Curating Culture In A Hybrid Workspace
The way we live and work today is completely different from what it was three years ago.
Companies of all sizes had to figure out how to work effectively in a remote or hybrid environment while striving to maintain core company values, exceed customer expectations, and ensure that employees are feeling fulfilled in their work.
Meet Deana. She is Freya Systems’ Company Culture Liaison and a Data Engineer. After demonstrating interest in creating events and leveraging Slack integration tools to help build co-worker connections in their hybrid work environment, Deana was internally recruited for the role.
Deana joined the Freya Systems team last year and brought a wide array of experience and skills from working in the non-profit space. As she will tell you, “you have to wear many hats and work collaboratively with many partners when you are in a non-profit. I think the skills that I picked up with that work translate well into my new role.”
Materializing a Company Culture Ecosystem
What does the hat of Company Culture Liaison entail?
Freya’s founders want to ensure that the team finds fulfillment in their work, from the people they work with, and the personal opportunities for growth that are encouraged. It became apparent that a purposeful effort needed to be made to achieve the organizational goal they wanted to achieve.
Deana understands that company culture impacts everything from the tone of internal communications, the frequency of conversation, and the expectations of internal and external stakeholders. Many organizations will continue to operate in a fully-virtual or hybrid environment, which brings a growing emphasis on ensuring that teams feel connected, fulfilled, and are representing the values and mission of the founders.
Business studies have shown that 7 out of 10 employees are disinterested or unhappy in their current positions. Further, disengaged employees can cost a company $450-550 million per year in the United States alone.
This sounds like an enormous task; however, Deana breaks it down on a granular level.
She has recruited Freya teammates to serve on a Culture Committee. They have already implemented processes to build team communication and hold activities to make virtual connections easier.
“Some of the most meaningful and entertaining conversations happen outside of working tasks.”
“Setting up opportunities to communicate with your colleagues outside of our work allows folks on different teams to get to know each other better, and it’s even more important to create them when we are working virtually. You will not believe how much more connected you may feel with someone when you find out if they believe a hot dog is or is not a sandwich.”
Amending the Interview Process: Creating a Culture Committee
The Culture Committee has also developed a new part of Freya’s interview process where colleagues engage with employee recruits over company culture topics to ensure they are a win-win fit with Freya Systems. As Deana and the Culture Committee build out the scope of their work, they see it impact hiring, how meetings are run, how they deal with customers, and performance communications.
The immediate feedback from Freya’s teammates and candidates in the interview process has been incredibly positive. As Freya Systems continues to expand, the growing team brings an experience from diverse cultures with different values. Therefore, a Company Culture Liaison and Culture Committee must be engaged in the onboarding and growth experience to develop and grow the core values and optimize the team’s talent.
Deana plans to build a channel of communication between her cultural role and all employees. She wants to be a resource for teammates to express concern, anxiety, or a desire for more responsibility where they might be uncomfortable talking directly to their Manager. Deana is grateful that her Manager and team have been supportive of her work in this expanded role.
On Track for the Post-Pandemic Workplace
When we asked Deana why she came to Freya Systems, she spoke of unique challenges available to a data engineer, but she also spoke to the Freya culture, which encourages Work-Life balance, continued education, and opportunity to pursue non-profit or community projects. The founders of Freya Systems understand that the traditional workplace has changed. We have moved into a new kind of work and Freya Systems is working to establish its core values and company culture in a way that resonates with today’s workforce. Their commitment to evolving the culture as the Company grows is apparent in creating this role and recruiting Deana.