Knowledge & Insights

Remembering the Name

Have you ever heard of a professional sports team that did not practice together?

Probably not.

Coming together in a physical manner ensures that everyone is on the same page regarding their goals and performance. It also maintains the team’s ability to perform successfully as a single unit, despite being made up of many talented individuals.

Companies are the same way. However, maintaining a company’s chemistry, unity, and sense of identity is a struggle that exists for many organizations across the nation, and the solution is sometimes much more difficult to implement than just meeting for “practice” every day. Especially for those companies headquartered in global cities like Washington, D.C. Although, there are an abundance of opportunities available for pursuit in such areas, the opportunity to expand to other cities, states or, even countries has and always will be an enticing one and moving or hiring employees in such locations is merely the result of a successful pursuit elsewhere.

According to a poll conducted by Gallup in 2016, 57 percent of those who work within the computer and information systems industries work remotely at least some of the time. On the same topic, Gallup also found that despite the increased amount of work done remotely, productivity or quality of work did not necessarily decrease. However, the overall company culture, something that once seemed so natural, is now something vulnerable to being detrimentally altered.

In recent years, companies such as Yahoo, Best Buy, Bank of America, and IBM have received ample attention for either eliminating or, decreasing the amount of remote work that they do for reasons concerning unity, teamwork, and collaboration. But, what do you do when you are a contractor and bringing your employees back on-site is not a viable option, but the threat of them assimilating too much to their new environment remains? While it is a difficult task to manage employees off-site, there are still some ways companies can make more of an effort to maintain or, even enhance their culture and sense of identity.

  1. Provide Recognition and Inclusion: After a while off-site, it is easy to become detached from the mother company and it is thus important to remind off-site employees that they too are important. Recognizing the work that they are doing as well as their accomplishments demonstrates that the organization appreciates and views them as an asset. Inclusion also goes hand in hand. Weekly newsletters or, updates are a good way to keep everyone included on the events that are taking place, the places the company is going, and the work that is being done everywhere.
  2. Focus on Values and Purpose: Every organization has a mission and a set of values which they hold in high esteem. Maintaining a focus on what the organization’s values and purpose serves as a reminder to those off-site of why they do the work that they do and how they got there. Reminding employees of their “why” enhances the connection to the organization of which they are members.
  3. Host Fun Events and Activities: Time together, in person, is a form of interaction that can never be replaced and although it can be simulated, the results are rarely equal in strength. Face to face interactions are essential to establishing and building upon all forms of relationships (not just business ones) and so, placing an emphasis on such interactions is imperative. Coming together, physically, and partaking in exciting, maybe even teambuilding events, creates a particular dynamic amongst employees that facilitates company coalesce.

A company is just like any team working together to accomplish a common goal. And, staying connected to who they are, what they stand for, and why they do what they do facilitates the maintenance of this relationship between individual employees and the overall organization. As Joe Paterno once said, “it’s the name on the front of the jersey that matters most, not the one on the back.” However, it is the connection of the name on the back to the name on the front that ensures the success of both.

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