Creating a thriving remote-first culture doesn’t happen by accident. A culture of strong communication and documentation is key. Your communication plan takes intention and thoughtful design. In my experience, people need to hear information 5 times to really hear it. People also need to absorb information through different communication channels, such as pre-recorded videos, an intranet, email, messenger, and all-hands meetings. Remote-first companies need to invest energy into communication by making the implicit, explicit. Companies should be hyper-focused on documenting everything in a centralized intranet or what I lovingly refer to as a “Culture Book”, explicitly communicating their ways of working and expectations.
Let's dive deep into the process of building a Culture Book with Sana Benefits.
When I first started advising Sana, they were a remote-first company with a large number of employees working from an Austin office. Throughout our work together, we transitioned Sana to become a fully remote company and redefined the Sana employee experience. The end result was the Sana Culture Book.
Here are the steps we took to bring Sana’s Culture Book to life:
✅ Deeply understand the culture, through leadership working sessions, focus groups, and surveys
✅ Align on working norms and expectations with the leadership team and employees
✅ Craft the structure, design, and documentation for the book
✅ Deep work on company values to define what they mean and how they show up every day
✅ Solidify Sana’s global policies and procedures (traditional handbook stuff!)
✅ Document everything: communication norms, company-wide tools, connection opportunities, and people programs on Sana's intranet, powered by Guru
✅ Created a Manager Resource Hub for manager self-serve materials and training
✅ Launch the Culture Book with communication and training
Although we’re super proud of the Sana Culture Book, our work here is never done. The Sana team consistently iterates on the book as their organization shifts and changes, ensuring it remains THE source of truth for employees and managers.
It was a pleasure to work with Sana’s People and Leadership team as we built, launched, and iterated on this amazing book.
Interested in building a similar Culture Book at your organization? Contact me!
Here are three ways I can help, whenever you’re ready: