In today's business world, it's more important than ever to prioritise company culture. A positive culture can drive employee engagement, productivity, and retention, however, creating and maintaining a great company culture as you begin to scale can be challenging, especially in a remote environment. It’s something we prioritise at KOPE and ensure that we make time for.
One approach that helps is the concept of "the moments that matter". We focus on the fact that the most impactful experiences in a person's work life are the small, often unexpected moments. These are the moments that define how employees feel about their work and their employer. In a remote environment, these moments are even more significant, as employees are likely to feel more isolated or disconnected from their team.
We just celebrated a very busy and successful Q1 at one of our company retreats, for a few days of coming together to work, relax, reconnect and have a lot of fun. We prioritise time for hanging out as equally as getting some serious work done when we come together, because we understand the positive impact it has on our team. When we are able to build on and grow those relationships, we know that once we’re all back online our communication and collaboration is better than ever.
So, how can companies foster these moments that matter in a remote setting? Here are some practical tips and lessons we’ve learned so far:
Prioritise communication and connection:
Regular communication is key to maintaining a positive company culture. In a remote environment, it's important to be intentional about creating opportunities for connection and choosing the right channels. This could include regular team meetings, one-on-one check-ins with managers, and virtual team-building activities, alongside times where you bring the team together in person. In terms of channels, we treat Teams chat as an instant comms for quick answers, calls and in person meetings for the longer and deeper conversations.
Celebrate successes and milestones:
Recognising and celebrating employee successes and milestones creates moments of connection and positivity. We include celebrations for birthdays, work anniversaries, and project successes. We have a specific High-Fives teams channel that we encourage everyone in the team to utilise to share small and big wins throughout the week – pausing to celebrate as it happens!
Create opportunities for growth and development:
Providing opportunities for employees to learn and grow from each other can create meaningful moments in their work life. This could include virtual training sessions, mentorship programs, and online learning resources. We have curated leadership coaching sessions with a business coach, ML20’s (lunchtime learning sessions that the team members host and lead), access to Pluralsight, and have created a shared space on our intranet specifically for hosting resources the team find useful.
Prioritise work-life balance:
Supporting work-life balance can create positive moments for employees and show that the company values their well-being. For us, this includes flexible working, access to mental health resources, and encouraging employees to take time off when needed.
Be intentional about company culture:
It's important to be intentional about creating and maintaining a positive company culture. We hold regular surveys to gather feedback from employees, creating events specifically to focus on our culture, and providing resources for employees to learn about and participate in the company culture.
Implementing the above is a great start but one important step to remember is to regularly assess the effectiveness of your current initiatives and make adjustments as needed. Our most recent event was a direct result of the feedback we gathered from the team regarding the previous event – they requested more downtime to hang out and get to know each other, and more time to focus on the work challenge – so we designed the event around both of those things! (We’re pretty sure it was a success, but will keep you posted once the feedback results come in…)
Over time, we’ve come to realise that focusing on "the moments that matter" provides us with a valuable framework for fostering a great company culture in a remote environment. By prioritising communication and connection, celebrating successes, providing opportunities for growth, prioritising work-life balance, and being intentional about culture, companies can create meaningful moments that drive employee engagement, productivity, and retention.
We're grateful to be partnered with Flowspace who not only found us the incredible venue for our retreat, Birch community, but who provide us with a huge array of inspiring and fun places for our team to gather and work when they choose to.