Prioritizing Company Culture in a Remote World
As a company, we hit the ground running this year. We’re firing on all fronts, and have welcomed 6 new team members in the last month alone! I’m one of those new hires 👋. I joined the team in early January as their Culture Manager. Although I’ve only been in the role for a little over a month now, I thought I would share my reflections and observations about how Breathe Life is prioritizing company culture in a remote world. Keep an eye out for my future articles that will detail everything we’re trying and testing as we get further along in our remote culture mission.
Breathe Life has always placed an importance on company culture, but one thing that became clear as we made the switch to remote early in 2020, was that our culture was very heavily dependent on being in-person. Without an office and in-person socializing, Ian Jeffrey, our CEO, knew that someone needed to be hired who would be laser focused on all things culture, especially in a remote context. As many organizations have experienced, the transition from in-person to a remote work environment highlighted the holes in company culture. The natural ways to interact with colleagues in an office setting such as impromptu coffee chats, or lunchtime walks or social club events have changed. Because of this, our leadership team decided to hire someone as a Culture Manager, and I’m really excited to join the team in this capacity. Here are some of my early observations:
Feedback is crucial, but only if you actually act on it. We use platforms such as OfficeVibe to ask employees how we’re doing in all aspects of running the business and gather feedback on how we can improve. This feedback is then taken and assigned actions on how to address it along with due dates that keeps us accountable to everyone. This also gives me a lot of data to work with to shape how our culture and social activities will look for the year ahead.
You need to prioritize getting to know each other. With new hires being onboarded remotely, and with the team growing quickly, it can be difficult to ensure everyone knows each other. One of our first events of the year was a Happy Hour where we quizzed each other on how well we know our teammates. It was fun to learn random facts about each other! One thing I learned, is that our CEO, Ian, is a self-described coffee princess, which I find hilarious! And it came as no surprise that our Chief Client Officer, Pat, thinks the perfect day involves heli-skiing and being in bed by 9pm.
As it’s only been one month I’m still working on implementing some great initiatives and ways for us to have fun and connect while at work. Stay tuned for some more fun ideas on what we’ll be doing in the coming months!