The pandemic has certainly been a collective challenge across the globe and many are still continuing to struggle. In terms of work, many around the world have had to work remotely, and only recently has there been a number of businesses heading back into the office.
6 Tips for Managing Corporate Culture Post COVID
Even though there’s no new normal for our work environments yet, it’s good to start thinking about how you can manage corporate culture within the workspace, post covid.
So whether your staff is back in the office or not, it’s well worth implementing some changes to your company culture going forward.
1. Get Rid of Everything That Was Wrong Before
The pandemic has brought a lot of heartache and pain for many. Whether it’s the loss of a loved one, financial despair, or dealing with your mental health.
However, an area that has been highlighted when it comes to pre-covid is parts of a company culture that aren’t particularly good for the workplace.
These cultural norms that existed prior to COVID-19, are something that you could work to get rid of before life returns back to the new norm. Some suggestions could be:
- Less focus on hours, more focus on the quality of work.
- Reduce gossip and workplace disputes.
- Encouraging break times throughout the day.
- More available training for employees who need it.
You may want to think about having a company culture that gives back to its community too.
There are organizations that have implemented a volunteering policy in order to support local communities which are probably needed now more than ever.
According to the Hapi survey, only 41% of employees could say they were happy most of the time at work.
Good company culture can certainly help give this percentage a well-needed boost and who doesn’t want happier employees?
2. Try to Be More Flexible to Your Employees Needs
A lot has changed over the course of COVID-19 and now many employees will be comfortable working from home or in some form of remote capacity.
With 74% of professionals expecting remote work to become standard, it’s now up to business owners and senior employees to adapt to employee needs.
It’s been proven during the pandemic that many employees can do their jobs without needing to be at the worksite.
There can be a lot of money saved through having more staff members working from home.
You’ll need a lot fewer resources in some areas of the business and with the financial damage caused by the pandemic, some extra money saved will be much appreciated.
Having flexibility for your employees is going to make for a more enjoyable work environment, especially when staff has the ability to work from home.
Whether it’s a few hours a week or for the majority of their working hours, try to bring more flexibility into everyone’s roles where possible. It’ll create a happier workforce as a result.
The same approach though needs to come from your staff too. They must be willing to also be adaptable to the changes and where possible, it’s good to reward those who do so with a promotion.
3. Be More Honest and Open
The path back to a new normal will not be easy and any business that’s managed to come out of the pandemic relatively unscathed can count themselves as one of the lucky ones.
Compared to 2019, bankruptcy filings between April and September 2020 were up by 45%.
It’s abundantly clear that although the control over the pandemic has somewhat been mastered with the vaccine, there’s still a long battle ahead.
With many industries on their needs, it’s vitally important to maintain honesty and transparency in everything you do going forward.
Your employees need to know that the pandemic is one that will take a while to recover from and that might impact the growth of the business and those who are part of it.
Communication is key in building up a strong corporate culture post covid. Without it, assumptions and certain expectations might arise, which may not be correct.
Even if it’s bad news, your employees are going to be grateful for the honesty, rather than the deceit of not being told what’s coming.
As many organizations will need employees back in the office, it’s always good to give them a timeline of when and how it will all happen.
With employees receiving complete honesty and transparency, they’ll be able to plan and prepare for the changes.
4. Stress the Importance of Structure
Whether you find yourself moving to more of a remote working environment or going back to an office environment, the structure is important.
To those in managerial roles and for the rest of the workforce, the structure is still needed to get everything done.
In order to encourage growth for your business and to move in an upwards trajectory, it’s good to create some guidelines.
Company culture is part of that structure and so when it comes to telling your employees what to do, it’s useful to share some guidance.
For example, there might be more video conference calls as part of day-to-day working life. That means you could provide some video conference etiquette do’s and don’ts.
If you’re introducing more one-to-one meetings with employees as part of a contribution to better mental health in the workplace, then organize this properly.
The structure is good for everyone within the workforce, regardless of their rank or whether it affects them or not.
As many are coming out of a year’s worth of remote working, a structure might not be part of their vocabulary anymore.
The working days have likely changed significantly, with some working different hours to the norm.
With that in mind, you might want to encourage healthier working hours for those operating remotely.
5. Continue Building Working Relationships
There has likely been a bit of a disconnect when it comes to working relationships.
Whether that’s internally or with clients, not being able to meet in person for meetings of any kind has likely been tough.
Remote working has also been difficult for those who are social butterflies or have close working relationships with those in the organization.
Microsoft found that workers aged 18 to 25 reported more difficulties in feeling engaged or excited about work.
Whether that’s speaking during Zoom meetings to bringing new ideas to the business.
It’s clear that for many, there’s an importance of being in the workplace and interacting regularly with others.
So with that in mind, it’s important to focus on bringing back staff training days and team away days where possible.
By concentrating on working relationships, you’re going to see it have a positive effect on productivity but also for those customers or clients you work with too.
A few suggestions of what to do in order to develop working relationships within the organization could be any of the following.
If you’ve been neglecting your clients, then networking events are going to help rebuild those relationships that you’ve lost over the pandemic.
There can be plenty of different ways to do this, so start organizing some events into your work calendar.
Sometimes, it’s important to focus on the growth and development of each department within the business. With that being said, department socials might be worth organizing every month where possible.
Many companies might already be doing this but annual parties are a great way to bring together the organization as a whole. If you’ve had to skip doing this over the pandemic as many have had to, ensure the next one is bigger and better than any you’ve had before.
6. Be the Leaders in a Post-COVID Society
Change can happen if there are those who are prepared to make it happen. As a post-covid society comes about, it’s important to be a leader in changing company culture.
Your business could be leading the way to a reimagined future. With better working environments, it can lead to a happier and more driven workforce.
If you’re seen to be making those changes to your corporate culture, then that’s going to influence what others do around you.
It’ll help strengthen your working relationships within the workforce and it’s going to attract more of those individuals and businesses that want to see change.
Managing corporate culture is a challenging one, especially when so much has changed in the space of a year.
As your workforce returns to working within the workplace, consider everything that has changed.
Think about how you can help your employees adapt and strive for a better environment overall. There is much work to be done but why not be the ones who get the ball rolling?
COVID-19 has been the event that will change company cultures for many businesses, as well as changing the way we work on a global scale.
Use these tips for managing your corporate culture this year and beyond. Find ways to help encourage positive change that will not only help your workforce but your company’s growth overall.
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