It’s probably safe to say that if your company is still working fully remote that those occasional threats of going back in the office will likely not come to fruition. I say ‘threats’ because, for some, it may have taken you this long to get into a routine that allowed you to maintain separation between work life and home life and having to uproot that would certainly cause stress. Now add in the fact that, like many other companies, you may have open positions that you are struggling to fill with qualified candidates. The big question here is how are you maintaining company culture? Is it a thing of the past? Has company culture been put on the back burner behind the struggle of just having a team to build?

It is prevalent that we are in the midst of a domino effect. You’re struggling to find qualified candidates, so the workload on your current employees is compiling which may ultimately cause their resignation. You’re suddenly having to cough up more money due to increasing employee demands and you can’t forget about your current employees who will also require an increase due to inflation. When you’re spending more money in one place it means you may have less to spend in another, in efforts such as team building or employee lunch days which hinders company culture and may cause your employees to feel unappreciated. You’re being pulled in a million different directions and are having a hard time finding where to start. Working on company culture is a great place to begin. After all, you cannot afford to lose valuable employees, especially with how hard it is to replace them, and ultimately if they are happy it will make for a more productive and profitable business.

Research shows that over 50% of job seekers consider company culture to match importance of pay, and 75% of recruiters feel that cultural fit is more important than a candidate’s work history and experience. The culture you set forth in your company can be a result of something as little as leading by example. When you speak to people does it come from a place of empowerment, or do you leave a person feeling less than? Don’t be naive and think that because you just ripped Susan a new one, it doesn’t also affect John and Kim in the surrounding offices because when you belittle someone it makes everyone around them feel uncomfortable, and if you speak to one person like that what’s stopping you from doing it to someone else? In short, you should be a walking epitome of the culture you set forth in your company. If people like the environment they work in and they value the relationships they have at work they are likely to stay in a role, and if you’re working on bringing in new hires, a happy employee speaks volumes. There is nothing more discouraging to a new hire than walking into a toxic environment where the employees feel obviously overworked and undervalued. It will likely turn them right back around and out the door. Fostering a company culture starts with you and radiates through your employees.

Aside from leading by example, there are a few things you can be doing to maintain or rebuild company culture whether you’re in-office or remote. One easy way is to encourage moments of informal interaction between team members. In one of the million meetings you probably attend daily, having a 5–10-minute moment where chitter-chatter is allowed is extremely empowering. Especially for those who work remotely and have zero human contact, those 5-10-minutes can change the trajectory of their day in a positive way. Regardless of how busy you are, participating in the conversation can cause creative juices to begin flowing and may be the kick everyone needed to power through their week. Another way is to encourage a hybrid work schedule. Every employee is different but offering a hybrid work schedule will allow those employees who find it easier to maintain a work-life balance in a hybrid schedule to do so. Set boundaries, goals, and expectations from the beginning. You could offer a hybrid schedule on a trial basis to see if those employees can maintain productivity.

Unfortunately, nothing about the current state of the workforce is black and white. Every single employee is different with different wants and needs and there is no way to make everybody happy. Try finding a grey area where the majority feels like they are winning. Remember that this will come with trial and error, but it needs to be addressed regardless. If you are having trouble finding qualified candidates who fit into your company culture give us a call at (518) 275-4816 where we are happy to help!