In this video, Konstanty addresses the challenges of corporate culture in a remote working environment. Transcript is as follows:

Staff retention, especially in the context of key employees is a topic that has come up in almost every discussion I have had with HR Leaders and CTO’s in the last month. This is no surprise either. With employees working from home at present and the most likely mid term working solution being a hybrid model where people work from home and sometimes come into the office there is an ever increasing disconnect in regards to company culture and employee engagement or even loyalty. There is no opportunity for the exchanges in a kitchen or a team birthday celebration. Yes, of course companies and leaders are trying to bridge this through video calls and recently even social distanced meetings with individuals at the office or in the park. But that is proving to simply not be enough.

The fact of the matter is that after more or less 3 months of lockdown and the need for remote working to continue as was or in a hybrid model for the foreseeable future keeping employees engaged with the company will become an ever growing problem. Don’t get me wrong. This is not about motivation. It is about realising that people work and enjoy their work not only because of the tasks that they perform but also because of the people they get to work with, learn from, and do things with. It is about the spontaneous stuff which simply can not be preplanned. You know, like with a great party. They just happen and can not be planned. If this “human” part is gone or seriously limited what “perks” are there to the job aside from the task and the money. If your work boils down to preplanned tasks and a paycheck that is pretty depressing.

And this is why retention is at the forefront of managers minds. We are already seeing people leaving companies because they are frustrated with communication (or lack thereof), or are frustrated with remote micromanagement or are simply disconnected from their colleagues or the mission of the company. Chances are that with a hybrid working setup this will only accelerate as there is a potential for having 2 classes of citizen. Those in the office and those working from home.

This is all new territory for companies. It is a minefield actually. One thing is fact though. Retaining people has become a lot harder and companies are not prepared for it. An underlying factor of this is that recruiting has always been largely reactive for businesses. You went to market when you needed to find a replacement for a leaver or fill a skills gap on the team. Times have changed though. 

If you want to keep your business moving. If you want to have continuity of service and stability of product delivery. If you want to ensure your team does not get stretched too thin. You need to think about recruitment strategically. Recruitment is changing from transactional and reactive to strategic and proactive. It has now truly become a chess game and you need to think 5 steps ahead if you want to win. You need to have backup and contingency plans for those backup plans.

Do you want to be Kasparov or Karpov?