Since the start of the pandemic, employees from across the globe have begun transitioning into new ways of working and connecting with their colleagues. However, with abrupt changes comes an even bigger impact on company culture.
With HR at the heart of a business’ response to disruption, there will undoubtedly be a new remodeling structure in place to factor in remote working and trimming services while at the forefront of these modifications, comes risk to workforce morale.
In response, a positive outlook becomes more crucial than ever before. Maintaining organizational culture and focusing on your values will provide the key support your employees need to ease into the transition, adjust to the new normal, and begin building for a post-coronavirus world. Even better yet, this is something that doesn’t cost anything but time and effort to ensure your employees stay completely engaged.
While there has been a key push from many businesses to introduce agile business models that provide a quick solution to continue the business’ service as normal, what can companies do to ensure company culture and communication is untouched?
Use uncertainty as glue
As much as we’re all in the pandemic together, company cohesion can be strengthened by narrating shared purpose. This can definitely be achieved practically around goal setting, OKR alignment and general workflow efficiencies. Though uncertainty brings anxiety, so during moments of crises it can often be positive for leaders to dig into their cultural toolkit to build internal messaging initiatives which story tell the companies history, it triumphs in the face of adversity.
Not to get too lofty, but when communicators can distil the company journey into tales of virtue, humour or courage it can reestablish a shared perspective. Only strengthening bonds which can be frayed in crises.
Keep your people at #1
As many HR professionals have seen over uncertain periods when in crisis mode, the initial focus on people can easily be overwritten to prioritize new tasks that help adjust to the current situation. This goes without saying: you can’t stay in crisis mode forever. Employees need their companies to continue to manage the organization’s culture with initiatives centered around employees.
For example, it’s important for HR to take this opportunity to broaden their mindset in order to prioritize relationships, recognition, and communication to ensure employees are at the forefront of the bigger picture.
In a recent Clutch survey, they outlined the values that employees care for most with the most important workplace value for full-time employees being fair pay (55%) and fair treatment (54%).
It’s clear to see workplace values as keys to keeping employees at the heart of companies’ operations, and companies should be keen on prioritizing this now more than ever.
Nurture your workforce
Along with the above, according to Gartner’s research, 84% of L&D functions have canceled in-person training due to COVID-19, and 83% of L&D functions have decided to shift in-person training to virtual. While many organizations were beginning to increase their virtual learning efforts, the pandemic has certainly increased this transition with many HR and L&D leaders anticipating in-person training to never be the same.
Managers should be incorporating online learning management systems and encouraging any in-house training to be short, easy-to-use, interactive, and fun. This will ensure new workplace virtual practices are well received by employees and allow them to be attentive in an environment that holds many distractions.
Within these sessions, continue to make sure objectives are clear and match an employee’s ambition so they develop the right skills that in turn, help make the organization more profitable.
How to continue to manage a company culture effectively?
Now, you should have more of a clear understanding of how to build a solid company culture within times of change and for your remote workforce. Alongside the above two milestones, we’ve quickly collected some additional actions you should get on with straight away:
- Recognize and reward your dream team: Find your in-house experts who show the right behaviors and performance which are aligned with your vision and culture.
- Extended connections: Encourage strong communication between employees at all times, especially for new starters who haven’t had a chance to meet their co-workers. To help this, create mentorship programs and team bonding exercises at any point possible.
- Believe in the process: As you would expect your employees to stay true to your vision, it’s essential that HR and leaders follow these expectations and remain positive about the culture at all times. After all, if they see leadership slacking, this is going to affect morale all around.
- A helping hand: Make sure the opportunity for employees to speak about any issues, problems, and factors affecting their mental health and wellbeing are presented at all times.
- The extra mile: Demonstrate culture inside and outside your company. This will involve how your employees are treated, integrated with and the efforts contributed to the local community to send a strong message about the company’s culture.
The need to manage your company’s culture has never been so important, but with major restrictions and limited resources, no one is saying it will be easy. Remember to focus on key talent, develop new leaders, remind everyone of how using these values will benefit the business, and most importantly, continue to put your employees first.
In incorporating these points, you’ll not only be pushing your culture from strength to strength but making your employees the heartbeat of the organization once more!