Company Culture

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Company Culture

Redefining Company Culture in a Virtual Age

Originally published
Originally published: 6/1/2024

What is Company Culture?

What is company culture in 2024?  By definition, it’s a set of shared beliefs embraced by everyone within your organization.  As a business owner, creating and maintaining a great culture is a challenge. Our company is virtual or remote like many businesses today. We work diligently to provide the best culture for our group. This is how we’ve created a great culture virtually.

How has Culture Changed Since COVID-19?

Before April 2020, most businesses had a brick-and-mortar location. Fast forward to 2024, and the landscape has changed drastically. Companies are downsizing their workspaces, going to hybrid work schedules, and many have gone fully remote.  Future employees are actively seeking businesses that offer remote job positions more than ever.  So, what do you do to maintain the right culture under these circumstances?  It can be a daunting task for business owners. Read on to learn some critical insights for success.

It Starts with the Right Employees

I feel, first and foremost, that it all starts with the proper team members. They must fit into the company’s set of core values and beliefs.  These are the building blocks for a great culture. Everyone must buy into the fact that your company is a TEAM!  For example, at our organization, our first rule is client first. If one of our team members is doing what they feel is in the best interest of our customer, then go ahead and make the decision.  If it turns out not to be the right move, that’s OK, the intent was correct. We often hire employees without ever meeting them face to face, so a lot is attributed to attitude and personality. Usually, it’s a gut decision. You feel they are just a good person and a great fit. Hire on the intangibles; you can teach the rest.

You Have to Create a Sense of Team and Family

Don’t we all want to be a part of a team?  Company culture is all about feeling like you fit in and are an asset. When working remotely, we are not in a shared space together, we have to use other methods and the technology available today to maximize a team or family atmosphere.  For example:

    Set monthly/weekly team meetings that employees can plan for
    Management needs to check in regularly via phone, chat, or email
    Use Chat technology
    Zoom or Google Meets
    Recognize employees in front of their teammates, evenly spaced throughout your organization

It’s all about the little things.  These mean the most to your employees. We mark significant events on our company calendar. We celebrate birthdays, employee anniversaries, company achievements or milestones such as landing new clients, sales goals, and training certifications. Social interaction is a must.  Our organization even attended one of our team member’s wedding. Not only did we attend, one of our managers officiated the ceremony. Now that’s family.

Trust Your Team

This has a two-fold meaning. Number one, you have to trust that your team members are getting the work done.  We have a very open schedule at our company.  Our group essentially works 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., but we do not micro-manage anyone’s hours.  Flexibility within your organization is vital to a thriving virtual culture.  We understand our employees have a life, so all we ask is to be courteous to the rest of the team and put personal appointments on the company calendar. Our company culture is work hard play hard, so to speak. As long as they complete the work and the clients are happy, carpe diem! “Less stress and more free time,” says Managing Partner Dave Bowen.  You also must trust your team to make decisions and ultimately make mistakes from time to time. Empower your employees and they will thrive.

Virtual Meetings

Today, virtual meetings are a must for remote companies.  For example, our organization has a company meeting every Monday at 1 p.m.  We start it by cutting up a little and having fun.  What did everyone do over the weekend? Anything exciting or funny?  We try to keep it light.  Then we get down to business for the upcoming week.  Each member discusses what they have going on in their specific area of expertise, but we allow total interaction because we are all on the same team. So, it’s an open discussion about client business, potential challenges, and coming opportunities. Team equals culture.

Face to Face When Possible

Any organization should try to meet face to face whenever possible.  We know that this may not be possible for all companies, even ours, but we try to do it as often as we can.  That may mean two or three of us grabbing wings or barbecue on a Friday (ones that are local). Our company makes an annual company trip every summer.  We invite all employees and their immediate families.  We typically make it an easy trip to the beach or mountains. There is “fundatory” time when we all do activities together, but we also have a lot of free time.  We want it to be a vacation for everyone, too.  A reward for everyone’s hard work.  It really helps the cohesiveness of any company or organization.

The Benefits of Virtual Outweigh the Negatives if the Culture is Right

Think about the hours saved by working remotely. No more commuting from home to the office,  wasted time chit chatting about personal stuff or money spent on gas, parking, and lunches. “As a mom with three young children, working virtually has allowed me the flexibility to have a career while still being there for my family.  I can prepare dinner before meetings, get my kids off the bus, and get to after school activities on time without worrying about driving home from work,” says Project Manager Erin Watson.  Your employees will say it best.

Key Takeaways

As you can see, company culture in today’s virtual world is a work in progress.  It takes constant effort to keep your team engaged and moving forward. If you’re thinking about moving to a virtual company culture or are already there, remember these key points: 

    Communicate constantly
    Involve team members in decisions big and small
    Empower your team to make mistakes
    Face time as much as possible (That includes online meetings)

Virtual business is here to stay and is super productive if the culture is right. Embrace the change and watch your company prosper.

Will Merritt is the Managing Partner at Effective Media Solutions, a full-service marketing agency.  With 27 years of experience in the HVAC field, 10 of that in marketing for contractors, our agency has keen insight into our industry that others do not. Contact Will at or (704) 507-7858. “We Speak HVAC."

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