A company culture – shared values and ways of doing things – is one of the most important differentiators organisations have. In the remote-working world brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic, companies are facing the challenge of maintaining and entrenching their cultures while employees are away from the office, their teams and their managers.
Working from home means employees may not receive the same direction, guidance or coaching from their leaders. With uncertainty levels at an all-time high, people feel anxious about the future in general and job security in particular, so consistent, valuable interaction with management plays a critical role in keeping the company culture strong.
Eight ways to manage company culture effectively:
- Articulate, validate and reinforce your culture. Take every opportunity to talk about your culture and your company values.
- Communicate, communicate, communicate. Be resourceful in your use of channels such as live events and podcasts to keep people informed on what’s happening in the organisation. Use systems like Microsoft Teams or set up internal Yammer groups to answer questions from your staff directly and give them any support they need.
- Stay true to your culture and avoid letting the pandemic erode what you value. Continue to encourage input and involvement from your employees and let them know their feedback is valuable by acting on it.
- Keep your recognition programmes going – acknowledge employees who uphold the company values and hold people accountable for maintaining behaviour and performance aligned with your culture.
- Stay in tune with your people. Focus on their needs and address their concerns.
- Develop leaders by providing education and coaching, and make sure they are managing based on objectives while simultaneously showing empathy toward employees.
- Encourage strong connections between employees. Create or maintain mentorship programmes and put plans in place to link individuals and teams.
- Actively demonstrate your culture; remember that how you treat employees is important, as are your company’s contributions to your community.
Manage your company culture intentionally
The need to manage culture intentionally is especially critical now. Focus on key talent, develop leaders, hold people accountable, be open about your company’s values, and create a strong fabric of information and connections.
During this pandemic and beyond, remember that this is important to your organisation, your customers and most importantly, your employees. A strong company culture means that your employees are more likely to enjoy their work and be passionate about what they do.