In a Hybrid Workplace, Strengthening Company Culture Should be High on Priority for Leaders

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If high-quality talent is the brilliant brains of your company, workplace culture is the heartbeat that keeps it alive and flourishing.

With more and more companies, including Livit, embracing the hybrid work system to march towards the future of work, getting the right company culture to foster collaborations matters.

With the when, where, and how of work likely to experience shifts and changes, it’s time to shift attention to why people work at a given company. Leaders are in a prime position to help influence this “why” by consciously shaping organizational culture. Here are a few strategies leaders can adopt to influence their team’s experience at work—wherever they choose to do it.

Design your hybrid team culture as a business strategy.

Ask Livit’s CEO and team managers how challenging it can be to communicate our culture to joining new team members. With our hybrid system put in place, new employees have fewer chances to meet colleagues in person or feel the energy of company headquarters. It’s easy for workers to feel transient when culture is not prioritized.

Much like a business’s strategic direction, a hybrid workplace culture requires vision, planning, experimentation, measurement with feedback, and iterative improvement. It all starts with intention. As a leadership team, discuss the culture you want to create openly. Discuss how remote team members will collaborate with those onsite and how the rhythm and method of communication may require a little planning. Find ways to create equity in work opportunities across different populations and resist favoring those who are visible. Instead, focus on the business results each team member makes.

Invest in building authentic human relationships.

We rely on safe, trusted human relationships for teams to work together effectively. New colleagues are inevitably wondering, “Will you have my back when things get tough? Can I depend on you? Do you care about me?”

Getting to know what your colleagues care about—from the names of their kids and pets to their latest reality TV show obsessions—all has a return on investment. These relationship-building moments must be planned, synchronized, and prioritized in remote or hybrid structures.

In Livit Slack channels, the spontaneity of watercooler chats can be recreated to create the sense that these human moments matter. Still, building relationships requires an investment in time, funds, energy, and resources. Once these bonds of trust are formed, they can yield dividends across the team.

Prioritize belonging, flexibility, and choice.

In addition to human relationships and a connection to the company’s purpose, culture is often measured by the happiness of its collective members. Most notably, belonging at work is the top driver of employee happiness. In hybrid teams, this calls for consciously cross-pollinating working teams, designing buddy systems, and making time for team social interaction.

Leaders also have an opportunity to enable greater autonomy and choice for their team members. Rather than revert to the status quo, use this moment to reinvent how colleagues work together.

Offer recommendations for how to collaborate in hybrid teams. Livit’s Marketing Team, which consists of primarily remote/hybrid team members, for example, is a big fan of team workathon or sprints. These look like a shared commitment to work in the office on agreed-upon dates with a clear agenda so the team can be together to tackle upcoming big tasks or projects, which makes everyone’s life much easier rather than working sporadically all the time. Create guardrails and then trust your team to build arrangements that work best for them.

Realize your culture is fluid.

For many, hybrid teams are here to stay. As your culture adapts to a new structure, it’s crucial to recognize our collective power to shape the employee experience. By being vigilant for pockets of toxicity or negative attrition trends, we can foster solid and trusted relationships, a connection to the company purpose, and a strong sense of belonging, all within a newly imagined structure of working.

Your company culture may be the difference between retaining a stellar performer or watching her walk out the virtual door. Let’s give company culture the strategic attention it deserves.

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Our awesome CEO has been dedicating her time to talking about a culture-first work environment. Go check it out here.

We also have some training and programs that might be useful for you to build a more empowered team.

If you need help creating a culture that fits your company or hiring the right talent that will fit your company culture, spare no time.

Andrea Ghea

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