How to keep and grow your company’s culture with the hybrid working model
COVID-19 has been the catalyst for a seismic shift in company cultures. From furlough and redundancies changing the face of many firm’s workforces, to remote and flexible working shifting company structure and operations. It’s rare to find a company nowadays that has gone unscathed by the great shift in tempo, culture, and mindset.
With the move to remote and hybrid working looking like less of a temporary measure and more of a long term mainstay, many companies are anticipating a cultural shift within their business. This cultural shift can be managed, planned, and set with purpose- or it can happen passively, organically, and on a wing and a prayer.
If they haven't done so already, now is the time for organisations to hone-in on their company culture. Inspire, engage, protect, and fuel the fire of productivity within your employees; evaluate your priorities and concerns and make a concentrated move in that direction, or risk a culture outside of your control setting in.
Making workplace culture isn’t easy
It’s easy enough to know what you want your culture to be. There are endless nuances which make up a company’s distinct culture. You may have heard of the four culture umbrella terms: Clan culture (close-knit and flat structure), Adhocracy culture (fast-paced and creative), Market culture (results and performance driven), and Hierarchy culture (structured and organised)- but your company is a unique and complex hybrid of intersectional cultures. Therefore, hiring new talent to compliment or develop a culture isn’t clear-cut or simple.
Doug Gear is a specialist when it comes to understanding company culture. His niche allows him to select candidates that are the best fit to project and amplify a business’ core beliefs to not only its employees, but also external clients and customers.
Using an external recruitment company means you have an unbiased view of your company culture, and a more discerning choice when it comes to candidates. Having a wider pool of talent to choose from also means that a recruiter is able to fine-tune their selection for your organisation’s wants and needs.
The professional services team have over six years of experience at Sanderson, and Doug has been with that team from almost the very beginning:
“I joined about six months after that team was formed,” explained Doug, “Because of that origin, our team getting to grips with the sector whilst building from scratch, and adding to our capabilities along the way, my experience and skillset is probably a bit broader than most people’s.
“My strongest skill is understanding the core of different businesses and understanding the business culture and what people will work with that.”
After many successful experiences of growing business clients through understanding their cultural needs, Doug has found that he has been able to hone his ability to find quality hires quickly:
“A lot of my success came down to understanding the type of the people that were going to work there. Knowing a business inside and out means that you can speak to a candidate and you know they are a candidate for that business.
“Skills have to be there, but when you understand a business and its culture you can communicate back to a client and tell them that you have five candidates that are all good- but there is one person who is going to be the right match.
“90% of the time you’ll get the right person- and I think that’s really helped with the clients that we’ve worked with. This is especially true if we’re just starting out and building relationships with a client. It makes a difference that I understand the right kind of people for their organisation.”
Retaining your company culture with remote and hybrid working
With the move to remote and hybrid working structures, it’s more necessary than ever to select candidates that will bolster and amplify your company’s unique culture. Less face time in the office often means that the subtle tones that distinguish an organisation’s culture could be lost in translation.
Doug put across some key points to consider when working to maintain a company culture remotely:
Define: Have a clear idea of your company’s culture and values. Ensure that your existing employees are aware of these points and engage with them to see if the culture remains strong or needs some TLC. Internal surveys with existing employees, town hall meetings, and a willingness to capture feedback are a few of the ways you can keep track of any changes or shortfalls.
Evaluate: In Doug’s experience, the best demonstrations of a strong company culture took time to evaluate people’s cultural fit as part of their recruitment process.
Review: Company cultures will evolve over time, so you need to ensure you spend some time reviewing how that might have changed and how you will use that strategically. Keep employees in the loop and give them feedback on the results of your reviews and the choices going forward.
Keeping open communication channels between decision makers, management, and workforce is a key element to the success of maintaining company culture remotely. Keeping a company’s values clear, employing those practises both internally and externally, and remaining agile to change will help the transition from a purely office-based culture to a more modern and resilient approach.