You are now probably familiar with your colleague’s pet’s snacking time, and they have seen your clothes hanging to dry. Well, not sure if the camera was clear enough to capture you, it sure did capture your mom nudging you to have lunch.
And hey, the next time you are painting the wall behind you or changing your wall sticker, ask your colleague. They’d probably give you better suggestions.
Companies have adapted to new nor… okay, the word has been killed a billion times now, and good for you that you guessed it right. Thanks to technology and digital connectivity, we are fortunate to work from home.
Reflecting on the last two years, we at Mobius have reimagined the practical ways of handling remote work. We are tailoring it every day for our customers, employees, and the organization to navigate the complexities better.
Though enough has been said about making remote work efficient, I think it is the deep root of culture beyond the infrastructure and technology that aids this. The core aspect of leadership, the ties that bind people together, and the levers of business that make it sustainable.
This post is a reflection of all of it.
What Makes A Company Successful?
In the past, when companies get asked about the reason for their success, there was always a unanimous stringing to “customer obsession.”
But now, companies that win are not those that are obsessed only with their customers but those who care about the employee experience, a.k.a culture.
Culture has always been important, but the pandemic-inflicted remote working has further aggravated the need. So what is the current state of remote work, and how do you preserve the culture while working remotely? Let’s hop in.
Attracting And Retaining The Talent Pool
Location, which was once the biggest limiting factor for a job, is no longer a part of the talent equation. This redistribution of jobs has almost destroyed the traditional epicenter for hiring.
Interestingly, this is a great advantage for startups that cannot afford to compete with the likes of big giants in the job market. The confinement of hiring can no longer be an excuse for a startup failure now.
To attract and retain the talent pool that has become extremely choosy, companies must look beyond the CTC. Here are a few hot takes on things to address:
- How do you make employees belong here?
- How do the leaders and coworkers treat them?
- Does the technology enable frictionless work?
- Do we give the right mentorship to help them grow?
- What is the definition of success in a role?
- What is the importance given to work-life balance?
- Do you provide the right incentive and opportunities?
As a company, you need to be thinking about employee experience as a strategic function like sales, marketing, and operation from the day you start. We cannot get it all right, but you could always level up to see the big picture.
The Big Picture
“Offices aren’t dead- but things will be different!”
After the pandemic, the historical arguments and skepticism about the idea of remote work have been long gone. Thanks to Slack, Zoom, Notion, and many other modern collaboration apps that make remote work possible.
Of course, the struggle to detect sarcasm in texts keeps us still haunted. However, there is a silver lining about the virtual work for the anxious introvert.
Although modern technology stacks come to the rescue, a few aspects of culture get lost. Open-door policies and employee empowerment programs are just fallacies if it stops with just “welcoming” dissenting opinions.
“You can tell us anything, and we are always open to feedback” is not really enough. How easy you make them speak is how you define improving the employee experience.
Good intentions are delusions if it doesn’t have an impact.
Speaking The Unspoken
Often culture has been a reinforcing belief and practice from top-down, and it is true to a larger extent. Leaders set the tone for “how things are done around here” with the reflection of norms that are accepted, encouraged, and discouraged.
There are two components of culture: one that is said aloud and explicit, and the other is unspoken yet understood, respected, and followed. People usually “get” the unspoken and foster it along the hierarchy.
This was quite easy in the pre-remote era. But in the remote culture, making new hires understand the unspoken is difficult, especially when you have to “speak” about the unspoken. Leaders need to take the lead in modeling the unspoken.
Nurturing The Trust
Well, now trust has extended beyond being a human-to-human thing. But let’s just focus on the human part of the trust. With workplace closures, “Time in office” is a thing of the past. Not that it was a great yardstick earlier also, which it wasn’t.
Creating an environment of trust goes beyond holding people accountable. There’s a lot said about building trust – team building activities, effective communication, and whatnot! Of course, they help building, but do they help creating? Let me explain.
Sometimes you come across people not sharing the same passion for work as you do. This could be an underlying factor on why they don’t emit (for the lack of a better word) the trust signals more than others.
Motivation could be a great place to start with. Understand what motivates them. Help them see the company’s mission, give them the energy pulse on how the things they do bring the organization each step closer to the mission, and bingo, you are on your way to creating sustainable motivation and long-lasting trust.
In fact, you’d be surprised how they help you with seeing the big picture more clearly.
We’re Rolling With Punches
Culture is not the mission statement and values the company “stands for,” but it’s all about enabling how you want people to show up to work and reflected best in the collective expression.
As we march ahead in this digital era with the pandemic pivot, the modern workplace still has a lot to evolve, and it should be an ongoing process. Employee experience takes a lot of implementation than understanding for it to be successful. The humanization of the workplace is imperative in the virtual culture. Be the change enablers, and let’s create a healthy workplace together.