How to Align New Remote Employees to Company Culture

Revisit the original article of our insightful five-part series, ‘Why Hauling Everyone Back To The Office Doesn’t Make Them More Productive.’

We’ve written about the benefits of a comprehensive onboarding plan, and buddy (Four Keys To Onboarding Ultra-Productive Remote Employees) as anchors to create highly productive remote employees. But without posters on office walls extolling company values and purpose, how does this work remotely?

Getting everyone on the same page is a common goal, but it’s much easier said than done, even with those posters and in-person get togethers. Barely four out of ten US employees (41 percent) strongly agree that they know what their organization stands for, while little more than one out of five (22 percent) feel their company leaders have a clear organizational direction in mind.

The burden of cultivating culture mostly falls on leaders and managers, who need to refer to company values on a regular basis, linking them to decisions and outcomes. At Virtira, we keep key elements of company culture prominently displayed on shared drives and workflow tools and emphasize these during all-hands calls.

Generally, the best approach to inducting new arrivals into your organization’s culture is to start macro and progress to the micro. Explanations should begin with a broader view that, like a Google Map on your phone, eventually zooms into the daily duties. For instance, the manager of a solar panel firm might onboard a new hire this way:

We believe in being green. And that’s not just a slogan here, but a guiding principle. We’re a business, so of course, we aim to make money. But equally important is our mission to be environmentally friendly and achieve carbon neutrality. This should also be a guiding principle in your work as a project manager. When in doubt, choose the option that most curbs emissions or energy use. 

The new team member now better understands company culture and has a clear guidepost should she arrive at a point of uncertainty. This structure is valuable for in-office work but crucial for remote work, in which such situations are much more common and potentially more damaging.

Rather than feeling lost and on their own when running into a roadblock, establishing these guiding principles from the outset empowers remote workers to make decisions that align with their business and enable continued productivity.

In addition, managers should define their personal operating principles. Great things happen when everyone knows how the boss operates. Transparency helps build team trust, understanding, and belonging, which are invaluable for productivity. So be sure to encourage a culture of sharing, trusting one’s colleagues and keeping everybody informed and headed in the same direction.



The Power of Remote

With increased demand for hybrid and fully remote work styles, most firms understand that some form of distance work is here to stay – and have put some remote protocols in place. But are they the right ones?

It’s time to take advantage of the many opportunities remote work presents. Stop saying “we’re not there yet,” and start saying “we’ve arrived!”

This book will show you how.



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