2-12: Maintaining a Strong Corporate Culture During COVID-19
There is no question that we are living in unprecedented times. Every day we must make significant changes in how we live and work. For some, working remotely is old hat while others were pushed into the deep end of figuring out all of its intricacies: finding a space to work, how to collaborate effectively with teams, and defining what a good work-life balance looks like now we’re all stuck at home. In the midst of the chaos of shifting processes online and challenges of technical difficulties, one key factor of organizational success may be overlooked. Focusing on these ‘trees’ may have caused some companies to lose sight of the ‘forest’ - culture - and how crucial it is now that we are all working remotely.
Corporate culture is the metaphorical glue that holds an organization together. The qualities a company values are emulated by its employees, which is quite apparent when everyone is in the office. Now, however, maintaining the strength of that culture is more challenging. This is a difficulty worth overcoming as building your company’s culture while everyone is away will help to make employees feel more connected with one another and thus be more motivated in their work. Here are some areas to focus on to help you get started in bolstering your corporate culture even as employees are separated from one another.
These are challenging times for everyone. Many individuals are experiencing the feelings of stress, anxiety, loneliness, and more. Though it may come more naturally to some people, acting in an empathetic manner is a skill that can be learned and improved over time. Showing empathy helps your employees feel more personally connected and supported. These are both critical elements of success while we are all more isolated. Leveraging your EI (emotional intelligence) skills to understand how this situation is impacting others in unique ways is essential. Setting up individual meetings or casual conversations with your employees is a great way to regularly check in and invest in their personal wellbeing.
On a similar note, hearing from your employees is more important now than ever. Whether it be through virtual open office hours or an online anonymous suggestion forum, getting current and 100% honest feedback can provide important insights. As transitioning to remote work may have had a few bumps in the road, learning about what is and is not working well for your employees will help you plan for the future of working from home and how to make it a more positive experience. This is a great way to keep a judgement-free line of communication open so that employees can freely share their honest thoughts and suggestions about how to make working from home better for everyone.
Showing genuine appreciation for the work your employees do is essential at any time and even more important now. GIving someone a public shoutout for stellar work helps them feel appreciated and that the work they do truly matters to their peers and the company. Even giving recognition for small things like always being on time for meetings or an exemplar of a particular value of the company’s culture shows employees that you notice those little things and are grateful. Positive reinforcement helps motivate individuals to continue to try their best to produce great work even when the circumstances may not be ideal.
As everyone is working separately from home, it can be easy to feel isolated. Including more team-based projects allows employees to interact more regularly with their coworkers. If the work does not typically use a team structure, it may be helpful to have employees hold casual weekly check-ins with one or two of their peers just to have a chat and see how work and life are going. This rapport building increases the sense of community even as they are separated. Hosting regular team building activities and events are another way to engage employees outside of strictly work-related topics.
Priority Bridge LLC. Is dedicated to helping organizations of all types achieve greater success by using a proprietary analytical process that increases the cultural fit of employees to an organization. Eliminate Bad Hires. For Good. Hire right the first time, every time with the right cultural fit using Priority Bridge.