Work from anywhere in your pajamas. Say goodbye to a long commute. Enjoy greater work flexibility. These are remote work’s obvious perks, but to retain remote employees and ensure they’re continually connected, engaged, supported and motivated to do their best work and develop their full potential, employers must think creatively and constantly be willing to innovate.
That’s what we strive to do here at Goodway Group and why we were recently named Best Employer for Remote Employees at the 2021 Digiday Worklife Awards. We’re so honored to receive this accolade and to be recognized for leading the way in remote work. Curious about how to better connect and support your own remote workforce? Read on for our award award-winning ideas you can implement now.
How to Become a Remote Work Leader
Develop a People-First Culture.
With our 92-year history, Goodway Group has withstood the test of time. From a family-owned print shop to cable advertising to digital media, evolution is core to our DNA. Since 2006, we have operated exclusively with a remote workforce, allowing us to retain top talent globally. Our people-first culture prioritizes premium and comprehensive employee resources, training and tools so our team can continually build skills and remain at the forefront of the ever-changing ad tech industry.
Invest in Employee Development.
Our investment in current employees includes programs to map new career pathways while offering support, providing resources and creating individual development plans (IDP) across departments. Our people experience team tracks our employees’ progress, and, on average, 80% of employees have an active IDP.
IDPs include career relevancy goals that ensure our remote team members remain marketable and ready for advancement. And there’s plenty of room for advancement at Goodway: Recently, we’ve seen 25% workforce growth, of which 40% are newly created positions!
Maintain a Healthy Work-Life Balance.
Our approach to remote work gives our remote employees the flexibility to work within unique circumstances and maintain a healthy work-life balance. We know firsthand the positive outcomes of providing flexibility, supporting professional development and giving our people time away to recharge.
Goodway’s benefits package reflects our commitment to time away from work with an unlimited paid time off (PTO) policy. However, this year, the leadership team elevated this further by implementing a new summer schedule. From Memorial Day to Labor Day, Goodway employees enjoyed summer Fridays, where we closed at noon local time across time zones. The entire company felt the impact of returning from the weekend refreshed, ready to bring thoughtful solutions and superior results to our clients.
This is how a few of our senior team members planned to take advantage of the gift of extra time (explained using their Zoom backgrounds, naturally).
Our company objectives aim to expand our business, create long-term sustainable growth and open more opportunities for employees to explore different career paths. Even though our work happens from the comfort of home offices or shared working spaces, our culture creates a space for the entire team to pursue their professional goals without any pressure to sacrifice personal life moments.
Plan Biannual Company Gatherings.
Our approach to remote work hasn’t required many adjustments throughout the pandemic, but feelings of isolation and loneliness are common inside and outside of Goodway. The biannual company gatherings are a key ritual and the secret sauce to strengthening work relationships across the organization and maintaining our thriving “always learning” culture.
Our people experience team brainstormed ideas to connect remote employees in new ways. Using Virbela, a 2D virtual reality platform, we can mimic the experience of attending an in-person event through personal avatars. Teams can enter virtual conference rooms with shared whiteboards and become immersed to best facilitate shared learning environments. Remote employees can enjoy some fun and unforgettable virtual moments together too – such as dancing at a speakeasy, playing soccer or cruising in speed boats.
Dedicate Days to Employee Growth.
Once a month, all internal meetings are canceled at Goodway in honor of Dedicated Development Day (D3), where we switch our focus from our swirling to-do lists for a brief time to growth and development exclusively.
On D3, using Zoom or Virbela, our internal experts host live learning sessions, engaging teammates across departments. Our programs are always built with our remote employees’ needs top of mind because we know the positive impact personal connection and professional support can have on remote employees’ mental health and morale.
Let Employee Feedback Be Your Guide.
As a remote work leader for the past 15 years, Goodway continues to implement programs and initiatives that promote our ideal culture. Remote employees’ professional development remains a priority, but caring for job teams is equally important. Our talent success partners have created a resource library to help teams develop processes, build relationships and manage conflict remotely.
One of Goodway Group’s recent remote-friendly initiatives was the launch of a survey through Culture Amp, our employee survey data platform. Each quarter, teams take a team health monitor survey to see trends over time and then work on specific improvement areas to ultimately become more effective.
Culture Amp helps our people experience team get the employee feedback they need to better identify and prioritize remote employees’ well-being, needs and areas of improvement and to create positive change within our organization. For instance, when a pulse survey uncovered feelings of burnout throughout the company, that’s what led Goodway to implement summer Fridays. Goodway relies on this data to sprint toward action plans for thoughtful improvements.
Encourage Lifelong Learning.
Learning new skills and expanding knowledge are lifelong marathons, and at Goodway, we’re always training to win. Aggressively pursuing growth and development ensures you have the expertise and the unmatched products, services and capabilities to remain out in front and way ahead.
Want more best practices, tips and ideas on how to manage and encourage remote employees? See how we built our own thriving remote workforce and corporate culture and discover remote work advice you may not have heard before from our president, Jay Friedman. Or reach out to us. With so many years of remote working under our belts, we would be happy to lend you our expert ear, share our perspective or give you advice you can use, no matter the remote work opportunities or challenges you currently face.
Paige Callaway is an internal communications specialist at Goodway Group. Communicating well is an art, and Paige knows precisely how to do it. Whether tasked with producing newsletters, articles, emails, videos and more, she has the writing chops, enthusiasm, presence and creativity to expertly craft informative and compelling corporate communications across a range of media specifically geared for the Goodway team that demand to be seen, read, watched and heard.