6 Ways to Activate Your Company Values in a Hybrid Company
Remote and hybrid companies sometimes struggle with defining and maintaining a unique and clear identity as an employer and promoting and making sure people are representing the values the company ascribes to in their daily work life and attitude. In this article, we run through 6 ways to activate those values in a hybrid or remote setup.
When we talk about building and maintaining an Employer Brand, company values and culture are fundamental cogs in that. Not only that, they are also things that you cannot control yourself fully, but they depend heavily on your employees.
Many companies struggle with maintaining a consistent and aligned Employer Brand because their offering, their culture on paper does not reflect the real-life situation. On top of that, hybrid and remote companies suffer through the additional challenge of not having all of their workforce in one place and thus have a harder time managing behaviors and employee experience.
So, how do you do it? How do you make sure your employees are aligned in terms of what your company stands for, what you recognize as your culture and as your core values, and embody that in their daily work life – even when working from their home offices?
How to activate company values
When you communicate your Employer Brand and your values, it’s important to do it clearly and do it unilaterally across all levels of your organization. Naturally, you’ll want to align your internal and external content and all of your communications with them. The goal here is to be consistent, to tell one story, and be unequivocally recognizable as an employer.
Make your company values visible
This doesn’t just mean putting those values on the wall – although that could be a part of it, of course – but it also means integrating them in any touchpoints foreseen within the company. If you have an onboarding program, make sure a run-through of the company values is part of it. What matters is that each value has a story behind it: explain why they are the values, how you got to them, and why they are so important to your company.
Link behaviors to each value
This will help employees visualize what each value looks like as it is embodied in their daily work life. Explaining them that way can definitely help make them clearer and show employees and new hires how they can easily implement them and live them out in their day-to-day at work.
💡 Think of transparency; this is a common value in companies, but sometimes it may be difficult for people to imagine what behaviors are linked to this value.
How can people be transparent in your company? What behaviors do you regard as transparent?
It could be, for example, that you say that because you are an open organization, if someone asks you for help, for an insight that could help them, you help, you share insight and resources because you’re all one team.
Structurally integrate them into your organization
A good example of this is engagement reviews and performance reviews; lots of companies schedule 360 feedback loops, and they put their focus on how people perform. At the same time, though, try to also focus on how you think people align or represent the values you have laid out for your company. Do they reflect the values in their daily work? If not, how can they improve on this front?
💡 Think of ambition: to what extent are people living up to that? This is not about judging people based on a set of values, but it is one of those touch points where it makes sense to remind people about the values and how they can contribute to bringing the culture to life.
Practice what you preach
This, of course, applies to literally anything you will ever do in your company, but even more so when it comes to holding yourself by a certain set of values. The example that comes from leadership is always the most effective and valuable way you can offer to people to truly understand what your company stands for and the importance of that.
Fostering virtual communities and social connections between colleagues
In a remote company, more than ever, this will be a game changer when it comes to increasing and keeping engagement high. People who know each other well work well together, making it easier for them to evaluate their own work experience with that of others and hold themselves in a certain manner. For example, let people book short coffee breaks in a Zoom room where they can unwind and talk about nothing work related for 15 minutes a day, etc.
Check in regularly
Make sure your employees feel comfortable with your culture and with how they feel it’s being reflected in the company life and in their personal work life by doing regular check-ins, feedback sessions, etc. Your employees are the lifeblood of your organization, they are the ones who determine if your Employer Brand and company value is true to life, so make sure you are aligned with them as much as they are aligned with you.
Of course, these tips apply to hybrid and remote companies as much as they do to traditional companies relying on an in-office setup. The takeaway here is that you need to make sure your company culture and values become integral parts of your work life and make sure people understand them, to then be able to reflect them.