09 Jul Remote work and company culture
Will remote work kill company culture?
I don’t think so.
What will kill company culture is not figuring out how to retain or even build company culture in a remote environment.
When CEO’s start citing company culture as a reason to ‘come back’, it points to a lack of imagination. A reverse brainstorming technique would help in finding solutions. Humans love focusing on the negative so start there. Let’s understand the reasons why company culture will die. And then get on with the business of finding creative and logical solutions to make it work. Put HR, change management- and communications-types together in a room. They’ll emerge with solutions.
Before starting the reverse brainstorm (often referred to as backward- forward brainstorm), think about what the company culture represents. Cynical I know, but how many employees can rattle off the company culture without unearthing the HR manual?
When you look at how the world has changed in terms of attitudes, behaviour and obviously taking technology into account, is it unreasonable to suggest that one’s company culture might not be on point today?
I asked a CEO about how remote work would destroy their company culture. His answer was: “Well, the Friday beer and braai sessions formed an important part of our culture”. I know. We don’t all think like that. These ‘culture spreaders’ can stretch into the evening but stricter alcohol laws and maturing employees (who’d rather get home to their families) have introduced new company culture dynamics. And what about the talented youngsters who will miss the chance to learn and impress while mingling with the bosses? That’s easily solved surely?
If anything positive has come out of these dramatic times, it must surely be to take a fresh look at things.
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Sherpa’s special approach to internal communications is geared to connecting with remote employees. Prior to founding Sherpa, Gary Hendrickse spent years leading portfolios such as Brand, Marketing, Communications, Product Development and Digital Marketing for some of SA’s top brands. His understanding of corporate dynamics together with the application of brand techniques to ‘reach and connect’ with employees improves internal communications. Gary’s experience in a creative environment of finding solutions through brainstorming can facilitate elegant and unique solutions to corporate culture challenges in these times.