Remote work environments offer conveniences such as custom workspaces for employees and fewer overhead costs. Employers are learning, however, that employees may struggle to preserve corporate culture from a distance. This can be especially clear while hiring and onboarding new employees.

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A few practices can help you preserve and promote corporate culture within your organization whether employees are near or far.

Use technology to invest in employee growth

Working from home can feel monotonous or repetitive. Employees want to know that leadership continues to support their growth and development. Use e-learning software for continuing education opportunities.

If feasible, allot a few hours per quarter that employees can dedicate to their growth through online courses. It’s a relatively simply way to show employees that they are supported and corporate culture facilitates personal and professional growth.

Host virtual acknowledgements and awards ceremonies

An encouraging smile goes a long way. On the toughest days, a nod or gesture from leadership can help employees feel seen, empathized with and supported. Unfortunately, virtual communication doesn’t lend itself well to such small gestures.

Ensure that your employees don’t feel lost among countless emails and instant messages. To show that they are not overlooked or underappreciated, host virtual ceremonies via video conference. Make time to give kudos for a job well done or awards for more significant accomplishments.

Rainmaker research reports that, “mutual respect, gratitude, and recognition between coworkers and leadership” was essential to employee satisfaction. Acknowledgement boosts employee morale and reinforces a culture of teamwork and camaraderie.

Maintain your commitment to corporate social responsibility

Social distancing has halted many volunteerism initiatives. Fortunately, technology makes a way to maintain your commitment to philanthropy while promoting employee safety.

Each year, Yardi offices assemble committees that organize volunteer efforts and nonprofit grants. Of course, 2020 forced committees to get creative—and boy, did they rise to the occasion!

Many offices transitioned to virtual fundraising committees. The Yardi Oxnard office took it a step farther. Oxnard invited candidates to submit video presentations summarizing their organization, its needs and goals. These videos replaced in-person fairs and still helped employees get a personal feel for each worthy cause.

After viewing the videos, employees remotely cast their votes. The top-ranking candidates received grant funds for the year.

Yardi CSD replaced their annual in-person 3k walk with a virtual walk to support Angela’s House. The group connected via Microsoft Teams and then chatted while walking their neighborhoods. It was a fantastic way to raise funds for the organization while participating in team building.

Yardi is Energized for Good! Learn more about Yardi’s remote corporate philanthropy efforts on our Giving page.

Host virtual clubs for employees

If your organization didn’t have a social committee before, now is the time to develop one. These powerful, employee-driven groups get a feel for what interests their peers. They then create engaging activities and events.

Virtual clubs are opportunities for employees to “hang out” after hours while enjoying a shared interest. Consider fitness clubs where team members log on simultaneously for yoga, dance or Tabata classes. Painting, cooking, crafting and gaming are all fun way ways for employees to casually connect and build a culture of camaraderie.

Keep holiday traditions alive

It’s important to continue holiday celebrations whenever you can. While group meals and dancing may not be in the immediate future, you can still make merry using technology.

For Yardi Atlanta, Halloween is a big deal. Each year, employees decorated their departments, their desks and their bodies in hope of winning bragging rights and prizes. Last year, the Yardi Atlanta social committee came up with creative workarounds for a virtual celebration.

A pumpkin carving  and selfie contest, throwback Halloween photo contest and virtual mixology class were among a few of the fun activities employees enjoyed together. Of course, there were costume contests! Teams made collages for group costumes and decorated their home offices. All submissions, voting and awards were completed virtually.

With a dash of creativity and a dedicated social committee, you can keep employees excited about the workplace atmosphere.

Normalize and support mental wellness

Healthy, happy employees are more productive, innovative and efficient. During trying times, employers may need to take additional measures to support employee wellbeing.

If you already have mental health and financial support resources available to employees, publicize them. Make it easy for employees to find the services that they need.

If you do not already have support services in place, consider speaking with a consultant about your options. You may begin by participating in local, state and federal mental health programs as you work to develop resources for your organization.

Make a statement that matters

Do your mission statement and guiding principles still reflect the priorities and aspirations of the organization? If not, it may be time for an update.

It may feel blasphemous to even consider changing value statements. It’s standard practice for organizations to keep the same legacy statements decade after decade. Yet if the foundations laid decades ago could stand a few repairs to better support the organization, why not consider change?

All employees, but especially younger populations, are paying attention. Millennials and Gen Z aren’t settling for vague values or outdated perspectives on success. They expect work-life balance, diversity and inclusion, and human-focused business plans. But the good news is that they’re willing to reward such companies with dedication and loyalty.

Does the mission statement created decades ago reflect who you are now and the culture that you want to cultivate?

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