We all know company culture is an integral part of business, but perhaps no one understood this as deeply before COVID-19 had us all scrambling to work from home.  As leaders we have often been regarded as the go-to source for all things teamwork and collaboration – after all we do know a thing or two about creating a positive workplace atmosphere, and it’s not just beer o’clock Fridays. Recently, we decided to sit down and establish (and maintain) guidelines for our strong company culture, even from home — all below.

*Please note that the DeClute Group follows all social distancing guidelines; many photos included are pre-pandemic.

Why is having a positive company culture important to us?

This one was easy for us. If you love your job you do better work. We know that if we constantly create a positive environment (even virtually) our team will enjoy what they do and look forward to being at work every day and that pushes them to be the best that they can be. This will flow over to benefit our clients and that is what counts.

How can we achieve this with everyone working at home?

We implemented whole team meetings early on and then moved to “Park and Bark” meetings. When the weather permits, we meet at a safe distance in the park and encourage the staff to bring their furry friends. We call these meetings our “Park and Bark” meetings. If we stay connected we know that it’s easy for us to maintain a strong bond. When restaurants were open for business, we sponsored local patios and gave the staff Visa cards to go out and support our local community businesses. We make a conscious effort to transfer our office culture to a virtual culture.

Our sponsored patio at the Stone Lion.

How can we keep everyone connected and motivated when they are not working together in the office?

For our office team we do a separate meeting every Monday. Either Rick or Rochelle will do regular check-ins individually with the support team and make sure they have what they need to stay safe at home and still thrive in their job. Having the odd picnic lunch makes it fun and social, something many of us are lacking right now. The team also chats with each other daily, and this keeps up the motivation and makes sure everyone is on task.

Team Lunch at the Toronto Hunt Club

Seeing the second wave coming we realized that we would likely not be having a holiday party this year. We arranged for a beautiful outdoor wine tasting lunch event and we even sang some holiday songs.

What is the most important thing we can do every day?

PICK UP THE PHONE. Especially during the pandemic, it’s the perfect time to check in on our team and our clients, many of whom are friends and family.

What is the secret sauce for achieving work-life integration?

Trust the people on our team to do a great job. Give them the tools that they need and get out of their way. The people who work on our team are much more capable at their jobs than we ever would be. We find we can stay organized and streamline our daily tasks by planning ahead as much as possible. Getting in front of the things we need to look after leaves us proactive and that is way more effective than being reactive.

What non-work-related activities does the DeClute Group love these days?

We recently made arrangements for our sales team to attend a virtual gala with us together in support of our charity of choice the Michael Garron Hospital. We will be able to virtually attend Laughter is the Best Medicine Gala and enjoy an evening with Howie Mandel, Will Arnett, The Barenaked Ladies and Serena Ryder. Our dinner and wine will be delivered to our homes and we can enjoy the evening wearing our pajamas rather than tuxes and gowns. These kind of social events get us laughing together and we’ll be transported back to our yesteryear office fun and banter.

What is your team doing to ensure a strong company culture from home? Share your top tips and tricks with us by emailing. After all — teamwork does make the dream work.

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