Great company culture is one that empowers your team to stay motivated, engaged, and grow. Right now, leaders have the opportunity to strengthen their organization’s culture by turning the challenges of 2020 into valuable wisdom for the future in 2021 and beyond.
Redefine your culture
As we enter a new year, review what practices have worked well in these changing times and decide what is best to continue with. Take the time for a meaningful pause to reflect on your organization’s core values and distinctive purpose in this new environment.
Create the change that’s necessary to affirm your expectations and goals.
Communication and Community
We know that crucial components of workplace culture include creating a sense of community and belonging. When we care about our work and our colleagues, our quality of life and happiness increase.
In a physical office space, it’s much easier to have water-cooler chat and organic conversations, but with remote work and social distancing practices in place, it can be challenging to replicate those interactions.
To maintain the connections we have, leaders must continue to regularly and openly engage with their team. In particular, ensure employees are always well informed to adjust expectations. Provide guidance on how to work effectively from home and be transparent about company updates.
Have individual and group check-ins to provide the opportunity for your team to address professional or personal concerns. By doing so, it alleviates feelings of loneliness and isolation. For new employees, consider doubling down on connecting new hires with other colleagues to help develop key relationships.
Unite your team with inclusion.
Promote Self Care and Development
Taking care of your health doesn’t just apply to your physical well-being but mental health as well. Everyone has been affected differently as a cause of this pandemic and the current climate. The changes we have endured can be mentally exhausting and negatively impact our health.
As an employer, you can respectively support your team by approaching this issue proactively. When hosting one-on-one meetings, ask each team member about their current work from home setup and what you can do to help them and any challenges they face. Additionally asking employees about their well being and truly listening to their response or digging deeper beyond common, casual answers, shows that the company cares to know if employees are not alright.
Reward and recognize
There is great value in recognizing your employees for their contributions and hard work. In a survey
conducted by Human Resources Executive, data shows 64% of employees say recognition and appreciation is more important while working from home. Even though we are not together in an office, there are meaningful ways to demonstrate appreciation through technology.
Be sure to publicize accomplishments through company-wide channels like Slack or a social feed that’s visible to everyone. Public praise can increase motivation and encourage peers to do the same.
It’s also important to be timely. If you see behavior that should be recognized, don’t wait.
Ensure Diversity, Equality, and Inclusion
Diversity and inclusion in the workplace have always been important topics. However, the current social climate has brought a shining new light on this issue. Not everyone has the same feelings, background, or accessibility to resources.
Through recent surveys and interviews
in 11 countries, McKinsey & Company found that workers across several demographic groups and geographies faced a wide array of “challenges related to mental health, work-life balance, workplace health and safety, and a missing sense of connectivity.”
Adjust your policies to address the specific concerns highlighted by your employees.
- Build a flexible work environment
- Enable equitable access to technology
- Enable direct, authentic, transparent communication.
Create a common ground for everyone to come together and feel supported.
Now is the time
The pandemic has undoubtedly disrupted workplace culture and shifted hiring, onboarding, and learning and development practices.
There is no one-size-fits-all solution, however, the meaningful actions you make today will have a profound influence on your company’s culture and long-term growth.
If there were a time to redefine and reinforce your company culture, this would be it.