Captario – The Role of HR in a Remote Company
Since its founding in 2012, Captario has never been the traditional company where ”you go to the office.” While there is a physical office (HQ in Gothenburg, Sweden), the guiding star has instead been to hire by skill, not by location. Ten years later, Captario is present in eight countries spanning five continents, with only one physical office!
As a company tendering to the pharmaceutical industry, being a Swedish company and operating only in Sweden does not make for a successful business. While Sweden is one of the leading nations in the world in regards to healthcare and pharmaceuticals, the pharmaceutical industry itself clusters abroad, and Captario as a company needs to cater to that fact.
Top 6 Things To Think About When You Are a Remote Company
When managing a company, there are many things to think about, and the importance level only increases in a remote setting. Below are six key areas to focus on to reap the most from your remote organization:
Remote leadership and self-management go hand in hand. As team leaders cannot regularly interact with a physical presence, a big part of the leadership fall under self-management. In a remote environment, leadership and the role of a leader instead fall under the term mentor, i.e., it should be clear who has the official title of leader, but the true leadership of executing daily tasks becomes the responsibility of each employee. In a way, every employee becomes their own leader for their domain, where it instead becomes the official leader’s job to have trust in their team to perform and then merge each individual trajectory into one common end goal.
Decisive leadership must lead the way forward for a team to develop into self-management. This includes trust in the employee's knowledge, a set structure to work within, and clear goals to work towards. The leader's purpose is to facilitate, support, and develop the employees.
2. Communication & Structure
Good information systems and collaboration tools/digital tools become essential when working remotely. It needs to be extremely easy to utilize such a tool effectively. A good measurement could be to think of it like this; Imagine a big office, and an employee needs to ask someone far away about something. If the tool at hand is at a level where the employee still uses it to connect with that person, even though they are both at the office, that indicates that the tool is good enough.
The communication culture should be open and inviting to anyone in need of support or help in further development regarding individual tasks. Communication requires consistency regarding meetings and information spreading within departments and the whole company. For everyone to feel included, and as part of Captario, information regarding the company and its progress is essential for the individual to feel like a proud employee. The communication structure also includes the importance of feedback, both towards workgroups and on an individual level, so that the employees feel seen and have a better chance of personal development.
Creating an excellent common culture as a remote company is not a given. The creation of business culture happens partly from the leadership side, where openness and clarity are vital to gaining loyal employees. For example, the leaders are setting guidelines by creating an open and honest atmosphere where the employees can continue this behavior towards one another. An important step here is facilitating conversations by giving employees the tools to transfer the culture and style into the virtual setting.
Overall goals and goalsetting ensure workers feel involved and are on the same page with company goals. By continuously informing the employees of common company goals and the individual ones, the intent is to inspire them to strive towards reaching them. For a remote company, it’s of extra importance to make sure to highlight and celebrate when goals are achieved. This improves the employees' work ethic and creates better conditions for future goals.
5. Employee Experience
HR managers might need to aid in creating a seamless digital employee experience that workers can access from anywhere. That includes onboarding, training, and general team management. It can also be investments in new software or management systems to improve remote workflows.
Here, personality is one key aspect. This does not mean that everyone needs to be the same; on the contrary, a diverse workforce surpasses the one that isn’t, especially if a company like Captario operates on a global scale. Instead, the personality trait that becomes vital is whether the employee enjoys a remote work environment or not. And if not, what does the company do to mitigate that?
All people have different traits; some are more prone to socialize and need more interaction, while others are more introverted and perfectly comfortable working alone and doing ”the daily grind.” The most significant advantage is not being bound by recruiting a specific geographical location but instead recruiting the right person with the right personality and qualifications for the job.