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Creating a Positive Organizational Culture while working remote
By Aaron Lifshin on

In 2019, research conducted by business experts found that 79% of people who quit their jobs did so in reaction to a lack of positive recognition. In 2019, Forbes reported that job seekers often looked for companies that offered a positive work environment and opportunities for upward mobility. 

What these things point to is the increasing importance of positive organizational culture. Do you want to hire the best in the business and keep them around for the long haul? You’re going to need to foster a fulfilling and meaningful workplace culture.

How do you create a positive organizational culture while working  remote? How will this increase employee retention, engagement, and productivity?

All of this can be challenging, especially during off situations like the COVID-19 pandemic where the whole team has to work remotely.It is hard to prepare for situations like this . Luckily, there are strategies to create a positive organizational culture during these hard times. 

With that in mind, read on to find out more and start changing your business for the better.

Work-Life Balance

Encouraging a healthy work-life balance shows your employees that you care about their wellbeing, which is especially important during the pandemic. People are already stressed out about the uncertainty of the disease, so they can easily feel like they are less important than the bottom line. This is why having a healthy work-life balance is essential to reduce the fear of uncertainty, so employees will feel more relaxed and valued for the work they have done.

Set deadlines that are reachable within designated working hours. Be considerate of people’s working environment as not everyone can have a hospitable working environment at home. Also, don’t encourage employees to work through their lunch breaks or on their days off. 

The goal, in creating a positive work-life balance, is to avoid employee burnout. When your employees feel overworked, they become less productive and more resistant to your leadership.

What Is Organizational Culture?

At its core, organizational culture refers to the beliefs, attitudes, and practices that guide your company. It shapes the psychological and social feelings and interactions within your company. It also determines the way you conduct business and how you treat your clients or customers.

Research conducted by Deloitte found that 94% of executives believe that a positive organizational culture is crucial. Most executives noted that for them, business strategy holds more importance than organizational culture. On the other hand, employees reported an almost even split between the two.  

As a leader, it’s important to remember that organizational culture affects the attitudes of the people you work with. It also affects what they do and how they do it.

For example, a company that emphasizes socialization may excel at team-based tasks. A company that emphasizes individual accountability and recognition may excel at creating a clear hierarchy.

Both of the above examples have their pros and cons. It is important that you establish an organizational culture that makes sense for your company’s goals. Regardless of what your organization does, one of your primary goals should be to foster employee satisfaction.

Related: How Much Time is Your Company Wasting in Meetings?

Organizational Culture Challenges

Whether you realize it or not, your organization already has a culture. Does the existing culture fail to reflect your goals for your organization? You may have a difficult time transitioning to something more positive. 

If you’re not sure what your organization’s culture is, ask yourself a few questions.

Do your employees appreciate the success of their coworkers or do they resent achievements that are not their own? Do they respond positively to constructive feedback? Do they resist the notion that they could have performed better in certain areas?

If you find that your team interaction has an air of negativity, you may have a toxic organizational culture. In some instances, talking about the issues at hand openly and restructuring your company may not be enough.

You need everyone to cooperate and institute positive change. Otherwise, it will be difficult to establish a positive organizational culture. Cooperation and clear, shared goals are key.

What Makes Positive Organizational Culture?

We’ve talked a bit about what organizational culture is and what a negative one might look like. Now, let’s take a look at what makes a positive organizational culture.

Mutual Respect

A manager gives constructive criticism in an office lounge, showing mutual respect.

First and foremost, everyone in your organization, from top to bottom, should be treated with respect. That doesn’t mean that you should coddle under-performers. Nor does it mean that you should recognize failed business ventures as successful ones.

What it does mean, however, is that feedback should be constructive and opinions should be heard.  It does not matter if the feedback is over an email, over the phone, or over a scheduled meeting. Everyone should be treated with respect at all times  no matter the situation. 

Opportunities for feedback

One way to make sure everyone’s opinions are heard is to utilize live employee feedback technology. Whether you’re running a meeting or live streaming a webinar, this type of technology encourages interactivity and engagement. 

It may be a common error to assume no one has any comments or concerns over certain matters, when in reality people may just not have the opportunity to provide that feedback or they  may be embarrassed to speak up. It is important to provide a safe and  easy environment  for employees to do this . Utilizing tools that  have the opportunity for anonymous surveys, Q & A’s , and polls is a great way to help with this during  situations where people are working remote. 

Related: How to Get People to Take a Survey

Recognition

You should also make sure to recognize the individual achievements of your employees. Unrecognized accomplishments or favoritism are two ways to ensure that your employees will feel unappreciated. A bit of positive feedback can go a long way.

These recognitions can  range from an online meeting announcement to the whole team, to a simple “ good job today”  on a text or email. A fun idea is to create a #shoutout or #recognition channel in your company’s chat tool like Slack.

Some recommendations for doing this while working remotely can also  include sending online gift cards. Most retail places nowadays have the option of sending email gift cards which makes it very easy and efficient.  

Zero-Tolerance Policy

In your effort to create a welcoming and positive environment, you will also need to establish a zero-tolerance policy. That means zero tolerance of harassment, discrimination, or hostility. Your employees need to trust that they will be protected by their employers and HR representatives if necessary. 

Culture of Communication

 Employees practice good communication by collaborating on a project at a table.

Ultimately, the lines of communication should always be open. You should be able to provide constructive criticism to receptive staff. They should be able to weigh in on organizational decisions or changes, both big and small.

Trends in Organizational Culture

Respect and communication are the pillars of a positive organizational culture. There are many ways that you can implement them. We’ll talk about some of the latest trends in an organizational culture that create a positive work environment for everyone.

Culture-Fit Hiring

Culture-fit hiring refers to the process of selecting candidates who seem to fit your company’s culture. However, there is a right way to do this and a wrong way to do this.

Don’t hire someone simply because you think they’ll get along with your other employees or won’t cause waves in the office. Instead, hire someone because they share your core values but can offer a new perspective. 

In other words, hire individuals who will strengthen your organizational culture. Take on new employees that will bring with them a fresh perspective and attitude of collaboration. 

Opportunities for Professional Development

An employee leads a professional development course.

Most people join a company with the goal of advancing their opportunities or working their way up the ladder. If it’s clear to your employees that you are not interested in creating new opportunities for them, they will grow tired of their work.

When you invest in your employees, they will feel appreciated. They will see that they are central to your organization’s operations.

If there are no opportunities for promotion, try other tactics. Offer growth incentives such as on-site technical training or funding for professional development. 

Ethical Business Practices

In this day and age, many people want to make a positive difference in the world. (At the very least, they don’t want their work to have a negative impact on others.) Your ethical business practices should reflect your organization’s values.

If your organization values environmental health, your purchasing decisions should reflect that. Source your disposable materials, such as paper, from green companies. Alternatively, go as paperless as possible!

During harsh times like natural disasters or pandemics, it is especially crucial to look at how company decisions are made. Are decisions made for the company’s best interest or the employees ? Being  ethical as a company should be something that is  shown at all times. 

What We Can Learn

When we focus on positive organizational culture, we can learn more about what our employees’ needs and desires are. Include everyone in this shift towards a better remote work interaction. Find out what would make your employees feel happier and more appreciated at work.

In fact, as executives, we have a lot to learn from our employees. The workforce is younger and more diverse than it was when we first joined the ranks of the employed. Practices that worked in the past may not work anymore or may even actively alienate some of our new employees who are accustomed to an open culture of feedback. 

The process of learning how to create a positive organizational culture makes us better, more empathetic people. It reminds us that everyone has different needs and priorities. When those needs are met, people are more prepared to work productively.

Happy employees are productive employees. They’re also employees who stick around.

A positive organizational culture is sure to increase both productivity and employee retention rates. That gives you more time to focus on improving your business strategies!

Enhance Communication With Technology

Employees sit at their desks and look at the computer, making use of technology in a positive organizational culture.

Are you ready to foster a positive organizational culture in your business? Consider implementing the latest communication technology. MeetingPulse is an interactive meetings and employee feedback  platform that allows every person in your organization to use their voice.

MeetingPulse also allows you to document employee feedback and engagement in real time. That way, you can keep the conversation going during a meeting, and even after the virtual meeting or conference has ended. Your employees will appreciate the chance to make a difference and you’ll love the results you see! 

It’s also an excellent strategy during the pandemic, so people can communicate and voice their opinions and feelings through online communication technology, so they can continue to be productive and still a part of the team during quarantine.

Make an account and register for your free trial of MeetingPulse today. Why take our word for it when you can see the benefits of MeetingPulse with your own eyes? 

Related: 25 Fun Poll Questions to Ask Your Audience

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