Help Your Company Culture Thrive In These Unprecedented Times
The world of work was transitioning to a more remote model even before the global pandemic. In the post-pandemic world that transition has been accelerated. We are now living in the age of the “new normal” and that means we need to adapt if we are going to continue to thrive. One of the areas that will require some adjustment is the growth and development of our company culture. The day-to-day micro-connections that happened around the metaphorical water cooler are a thing of the past but the value those moments brought cannot be left behind. We need to find new ways to connect with each other outside of work meetings and one-on-ones.
Luckily, we are here to help! Below is a list of our top 10 culture building practices that will help your team stay connected even when they’re apart.
1. Meme of the Week
It seems the newest form of communication and camaraderie is through our love of memes. Why not incorporate this cultural touchstone into your workplace? Setting up a day where you’re able to share your favourite meme in either a designated “meme” slack channel, or simply voting on the best meme in your department to share to the entire company can be a nice light hearted way to share in a laugh. Let’s face it, your team is already sharing their favorite anyway. Now the company can get it in on the fun.
2. Birthday Shout-Outs!
Ok, there’s always that one person who doesn’t want you to know it’s their birthday, but for the rest of us, a little ‘happy birthday’ sure doesn’t hurt. Sharing birthday shout-outs monthly is a great way to connect your team. Plus, it gives members of your team something to share, even if it’s as simple as their birthday month.
3. Fun Fact Friday
TGIF! Everyone is ready to finish up and start their weekend, but what better way to kick off the weekend than with a fun fact about a member of the team? Having some simple questions or even game of “guess who” can be a fun and interactive way to get to know your team even better.
Can you guess which member of the sales team climbed MT. Everest? Which executive is a charter member of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer fan club?
Who knows what you’ll discover on fun Fact Fridays.
4. Celebrations of Success
Celebrating even the smallest wins across the organization can really help reignite your team’s fire and get everyone involved in the work they do everyday. With 79% of US employees leaving their jobs feeling under-appreciated, this small effort can really help individuals and teams stay connected in this new normal.
5. Water Cooler Meet and Greet Over Zoom
For some this can sound like just another zoom meeting to attend but for others this is something to look forward to every day. Having time set aside for a 15-min “coffee break” gives your team the chance to hang out and brag about their weekend, share something funny or talk about the dog or the kids. These micro-interactions are missing from our days with everyone remote working. Having time allotted that your employees know is ‘company approved’ can really help with employee connection, creating a more positive and inclusive work day.
6. The Buddy System
Who doesn’t want to go back to kindergarten? Nap time anyone? Welcome to the new corporate kindergarten where work buddies are encouraged! Having a rotational work buddy can help build new relationships across different departments and who doesn’t want more friends? We all have that favourite colleague we can shoot ideas off of or share a funny story with but a rotational work buddy is a great way to push employees to steps outside of their typical comfort zone, creating more interconnected work relationships across the organization.
7. Video ON During Meetings
Now that Zoom and other video conferencing platforms have makeup and beard filters you no longer have any excuse not to turn on your video and let the team see your wonderful face. Without social cues and body language it can be quite easy to be misinterpreted. Having your video on can help teammates to learn your facial expressions and better understand you. Some friendly “you had your video on” shout-outs at the end of every meeting is a great way to encourage your team to start using video in all your meetings.
8. Skill Share Contest
A skill-share contest is a fun way to show off that hobby, trick or just plain weird habit you have been waiting to share with the world. It also helps team members know what the heck you’re up too when you’re not working.
9. Shout-Out Wednesdays
Wednesday–the dreaded humpday. What better way to keep your team motivated and feeling good about themselves than by having a slack channel or a company submission thread where everyone can share shout-outs big and small. Not only does this promote positive team feedback but it encourages everyone to look around and see what their teammates are doing. And really, who doesn’t love a good shout-out?
10. Stretch and Reset
Sometimes you just need a little nudge. Setting up reminders for your team to take a moment together to stretch, drink some water and mentally reset can help you feel connected, even when you’re apart. Knowing your team is supporting you and participating in the same activity can help you maintain healthy habits. It’s a great way to remind everyone that they are not alone and that we all need a little break now and then.
Bonus - Participation Awards!
Do you have a team member that is nervous to participate in company activities? Does it seem like the same few people speaking up in every meeting? Try out a participation award. Showing your employees that participation is something that is encouraged, accepted and acknowledged can help push them to test their boundaries and get more involved. We all like to receive awards and getting noticed for something we might not feel we’re good at encourages us to keep trying.