Workplace Culture

How Do We Preserve Our Culture in an Age of Virtualization?

By Staff Report

Sep. 5, 2012

Dear Vexed by Virtualization:

It’s important for your managers to understand that, despite the rise in virtualization, many interactions should still be face to face. They should not hide behind a technology shield, but rather make an effort to meet with employees, individually and in small groups, to coach, encourage and get insight on business challenges from those people who first see them.

Although some employees embrace virtualization, it makes other employees feel less connected to their organizations, their managers and their peers. This can be particularly true for employees who are not comfortable with new technology, who feel left out of the conversation and are reluctant to ask for help.

Help these employees get up to speed with the technology. Reassure your people that while they may be out of sight, they are never out of mind. Reinforce the importance and value of their contributions.

When used properly, virtual communications significantly improve an organization’s cohesiveness. Webinars bring together people who wouldn’t otherwise have an opportunity to interact. Provide all participants with biographies and photos of those taking part. Encourage discussions during the event. Use tools such as online voting systems.

If possible, arrange for all attendees to take part at their desks rather than a conference room. This gives everyone equal status and creates a sense of shared purpose. You may wish to build a team task-completion assessment tool in the webinar to help measure how well people work together.

Although it’s less personal than a face-to-face meeting or a phone conversation, e-mail enables more frequent contact between managers and employees. Managers should e-mail employees to commend them for a job well done. E-mail is also a great tool to find out if employees are encountering any problems (but should not be used to communicate about sensitive issues).

Your managers could use personal blogs to connect with employees they don’t often see. It’s important that blog posts focus on employees, not on stroking the egos of managers.

A possible downside to virtualization is that it sometimes results in less daily interaction between managers and their employees. To cope, some organizations conduct performance reviews more frequently. An increasing number of businesses now conduct reviews on a quarterly basis.

SOURCE: Bill Rosenthal, Communispond, East Hampton, New York

LEARN MORE: Read Five Things Every Social Media Policy Should Do.

The information contained in this article is intended to provide useful information on the topic covered, but should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion. Also remember that state laws may differ from the federal law.


blog workforce

We build robust scheduling & attendance software for businesses with 500+ frontline workers. With custom BI reporting and demand-driven scheduling, we help our customers reduce labor spend and increase profitability across their business. It's as simple as that.

Book a call
See the software

Related Articles

workforce blog

Workplace Culture

5 lunch break statistics that shed light on American work culture

Summary Research shows how taking lunch breaks enhances employee engagement and productivity. Despite t...

lunch breaks, scheduling, statistics

workforce blog

Workplace Culture

6 Things Leadership can do to Prevent Nurse Burnout

Summary Nurse burnout is a serious issue in the healthcare business and has several negative consequenc...

burnout, Healthcare, hospitals, nurses

workforce blog

Workplace Culture

5 tips to reduce employee no call, no shows

Summary No call, no shows are damaging to businesses. High no call, no show rates could suggest problem...

absence, attendance, no call, no shows, time