Do companies need to reconsider pillars of employer branding such as culture and engagement in a remote-first world?
Whether the decision was guided by strategy or necessity, many organizations have transitioned to a remote-first arrangement for their workforces. And with this transition comes interesting shifting dynamics around culture (how can you keep what you built in-person over Zoom?) and engagement (how can you make sure team members feel connected and mission-driven in isolation?). This raises the question: do companies need to rethink employer brand for the remote experience? What do remote workers care about and how can companies build an employer brand that appeals to these workers?
Here are a few ideas.
1. Appeal to the remote worker’s desire for autonomy
Companies that have institute remote work or work-from-home policies have the opportunity to appeal to the remote worker’s desire for autonomy. A popular system to put in place is the Getting-Things-Done (GTD) method, where staff members put all their tasks in a log and it is their responsibility to get the tasks on the log done, and on time. When and where they complete these tasks, however, is completely up to them. GTD, for example, provides remote teams with the visibility necessary to ensure everyone is rowing in the same direction, but also provides the autonomy remote workers crave.
2. Build flexibility into the workday (and year)
In addition to autonomy, remote workers seek the flexibility to complete work when and where they choose to, such that they can tend to all the day-to-day tasks that are required of a full and fulfilling life. Flexibility is especially important to team members who have families and work from home. These team members require the flexibility to tend to tasks around the home and for their kids’ school. By developing flexible systems – and flexible policies around things like PTO (paid time off) and vacation – your organization can stand out from the sea of organizations required to keep systems rigid
3. Fend off loneliness with team-based rewards systems
The best remote workforces have systems in place to reward good work – just like they would in an in-person environment. It’s especially important for management to pay attention to loneliness among remote staff because of the isolation involved. When implementing a GTD system, management must also pair up a team-based rewards system like Bonus.ly to where team members can reward each other with micro-bonuses for great work. This instills a culture of camaraderie and encouragement, while also keeping the focus on executing work at a high level.