“Good culture and community” has become a battle cry for most of the world’s corporations. What was once a perk pre-COVID (“we have a great culture!”) has now become the foundation for retaining your workforce post-COVID. And now we’re faced with a crisis of culture, as not only are job searchers making decisions based on culture (during a worker shortage, nonetheless) but having a remote and/or hybrid workplace has also made it that much harder for corporations to keep that sense of culture alive.
At IC, our two decades of experience helping workplaces connect and thrive through internal comms has made us experts in culture. In the spirit of sharing, here are five of IC’s tips to keeping the hybrid workplace community culture alive.
1. Use intranet apps to bring your hybrid workplace community together
Our customers and their employees love how our software gives them the ability to create intranet apps that are unique, easy to use, and customizable to suit their needs. The possibilities are endless in what you can put on your intranet to bring your hybrid workplace together. For example, an app where team members can share their favorite recipes—or a place where they can give each other kudos for a job well done—can help everyone get to know each other a little better and share that feeling of community.
2. Track your engagement to hone messaging
No one likes having their phone blown up, so it’s important to work with real, measurable feedback when sending out push notifications to workers, to ensure that the messaging is relevant and is engaging to your hybrid workplace. Open rates, click rates, polls; these are all great ways to continuously monitor how well your internal comms content is performing.
Keep this in mind when shopping around for internal communications software. Solutions like IC’s intranet and multi-channel messaging tool will analyze and monitor your engagement levels across different platforms so you can be one step ahead of the curve.
3. Use channels other than email
It’s been mourned at great length by many, and it looks like the end of the water-cooler chat is more or less certain in 2022. Though there are channels that you can implement to allow casual and direct conversation between your team, these can become burdensome when an onslaught of messaging distracts a worker from much-needed focus time on mentally stimulating projects. The need to respond to every single message, immediately, is not only disruptive to workflows but also has the potential to be an enormous burden.
When building your internal comms strategy, it may be easy to become a bit too “trigger-happy” with sending push notifications for every little company update or internal memo. But a bombardment of messages on one particular channel could cause issues such as messaging fatigue, important info getting “buried” amongst lesser important info, and a decreased engagement rate. Consider the balance of push and pull communications when creating an internal comms content calendar. Carefully analyze and choose which messaging should be pushed to your team via their preferred channel, and which messaging can live on the intranet for your team to find themselves.
4. Spice up your meeting style
Hybrid meetings can be tricky (luckily, we have some tips to make them a bit more productive), but an important part of meetings is the sense of camaraderie they can help create amongst team members. With part of your team remote, that community-building piece can be completely absent. Spice things up with ice breakers, a Q&A session, or even just a little bit of time set aside for small talk and light-hearted banter.
More analog ways to spice up your meetings are important too. If you aren’t giving a presentation or sharing screens, consider making it an over-the-phone walking meeting, giving everyone a much-needed stroll and maybe a bit of fresh air.
5. Plan company outings when possible
If and when possible, create fun, outside-of-the-office events to strengthen the feeling of community amongst your team. There are plenty of fun, outdoor, and easy-to-plan activities! Whether it be laser tag, a group marathon, or a mediation class, your team will appreciate the chance to do something that doesn’t involve their desk and a screen, and the shared experience will bring them closer—which is scientifically proven to improve camaraderie and the ability to work well together.
Getting the group together can be tricky, especially if people are spread out across the city/state, so give everyone ample room and notify them of the event well in advance so everyone who’d like to join is able to. The best place to organize this, of course, is your company intranet. You could even create a fun poll to get ideas of what kind of activity everyone would like to do!
Ready, set, go!
Ready to start building your hybrid workplace community? Our software is the perfect place to start. With intranet features like apps, metrics, and state-of-the-art document management, we provide an out-of-the-box solution that feels tailor-made. And our multi-channel messaging tool is a great way to balance those aforementioned push and pull notifications. Book your free demo today—and take our free assessment to see what aspects of your internal comms strategy needs some TLC.