Building a better culture: tips for creating a healthy work environment in a hybrid world

22 September 2022

Imagine a small startup with a headcount of six, a handful of clients and a regular table in the pub next door. A company of this size can easily create an intimate environment where close working relationships form and long-lasting friendships are made. Fast forward 20 years, with an 800% increase in staff and people working in different departments, locations and time zones, it becomes more challenging to maintain the same company culture. 

If you are an HR Manager, team lead, or business owner looking to build and nurture company culture, it can be hard to find that sweet spot of keeping employees happy, productive and motivated. Read this blog to learn how Netpremacy builds a better culture and get some tips to see how you could implement them into your business.

1. Attract the right people.

Hiring people qualified for the job is important, but finding people who share the same company values help build a motivated workforce. These are the people that will champion your culture. They will emit positivity without even thinking because they believe in your company’s ethos. Finding people that embody your brand will help you build a loyal workforce that wants the company to succeed. 

How we do it: This year, Netpremacy partnered with talent acquisition and consultancy business Graft to help us find the right talent and people that will fit in. We built a brand pack for candidates, with our core values and goals defined right from the beginning. This gives people a glimpse into the business and transparency on how they can contribute to the company’s success. Everyone we work with knows what we stand for as soon as they interact with us. We find that this attracts people with the same energy and drive to contribute to the positive experience that we offer, whether that is for employees, partners or customers. 

Do you have your brand values defined? If so, do you think they are easily interpreted by people outside your organisation? Your values are the building blocks to building a better culture, so it’s important to get these right from the beginning.

2. Embrace change.

Many things in an organisation can change: the total number of employees, customer acquisitions, changing workloads, new policies and emerging technologies to learn. Although change can be uneasy, unfamiliar and hard to implement, leaders must embrace it to succeed and turn a change in circumstances into opportunities that benefit their business and the people in it.

How we do it: We are experienced changemakers. It is our job to help digitally transform organisations of all sizes. So we are pretty accustomed to the idea of change, and Netpremacy has evolved significantly since before the pandemic. We’ve expanded our offerings, our workload has increased, we have grown our headcount, and we have adopted a hybrid working model, with people signing in from different locations around the country. We are always transparent about change with our workforce, which builds trust with our people. We have a workforce that embraces change and contributes to a positive culture. 

If change is inevitable, put a positive spin on it. Culture may naturally evolve as your organisation grows. Ride the wave through change and be as open and honest with your employees as you can – they will thank you for it. 

3. Give everyone a voice.

When team members feel comfortable sharing their ideas, you have a lift-up culture where everyone feels heard and important. New starters can become part of the team effortlessly, and people that work remotely can still feel as much involved as team members who are physically in the office. 

How we do it: We use the employee experience platform, LumApps, to help people easily share information, whether that’s company updates, welcoming a new starter, shouting out our co-workers with praise, and celebrating milestones and achievements. At Netpremacy, there is a mix of people who like to work in the office and people who are remote. We find that encouraging employees to use LumApps bridges the gap between departments and hybrid workers, and allows people to have their voices heard. 

There are many applications out there that businesses can use as an intranet, but the most important thing to get right is the way in which it is used. Get buy-in from line managers and department heads, and encourage team members to use it effectively.

4. Make work more fun.

Research shows that having fun at work has a positive effect on engagement and productivity and increases employee retention – all of which help maintain a great culture. Fun doesn’t have to be seen as distracting. It also means you can’t just place a foosball table in the break room and label yourself as a fun place to work. A fun workplace is a relaxed and supportive environment where employees don’t dread logging on or coming into the office.

How we do it: NetSocial, our social committee, formed during the first lockdown to help boost morale, keep up communication and collaborate with teams across the business. Initially, it was to help support cross-department engagement, but now they are responsible for much more. Organising office parties and fun activities, supporting new starters (and existing employees!), but above all, they help advocate for the company’s culture. 

Not every business has the time or resources to have a whole team look after social activities. You can always start small and go from there. Survey your employees to find out what they find fun. Make meetings more engaging. Above all, make sure the demands of work don’t affect employees’ work-life balance.

Key takeaways:

  • Hire people who respect your company’s mission.
  • If change is imminent, embrace it and be transparent with your employees.
  • Encourage communication between different teams.
  • Create a fun, relaxed and supportive work environment.

To summarise:

There are many plates to spin to create and maintain a brilliant workplace culture, but these tips unpick the essentials. In a world that is rapidly evolving, you must be agile and willing to respond to changing circumstances to create a healthy working environment. Lead by example and build a workforce that is approachable, supportive and believes in the company. 

The biggest takeaway: look after your people because your people are your culture

Here at Netpremacy, we work with some of the most innovative companies in the UK to shape their hybrid strategies and help them to build creative, collaborative teams. To arrange an informal conversation, get in touch today.