Let’s face it, these are unprecedented times. My guess is many of your employees are working from home full time or at least part of the time. Twitter told their entire staff they can work from home forever! Many tech companies have told their employees they can work from home until the end of the year. How can you maintain company culture from home? Here are some tips that will help.
Tip 1 – Manage check-ins
It’s tempting to schedule daily check-ins with your staff. Did you do this before the pandemic? If not, it sends the message that you don’t trust your employees. Unless you are leading a daily scrum meeting, which provides a daily 15-minute check-in, I suggest you consider the frequency of employee check-ins.
Be aware of the message a daily status update sends. Use the same cadence you used before everyone worked from home.
Tip 2 – Eliminate Non-Value added meetings
After you have a meeting, ask for employees to rate the meeting. Was it helpful? Was the meeting value-added? Gather rating information from the attendees. If it didn’t score well take their input and work to improve it or and consider eliminating the meeting.
If your employees ask to give their feedback anonymously, that is a signal you have other cultural problems.
Tip 3 – Introduce time blocks
In the business book The One Thing, the authors introduce the concept of time blocks. Uninterrupted blocks of time where employees focus on their one thing. Until their one thing is done, they don’t get the right to work on other activities.
I worked with a company where the over-worked engineering department had a time block from 11 to 2 three days a week. Meetings couldn’t be scheduled, phones went to voice mail. This was a self-imposed time block for the department. I can tell you, their on-time delivery of projects sky-rocketed.
Think about the incredible culture you build when you allow time blocks for your employees.
Tip 4 – Make time to connect
Everyone feels alone when working from home. You don’t have the random discussions that come up when passing people in the hall or meeting in the lunchroom. Depending upon the size of the team spend 15 to 30 minutes and use the time to connect.
Hold show and tell as we did in elementary school. Allow employees to share their hobbies. Ask what new things they have learned while working from home. Find out if anyone has any new book suggestions.
The time spent getting to know each other better isn’t wasted, it’s how you will maintain company culture from home!
As always, it is an honor to serve you, and I hope that you and your company are getting better every day!
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