This Halloween season, perhaps one of the spookiest things the workforce has had to face is the shift to working remote. For our second Coffee with a Recruiter segment, we were joined by Blue Signal’s Human Resources Project Manager, Wyatt Humrichous, to discuss best practices when it comes to promoting a cohesive and engaging company culture within a remote workforce. Wyatt discussed some key points, including:
- Being present and consistent with remote teams can help ensure those satellite workers are staying engaged with the company culture.
- By fine-tuning the onboarding process, you are putting your best foot forward when it comes to including a new hire into the culture - right at the start.
- Simple voice-to-voice, and better yet, face to (virtual) face, communication can go a long way. Don’t underestimate the power of some traditional communication in forming bonds.
Watch the video or read on to get the full scoop on combating these culture shifts!
Question: What is one common misconception about company culture when working remotely?
Answer: “I believe a lot of people approach working remotely with this, “I could never do that, how could anyone stay motivated, working remotely just isn’t for me,” type of attitude and usually kill their fire before even considering a remote position or offering themselves the opportunity to really excel at one. I’ve found in my experience working remotely, as well as working to excite remote teams as we build out our remote model, that really the pros and cons of working in a traditional office and working in a remote office almost outweigh themselves. With the global pandemic, so many people have fathomed working from home now and have really put some thought into the possibility and reality of what that would look like. Through this experience I hope that many people will approach the idea from a different angle.
At Blue Signal we have still been able to nurture a strong sense of community and team camaraderie by ensuring our teams are meeting weekly, if not daily. Being as present as possible and as consistent as possible are two ways to really ensure teams maintain their strength. Additionally, by doing the work of reaching out and understanding what support employees need as we all swim these new waters together allows us to create communication bonds and reassure our employees that our primary objective is to support them and see them through to their inevitable success. Finally, this may seem like a no-brainer, but by having the proper values and foundational structure in place to build your culture and policy around, you do yourself the favor of getting off on the right foot and avoid any cracks that may lead to troubles with culture down the road. At Blue Signal we adhere to a standard of excellence that is second to none, and this standard fuels our ability to provide a top notch service to our clients and be an invaluable resource to our candidates.”
Q: What has been one major challenge you have had to overcome in supporting a remote workforce?
A: “When it comes to supporting a remote workforce so many hiccups come with onboarding. Screening, interviewing, sending offers, negotiating, equipping, training - all of these core components of onboarding adjust greatly based on your business model and a prospective or new employee’s life-cycle experience right from the jump. By diving in and fine tuning so many of our onboarding details, we have taken what can seem like a daunting task with never ending steps and made it concise, friendly, and engaging for everyone involved.”
Q: What are some tricks and tips you have for keeping employees engaged with their teams in a remote workforce?
A: “With so many of us working in our siloed home offices and lacking good old-fashioned communication that we so often thrive on, I’ve found that calling employees instead of emailing sometimes is a great way to engage folks and remind them that they aren’t alone. I hear stories of employees that work elsewhere going a day - or even days sometimes - without real voice-to-voice contact with a fellow colleague. That sounds like a nightmare to me! Anytime you’re able to connect with someone via video conference or phone call, take that opportunity, as they are few and far between and mean so much more now that we don’t get caught in elevators with co-workers, or have lunch in the break room together anymore. While we are all looking forward to that again, for now it’s important to reach out in those traditional fashions.
Also, we’ve found that by providing fun opportunities for employees to get to know each other and cut loose aside from work hours, it really can boost morale. We’ve hosted Happy Hours on video conferences, put together health initiatives to try and promote some healthy competition from our own homes and neighborhoods, we have implemented small video segments, sharing photographs and personal statements about each other, airing them company-wide for all employees to gather a glimpse of what we are all like. We have found each of these items, as well as a combination of them, to really promote the interconnectivity that we like to foster here within our Blue Signal culture.”
Wyatt Humrichous, HR Department
“Wyatt Humrichous supports the entire Blue Signal team through a variety of projects including operational management and human resources support. As a subject matter expert on company culture and employee retention strategy, he is the ultimate resource when it comes to ensuring employee buy-in and overall morale.”
With over 120 years of combined experience in the industry, we have seen and heard it all when it comes to the good and the bad of company culture. More often than not, bad culture is what drives employees to want to make a move. Leverage our insight and follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to hear more about our tried and true best practices when it comes to employee retention and successful company culture.