5 Tips for Building Culture in a Disconnected Workspace
Aug 30, 2022
With the labor shortages and hiring challenges facing employers nationwide, now more than ever, companies are beginning to put their “office culture” under a microscope. But what exactly does that mean, and how important is workplace culture in relation to employee retention?
We sat down with Aaron Swiggum, managing partner at William Vaughan Company to learn what innovative techniques his leadership team has initiated within the firm to create a culture that keeps talent motived and engaged: Give your team the trust and flexibility to work remote.
“At William Vaughan Company, we give our employees the option to work from home or at any of our three offices, depending on the needs of their schedule,” said Swiggum. “To support our staff working remotely, we offer a take-home technology package fully equipped with monitors, docking stations and the like to ensure their success while off-campus.”
Create space for connections within the office.
Meanwhile, for those working on-site, Swiggum has repurposed unused office space into multi-person, collaboration rooms where our team can work together, bounce ideas off each other, and grow together as professionals. Expanding opportunities for engaging connection beyond just the traditional “water cooler” chat is crucial for the ever growing, virtual workspace.
Keep an eye on corporate culture trends to stay ahead of curve.
Corporate cultures at companies like Google and Facebook typically come to mind when you think of progressive work environments and trendy perks. But you don’t have to be a tech giant to incentivize your team. William Vaughan Company noticed what those companies were doing, then polled our team to see which perks would be most beneficial to them. “We’ve increased our maternity leave, added paternity leave for new dads, and created wellness programs that encourage healthy habits during our busiest, and often most stressful, times of the year.
Reimaging what teambuilding looks like.
Modeled after the esteemed, Seattle Fish Market, William Vaughan Company launched a program known as “Fish Groups” which aims to connect 7-8 team members who may not normally work together. Each group meets off-campus periodically throughout the quarter, allowing for deeper connections to form between colleagues that may have only previously communicated via email.
Define your core values and stick to them.
Of all the core values that define William Vaughan Company, “work hard, play hard,” “family,” and “community” are the pillars upon which we’ve built our culture. “We pride ourselves on having created a work environment where our team can have fun, participate in community service activities, and at the end of the day, feel secure about putting their families first,” Aaron says.
Although “culture” has become somewhat of an overused buzzword today, William Vaughan Company knows how important building and maintaining a positive and engaging work environment can be. According to Aaron, “when your team feels valued and supported, that directly translates into the work they’re doing for the clients. And ultimately, our goal is to help our clients and their businesses succeed, so we have to start by creating a space for our internal team to be successful.”
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