encourage their team may change. Spend some time with your senior leaders to ensure they get the best out of their team.

Some lessons that may help foster a digital-first mentally amongst management are:

5. Listen closely to your employees

Working remotely means putting more trust in your employees. It also means considering their feedback. Empowering your employees to contribute to the company’s direction and goals will only get you so far. As a workforce, your organization needs to value their input, listen to their concerns, and act on them to improve.

Employees who see real action, feel heard and understood are more inclined to contribute, make the company better, and move more quickly towards the collective goal.

6. Choosing remote-friendly performance standards

Part of developing a people-first culture is allowing an open dialogue with employees. Establishing a genuine dialogue between managers and each team member is keen. As a digital team, you may find the old performance measures of quarterly or yearly assessments are too outdated for your new way of working.

Establish performance standards that recognize that the time, energy, efforts, and positive outcomes your employees are putting in are noticed.

Ensure communication is clear and transparent. Engaged employees and employees who know exactly what is expected are more likely to perform well.

7. Structured and scheduled events for team bonding

With less face-to-face chat between colleagues outside of meetings, employees may be at risk of feeling isolated, lonely, or just feeling like they have to be productive every minute of the day while working remotely.

But idle chat between colleagues is helpful. Not only is it good for boosting morale, but hashing conversations out face-to-face can often be easier than messaging back and forth.

Find ways for your team to connect, especially with those who may have less need to communicate online. Schedule quizzes, organize team-building activities, and video chats about non-work-related topics to build team camaraderie and trust.

8. Partner with organizations already embracing people-first, remote-first culture

Choosing partners that already embrace a people-first digital culture is imperative. Who you partner with reflects back on the experience of your employees. While many organizations are digital-first, finding a partner that puts culture at the center of their operations is key.

Prioritize looking for a staff augmentation partner that understands the benefit of people-first culture. This will ensure communication and processes run smoother.

As organizations continue to work remotely and hybrid work continues, more companies are choosing to augment their teams with the help of outsourced IT. Outsourcing is an amazing solution for businesses that need more support, but what’s also needed is a partner that understands their larger organizational goals.

Choosing to outsource with a people-first company like Novacomp means partnering with a company that understands success is more than just the bottom line. We focus on making working together a genuinely positive experience through excellent communication and reliable, happy, and motivated employees.

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