Aligning Culture During COVID

Dec 17, 2020

Aligning Culture During COVID

Employees have gone through a lot during these uncertain times. The stress of getting infected, the thought of infecting a loved one, and the uncertainty of job security. All of these pressures combined to form a somewhat dystopian world for some of us during this tough 2020.

While just having a job itself was a blessing. And in the first couple of months, employees felt themselves to be truly lucky for a company that didn't shut down and could even move to remote work. However, now the landscape has shifted. Expectations have changed.

Attitudes Towards The Pandemic: Then And Now

But first, let's discuss what happened as enterprises and employees slowly got used to the idea of living with the pandemic even if they were working from home or following a hybrid work routine. People realized they had to leave the house for groceries anyway. So, going to the office slowly became more acceptable. Not regularly, but whenever needed. So attitudes started changing, slowly but surely.

Companies also started adapting. They tried to play it safe and freeze hiring. To find backups for every supplier, they ordered critical supplies in advance and started worrying about productivity loss. Human Resource departments started measuring and tracking all sorts of metrics. And found some unlikely insights. Productivity has stayed the same or increased in most cases. But employees feel less of a sense of purpose and belonging than before. Even now, many employees are facing anxiety or stress about the uncertainty of their job or simply getting infected.

On top of this, the economic implications of COVID-19 have meant that many people have family members and close friends who are going through a very rough patch, financially or emotionally. Some others have lost a loved one or know a dear one who has and is trying to cope with that loss. So employees are now looking at companies to provide more support in terms of access to mental health and just empathy during such hard times. PeopleSpace believes that these tough times test the character of a company. And bring out the best in them. How we treat our employees now will ultimately determine our worth and legacy in their eyes.

How To Showcase Culture Through a Screen?

Before work from home became, the human resource department's attitude could easily influence the "new norm" company culture. To employee queries, employees' problems, and how much they push for empowering employees or ensuring they get regular feedback, among other things.

But not so now. With employees connected through a screen and instant messages. It is becoming exceedingly tricky to show employees that companies care about them and that the employees matter!

But there is always a way!

Here are some tips from PeopleSpace about staying connected with employees even when they aren't in the office.

  1. Create a culture committee that can help the organization feel connected. The culture committee can create a newsletter that shares good stories throughout the organization. These stories are about people, not the company. The committee can share recipes, pictures, create virtual scavenger hunts, provide weekly check-ins, schedule virtual yoga, and more. They help the employees connect on a social level, and now more than ever, we need that social connection without going into the workspace.
  2. Morning Coffee Chat: You know that little conversation at the coffee machine starts with the weather and ends within a couple of mins, right? Have that conversation. HR should schedule it with at least one employee every day. And ask them about how their experience is going and how they're coping with their problems. It's important to know someone cares!
  3. Discuss Unimportant Things And be Honest! Both HR and team leads need to be able to forget about work for a minute sometimes. And talk openly about non-work related topics. It encourages employees to share. And that they can talk about their problems and concerns once in a while.
  4. Training and Taking Care of Yourself! Creating a culture of constant learning creates an environment where everyone is receptive to change. Invest in training, and it will pay off in more ways than one! Develop a routine, and make sure your teammates do as well. They don't all have to be the same. But structure helps. And don't forget to stop thinking about work after work hours

As we pull these tips together, leaders and employees will see a boost in workplace collaboration and innovation. Companies that prioritize a workplace culture are more optimistic about growth and have happier and more engaged employees.

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