How to nurture culture, no matter where your employees are
4 min read
Between forgetting what day it is, not knowing what your weekend plans look like or when you’ll see your work buddies again for a pint at the local pub, the pandemic has taken a toll on many, including your employees who are navigating temporary remote work.
But along the road to "the new normal," many organisations have found fun and innovative ways to strengthen and improve company culture, while boosting morale during challenging times. Here are 40 ideas to get you started:
Our top 3 ways to improve company culture
While each of these points deserve their own article, we’ve been especially impressed by a few innovative ways companies have improved morale and shown that their company culture could evolve to new levels. Here are some of our favorites:
1. Linking up communications and recognition
SafeAmerica Credit Union (SACU) launched its employee engagement platform with the goals of keeping employees in the loop and showing appreciation for top performers, which became even more important when the COVID-19 pandemic hit.
To ensure employees received relevant information and updates at the right time, the organisation started posting daily COVID-19 blog updates, offering tips for looking after mental and physical wellbeing and important business announcements.
SACU also launched new eCards to shine a spotlight on the hard work being done in difficult times – including “a virtual high five,” “essential strong” and “COVID-19 Heroes.” These eCards live on a social recognition wall to increase visibility and connections throughout the entire organisation.
2. Getting leaders involved and sharing helpful tips
Henley Homes has about 550 employees across Australia. Most employees work in construction and across different display centres around the country, so a large proportion of its workforce was working remotely before COVID-19 forced office staff to work from home too.
Many employees were used to using email to communicate, but that meant inboxes were flooded and getting cut-through was challenging; finding ways to connect and strengthen culture became a big focus for Henley’s People Team.
They spent some time refreshing the design of the “Henley Hub," making it more inviting and exciting for their employees to log in and read the content. In addition to launching a COVID-19 hub, Henley Homes launched an online wellbeing centre to support the team’s physical and mental wellbeing, such as promoting and posting updates about its staff “Push-Up Challenge” throughout the month of May. The team also committed to increasing blog frequency, so employees always had something new to read and learn about the company.
For the first time, they’ve had employees from around the business offering to add to the content — from managers offering blogs on topics ranging from ergonomic stretches to homeschooling tips, and everything in between, people are supporting one another by leaning into their virtual community.
3. Having competitive fun while encouraging binge-watching at home
The concept was simple, the options were endless, and dozens of RGers delivered. We wanted to encourage some creativity by asking RGers to recreate a scene from something they were currently watching, whether that was from a favorite movie or new TV show they were binging. We asked employees to:
| 1. Take a picture of the original scene.
|2. Take a picture of themselves recreating that scene, using household materials (we included and encouraged things like pets, children and other family members to share in the competition!)|
|3. Share the split-screen picture with the Culture Team|
It was extremely entertaining and heartwarming to see just how creative our RG employees can be. We had a special number of entries as well from our RG parents who brought their kids on board for the challenge.
Here’s a peek at them:
Here were a few of our winners:
Pippa Van Praagh
We hope that these ideas have got you thinking about more creative ways you can nurture company culture, even while your employees are working remotely. The more effort we put into transforming culture, the bigger impact we'll see later. I'd love to hear from you on LinkedIn: Have you tried any of these, or do you have more to add to our list?