How to Protect and Preserve Your Company’s Culture with a Virtual and Remote Workforce

When business authors Tom Hinton and Barbara Yager completed their research on corporate culture in 2019 and released their Amazon bestseller The Heart and Soul of Culture, Covid was still a nightmare waiting to unleash its devastation on the world population.

One of the many changes that Covid expedited was the virtual and remote workforce. While Hinton and Yager addressed the benefits of working remote from a life-balance perspective, no one foresaw the massive changes the Covid pandemic would have on protecting and preserving a company’s culture. Two years after the worst of Covid has ended, remote and hybrid work is quickly taking over the need for employees to step foot into a physical office.

When the pandemic hit, businesses were forced to operate remotely or risk shuttering. As a result of the Covid restrictions, many employees decided they preferred the work/life balance that remote work offered them. Now, companies are struggling to deal with creating new ways to maintain their company culture while maintaining a remote workforce.

Here is how to protect and preserve your company’s culture with a virtual workforce. The Heart and Soul of Culture refers to this strategy as ‘The Five P’s’. They include: Purpose, Principles, People, Processes, and Performance. When you dissect and evaluate a business, these are the five elements that define its culture.

Here is everything you need to know about how to protect and preserve your company’s culture with a remote workforce:

What is Company Culture?

Let’s start by revisiting exactly what culture is. According to The Heart and Soul of Culture, your ‘culture’ is the energy customers and employees feel as a result of those unique qualities and values that distinguish your business from every other entity. It’s similar to your DNA.  While many businesses are alike, no two businesses are identical. For example, compare Southwest Airlines to American Airlines. While both are commercial airlines that transport passengers and freight, they are very different in terms of their energy, qualities and values. Both airlines have a personality, but their culture are worlds apart.

In the day-to-day, 9 to 5 workplace, many jobs have implemented hybrid work utilizing similar hours yet adapting new business strategies since they are no longer in-person. The virtual workforce has proven to be even more successful in business practices as research shows employees are happier, more motivated, and more productive than being stuck in an office all day long. This is one more reason why protecting and promoting your company culture is vital for remote workers and businesses.

How to Protect the Company Culture in Remote Work Environments

Several steps are necessary to manage your company culture’s shift by embracing a virtual working environment. Here are a few key steps to preserve and protect your company culture:

Define the company culture

First and foremost, it is imperative to define your company culture. This is one of leadership’s most important task, especially is a rapidly shifting marketplace and the war on talent. There’s no question that your company’s culture shifted once your workforce – or a part of it – went remote; therefore, you must ensure your employees understand the core values and principles of your business because those should not have changed. While a culture shift occurred, hopefully, you preserved and protected the core principles and values of your business.

Promote the core values of your business. Be visible as a leader and “walk the talk” of who your company is, and what you stand for in terms of commitment to employees and customers? Remind your employees – and customers — what is the mission of the business.  Additional questions you may want to ask yourself include:

  • Do we take our existing procedures and methods into this remote environment? Or, what changes do we need to make to accommodate our remote workforce? Are those changes fair and reasonable in the eyes of your employees?
  • Are we going to prioritize change or stability?
  • What are the new expectations going forward and how do leaders and our human resources policies change in light of any new expectations?

Once you determine what truly matters for your business, ensure all employees and customers know your core values.

Be transparent

This is surely a time of change that requires flexibility and transparency. Remote workers need to feel safe and protected, and that their jobs are clearly defined as they move their work worlds online. Change can be scary, so transparency is key. Make sure you are constantly reassuring your employees of their job security, or if job security is in question, be honest and let them know major changes are coming.  Don’t BS your employees because once you’ve lost credibility, you’ve lost your ability to win the hearts and souls of your most valued asset!

Remote communication can sometimes feel frustrating as everyone has their own unique styles and patterns. Be sure your employees feel heard and clearly understand the expectations of their online position. Having this synergy promotes motivation, a strong remote company culture, and stimulates productivity.  And, remember, everyone is different, Therefore, our learning styles are different. So, you need to convey the same message in multiple ways to ensure the majority of your employees “hear and get the message” as you meant it to be heard and understood.

Several steps to stay transparent include:

  • Share successes and spotlight employees. Every day, feature an online company newsletter that singles out a department or employee of the day. Make it personal.
  • Regular meetings and updates of new strategies and information.
  • Ask employees their viewpoints on certain aspects of the company. Surveys can be very useful. And, whatever you do, don’t manipulate the data. Your people already know the score, so there’s no need to try and dazzle them with fancy explanations. Again, don’t BS them. Be honest and open and upfront. As my friend Dave Lehman says, “Facts are friendly, sometimes harsh, but always fair.”

Use video calls instead as well as texts and emails

This process may be a trial and error situation, but video calls are more personal and they show the leaders are engaged, compassionate, human, and struggling – just like everyone else in the company – to do their best to get things back to the “new normal.”  While texts and emails are useful communication tools, video calls show more motivation and productivity versus messages getting lost in translation. When too many emails are utilized, messages can become intermingled or lost altogether.

Video calls establish interactivity, increase efficiency, and remove room for mistakes and miscommunications. Your team will function better “seeing” their coworkers, which can also help rid feelings of isolation from working remotely.  Hinton and Yager are strong proponents of video calls or Zoom calls for departmental meetings.

Place worker well-being front and center

We are in a day and age where employees value their well-being. Gone are the days when employees allow themselves to be treated poorly at work. These instances are what paved the path to The Great Resignation.

To protect company culture, employee well-being must be front and center. When workers feel valued and heard, company culture is preserved and the business is successful. People want to work for companies that show they care about their workers—not just use them as workhorses. Set aside time each week to discuss your employees’ well-being. Additionally, provide them with several platforms to express their opinions and specific needs.

Focus on teamwork

Teamwork makes the dream work. Therefore, it is crucial to develop a feeling of teamwork and implement it throughout day-to-day operations. People tend to work better in a team environment where everyone has a specific role and feels important.

When teams come together, they build trust and relationships where they want to help each other succeed. Companies with established company values and culture promote employees to want to interact with one another.

Bottom Line

When company culture is preserved and protected, business flourishes. Employees are happier, motivation increases, and productivity skyrockets.

When the culture is defined and implemented, employees respond well. Workers prefer a work/life balance and will give greater effort to a company where they feel valued.

Dealing with the Culture Shift – as Hinton and Yager – refer to it, is not an easy undertaking. Frankly, it’s hard work and will tax your Human Resources professionals and senior leadership. But, if leaders will take the first step by following this strategy, your chances for surviving — and even thriving – is this topsy-turvy global marketplace will be greatly enhanced.

For more information on Corporate Culture, please visit for a copy of The Heart and Soul of Culture.  The URL is:


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