When it comes to being a strong organization, it is very important to maintain an impeccable work culture that directs the workforce towards productivity and also maintain a healthy working environment. As far as definition comes, organisational cultures are set of the values, attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors that characterize and contribute to an organization’s unique social and emotional work environment.
Given the exclusivity for the way organisations function, culture stands to be unique for every organization making it one of the hardest things to change. It consists of written and unwritten rules that have been developed over time making it a cluster of thoughts and beliefs that persist over a long time.
“Change is inevitable” – few words which we keep on listening to now and then. Adapting to change is what makes it more challenging. Organisations may have to re-think a lot of their processes to bring about an agile and adaptive framework with the constantly changing marketplace and consumer needs. Here lies the difficult part.
When it comes to bringing about change, there is a high possibility that quite a few numbers of line elements within an org. may have to take a backseat whilst driving a change. Plans like the need for expansion, to open up new offices, to start a hiring workflow with full-fledged exterior communication, all go for a toss when you seem to be tacking a big change which you would not naturally go through. Restructuring expenditures, adjusting various strategies for the present, and planning one step ahead for the future, everything takes an impact. That being said, organisations, no matter how big or small, cannot push aside their culture. It becomes a very important yet rudimentary part to maintain organisational culture and to keep a strong focus on values and propositions which govern the organisation. This not only provides the needed support for the workforce, but also gives a sense of belief that adapting to change though not an easy task, can be handled by the management so the employees can stay engaged throughout.
There are 2 sides to a change, one which could lead to something which adds value to processes and one which diminishes the entire amalgam of efforts put forth by multiple people.
It is no denying that the current situation has caused a catastrophic downturn for most organisations which has come up as a drastic change to cope up to. With the effect being unprecedented, the current pandemic has swept everybody from their feet. Spreading great discomfort and upheaval wherever it has landed upon, the pandemic has left many leaders worried about their families and their employee’s wellbeing. Battling such a fast-paced change coupled with the challenges of lack of alignment, focus, transparency, and measurable outcomes have left a dent in the organisational processes and work culture as panic surmounts. With teams moving towards remote work, a scattered workforce has distorted not only the processes but also the organisational culture for many.
The question now is, How can we maintain a better work environment without compromising with the organization’s core value proposition, how do we keep the workforce engaged and let them feel that they are not alone in this and the organisation is always at their disposal, to help them and to keep them motivated? You can change your culture in a day or a week, you can’t change things so easily which are deeply engraved in the heart of the system, what is needed is to build on top of it whilst maintaining the foundation, creating more ways to engage employees, making them feel they are valued and maintaining a healthy conversation in and out is what is going to drive this change towards the former way.
And how do we do just that? Here are some takeaway points which might prove to be a value add for your organisation
Reinforcing the already glooming foundation
Circling back to what the organisational culture actually means, it is deemed to be the sum of all an employee and her/his colleagues say, think, speak, and do whilst working together, be it in the remote mode, or at the workplace. It widely reflects both the written and unwritten rules that people would follow. Workplace culture develops from the grassroots and keeps on building on top of it. This translates to the very first step to maintaining organisational culture during tough times is to purposefully build it on the right foundation—your organization’s core values— and keep reinforcing it. Here is a quick read on the fundamentals of organisational culture.
The best possible way to reinforce the already glooming foundation is to find out ways to keep employees motivated and well engaged. Device techniques that could unite the newbies, the people who are there from the beginning, and the people who are trying to find their way. Curate activities around the weekend such as “Fun Quizzes on their favorite TV Shows”, amp up the one on one conversations with managers and teammates, dedicate “no-work talks” for some days and much more.
Keep Adaptability the top priority
There are times when everything seems to be going out of hands as some processes and culture initiatives are simply not that easy to keep up with especially if you take the example of the current times. According to a recent study done by Gallup, remote work has doubled up from 31% in mid-March to 62% in mid – April. With such stark grade up in the mode of work, recruitment processes have seen a very steep change requirement. From one on one rounds to having online interviews till the end is a very basic change which most organisations are seeing.
Onboarding employees online instead of meeting them face to face, team meetings converging towards online modes, and much more. Things are changing, and there is no denying that.
The question now is, how can organisational culture stay well connected to the set values if it has to change as well? The answer is pretty simple, while the set values would not necessarily change, the way the org. culture presents itself may not be able to stay intact exactly the same in the wake of a crisis, and that’s completely fine.
Bringing about a change to your culture initiatives and is not a sign of failure at keeping your company culture grounded in your values. It simply means adapting to ways in reinforcing the set values through your culture.
360-degree Communication –
Transparent work culture is something that defines the foundation to a good organizational culture.
Having said that, it is very important to be open with your employees, providing consistent and open communication which can also be non-work-related discussions, makes them feel important to the organization.
Keeping employees up to date on most relevant and recent developments proves to be more effective than loading them with an entire dump of information all at once.
Overloading information is not going to make them feel more secure. And that should be the goal of a 360-degree communication during times of big change which eventually means maintaining company culture by managing employee emotions.
As Charles Darwin once said – “It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most adaptable to change.” Adaptability is key as we move towards a different kind of world, we need to embrace change and get onboard to ‘the new normal’.