Keeping Company Culture Alive in Remote Work & Hiring

With the transition to remote work, one intangible yet critical element of an organization that may unintentionally get lost in the shuffle and needs to be reconfigured is company culture, especially if the team worked together in-person previously. From an HR perspective, fostering the core of what makes a company’s culture is that it enables teams to adapt and feel supported during a major shift in the way they work. From a talent acquisition perspective, our 2020 State of Remote Work Report found that candidates’ main concern while interviewing remotely is not gaining a true understanding of a company’s culture. For both remote work and hiring, allowing  people to have an authentic and genuine experience of a  company’s culture is critical to both employee and candidate engagement.

During an episode of our Talent Talent to Me podcast, Jolie Loeble, VP of People Ops at Daily Harvest, joined us to discuss how the company has been able to successfully foster an in-person company culture and recreate an in-person candidate experience while being completely remote. 

Lost in translation

There are various considerations companies take into account when transitioning from working in-person to remote, especially so nothing is overlooked in the process. For companies who have already adapted to having a more distributed team with remote employees in addition to maintaining their in-person HQ, translating the work dynamics for the whole company may not feel as daunting. With that being said, it will still require People managers to be intentional about how teams collaborate,  are supported and, most importantly, feel connected while being distributed.

Loeble comments on how when you walk into an office space -- whether you are a customer, candidate, or employee -- you can and should be able to feel a company’s culture. An office space is a living, breathing organism that is about more than just a space for collaboration--it is a space that embodies the company’s brand and that usually holds the people who drive the vibrant culture. To work and hire remotely, Loeble mentions how Daily Harvest is committed to recreating that feel of the culture.

Standard practice

Being intentional with how to create a work culture and foster it as a company scales matters--this is crucial to employer branding, attracting candidates to work for the company, and employer retention and productivity. Loeble says that Daily Harvest aims to create a candidate experience that matches the employee experience, both of which should mirror the customer experience. This is and should not be unique to these COVID-19 times, she states, but rather standard practice especially given these times for all People teams to be mindful of.

Scaling culture

Being culture conscious throughout growth periods can also help companies stay true to their roots as they scale. Loeble shares that keeping traditions from the early stages of Daily Harvest alive makes sure that the team remembers its humble beginnings. In a way, doing so pays tribute to the grit and hard work that it took to get to where they are today. Continuing traditions that are unique to a company from its inception is how culture is carried through and stands the test of time and organizational change.

Building community

It is important for people who interact with the company to get a feel for the rich and vibrant culture, especially for this remote world. With respect to remote hiring, Daily Harvest offers candidates they’re interviewing the opportunity to interact with its products in their homes so they can engage with the brand directly. What candidates may not be able to physically interact with right now, virtual tours of the workspace and photos or videos of experiences the team has with each other can showcase a hospitable, welcoming team waiting with open arms to celebrate with prospective employees. 

Finally, staying connected to their mission, brand, and each other, beyond just work-related reasons is how Daily Harvest has successfully grown their business during a time of economic uncertainty. With two launches during lockdown, their team is not only productive but they are enjoying how they get to work and who they work with. They operate as a team that exudes a work culture that you want to be a part of, and in turn it's translated to business success.

Listen to the full episode here:

About the Author

Abbi Nguyen

Abbi Nguyen is a Program Manager at Hired focused on ensuring employers on the platform have the resources and support they need to be successful.