This post is an excerpt from our webinar on Thursday, 5/13 @ 3pm ET with co-founder and Chief Brand Officer, Sammy Courtright with guests from Wade & Wendy, chief of staff and head of people, Dave Mekelburg, and growth marketer, Danielle Farage. Click here to watch the recording.
Wade & Wendy supports companies in acquiring talent, converting job seekers into applicants, and making informed recommendations throughout the recruiting process. Learn more here.
Special thanks and shout-out to to drnxmyth for sponsoring this month's webinar. Drnxmyth serves up fresh hand-crafted cocktails right to your door and are the perfect option for virtual happy hours and other team-building events.
This past year in particular has shined the spotlight on tech disruption in the job market–from finding jobs, interviewing, the employee experience, hiring and beyond. According to LinkedIn, nearly 46% of hiring professionals believe the Covid-19 pandemic has negatively affected the candidate experience.
So today, we want to talk about building culture when everyone is remote. Specifically, how technology plays a major role in fostering and promoting your company culture from recruiting to hire and retire.
Challenges of Communicating Culture Today
For many employees, specifically Gen Z, this is their first time working fully remote which has created a ton of wonderful opportunities for innovation. But with innovation comes its share of complications.
Employees are feeling disconnected from their company, the mission, their job purpose and from their colleagues, and only 34% of employees describe their company culture as team-oriented (Ten Spot culture survey.)
- 87% of employees want the ability to continue working remotely after the risks of the virus subside.
- 1 in 3 employees doesn’t want to work for an employer that requires them to be onsite full-time
- Nearly half of employees polled say if their company doesn’t extend their current remote-work policy, they’ll quit to work for another one that does.
What does this mean? Work culture has had to become more fluid with today’s greater use of remote teams and as employees are less dependent on the physical cues that in-person communication provides.
Whether you are part of a hiring team or an entrepreneur building your team, think about how you are making sure that employees feel like they are working for the same company when they are no longer in the same place. How are you communicating your culture to candidates before they even apply to a job post?
Value of a Connected Culture
Employers should consider not only how workers’ lives have changed since before the pandemic, but also how their needs or circumstances have changed throughout it. To strengthen culture among remote workers, including by offering remote-work resources, you'll see very shortly how tech/tools will play a new role in building culture remotely. Why does this matter? Well:
- Companies with highly-engaged teams show 21% greater profitability (Gallup)
- Great employee onboarding can improve employee retention by 82%
- Candidates who were asked to provide feedback in the recruiting process had a 129% increase in willingness to increase their relationship with employers
How to Build Culture When Everyone’s Remote
1) Deliver personalized messages at scale
Experience takes place before new hire starts. In today’s world candidates and employees want to feel like their experience from hiring to on-boarding and beyond is personal but reflective of the company’s culture. So, your employee experience must take place before any new hire starts, in the recruiting process. Consider the following and assess your current process, and then see if it aligns with your company's goals, values and culture:
- What technologies are you using?
- How many steps in your process?
- How can you automate while keeping the candidate experience personal?
- Does it reflect your company culture?
- Is it authentic?
When it comes to tech & implementation, today roughly 24% of companies have adopted some form of A.I. to help with their current processes and it's estimated to reach over 56% by the end of 2021. Know that there are specific technology and tools companies can implement, specifically in the hiring process, that can enable the hiring managers to create a scalable yet personal experience that is reflective of the company culture.
Be prepared to see a combination of human and tech processes.
Finally, assess intentionality in your process. Are you being intentional every step of the way?
Technically, from the first interaction with your company (for example, website or LinkedIn) through to their first official day is an opportunity to share information about your company that will assist in making the onboarding process more seamless.
Many people enjoy having materials, documents, and access ahead of time so they aren’t jumping in cold.
Take a look at how you are currently sharing this information with potential and current employees - this also applies to updating policies to reflect the way work has changed (such as instituting no-meetings days) and increasing communications from leadership.
2) Creating Memorable Experiences
When the world went remote, everyone scrambled to the closest video conferencing platform. Now that things have settled, it is time to be thoughtful about the technologies you are implementing to keep your teams connected. The technology that you use reflects your company culture.
For example, Ten Spot is a start-up, we use Slack as our collaboration tool. Slack reflects the spontaneous, always moving, non-stop energy that is a large part of Ten Spot’s culture.
If your company uses multiple tools, perhaps each team has its own preference so flexibility is key here. This infers that the culture is perhaps more autonomous but less collaborative outside the direct teams you work with. With less opportunity for cross-pollination.
We’ve learned through a ton of customer interviews that companies that are thoughtful with the technology selection and implement the technology across the entire organization have found more success communicating their culture.
However, if you need to work with multiple tools, it is important to let employees know the why behind the decision.
Finally, with technology, there is a wonderful opportunity to create and share memorable virtual experiences or culture-building opportunities: consider what your company stands for and align culture-building opportunities to those values.
What are you passionate about? Book clubs, meditation groups, run clubs or gin clubs? Ensure there is a space for these groups to form using your company’s technology and encourage it. If your company already has these groups established make sure it is easy for newcomers to discover them and join.
3) Foster transparency
From hiring to onboarding and beyond, be clear about tech you’re using and why, and hone in on the use of employee user guides. This is critically important when talking about transparency between employees. For those of you who tuned into our previous webinar on user guides, you will know a little bit about this.
A user guide is like your operating manual where you share information on your communication preferences, your work habits etc for other team members to reference.
If you're interested in learning more about user guides, check out this post here.