Overcoming the Remote Work Disconnect
Remote work has its advantages, but it’s hard to beat the energy and camaraderie that comes with having everyone in the office.
It's easy for employees to feel like they're part of a company's bigger picture when they're in the office and brainstorming with co-workers every day.
On the other hand, when employees are remote, office relationships can suffer, and allegiance to corporate culture can diminish.
A Glassdoor survey found that 56% of employees find a good workplace culture to be even more important than salary.
An analysis of data from TINYpulse found that professionals who were hired in remote positions in 2020 were 20% less likely to say they identified with their new company’s organizational values, and they reported experiencing 34% less peer recognition compared to new hires in 2019.
A recent MATRIX LinkedIn poll supported these observations:
Q: “If you started a new remote job in the pandemic, what has been the biggest challenge?”
Not getting to know coworkers - 36%
Fragmented team communication - 31%
Learning a company virtually - 19%
Hard to ask for help - 14%
For many businesses, company culture took a backseat over the past year. And that’s understandable — people did the best they could to adapt to changing conditions and the remote work dynamic.
However, as humans, we are social beings. As life starts to return to normal in many ways, there’s never been a better time to focus on company culture, especially for new hires.
Here are a few ways to make the transition to a new job easier:
Invest in Virtual Technology
Invest in the right technologies, such as virtual collaboration tools like Microsoft Teams or Zoom. These tools provide a reliable and secure connection when conducting online meetings, training, webinars, townhalls, etc. Provide your employees with up-to-date laptops with working cameras.
Set Onboarding Objectives
Unlike in-person onboarding processes, virtual introductions require more than just a warm welcome. Create a comprehensive list of objectives and procedures to enhance the new employee’s experience.
Focus on Company Traditions
If your company has long-standing traditions, such as anniversaries, employee of the month, happy hours, community service, etc., find ways to introduce these traditions into onboarding and ongoing work processes.
Consistent Communication Cadence
Regularly checking in with new staff allows you to identify issues and resolve them. Doing so ensures that the new hires feel connected to the teams they work with. Pair new team members with carefully selected mentors. This “buddy system” approach allows the new remote staff to avoid feeling isolated and helps them feel safe to ask questions in a new environment.
Solicit Employee Opinions
Everyone likes to feel like their opinions matter. Once the new hires complete the onboarding process, ask them to share their honest feedback about various aspects of the onboarding procedures.
Small things make a difference. Remote work is here to stay, but that doesn’t mean leaders and teams can’t make a few adjustments to ease the transition for new hires.