The COVID-19 pandemic has been tough. Businesses had to quickly opt for unconventional ways of operation and transform into new models almost overnight. Now that we are in 2021, the continuously changing business environment of the past year still exists. Companies are analyzing, debating, and trying to figure out what a new normal will be. This can be unsettling and exciting all in one.
Despite many unknowns, leaders need to focus on prioritizing people and corporate culture above everything else. As a leader, if you choose to nurture people, your culture will draw people to you, and allow your business to seize the opportunity. It is true that after one long year of uncertainty, personal and professional challenges, and social chaos, the way your business functions internally has a significant impact on your people, reputation, and growth.
As we look into the future, it is important to identify what brings people fulfillment and satisfaction to do the work that they are doing every day. Recent research by Quartz has revealed that 37% of people feel company culture had gone a lot better globally since the pandemic.
In this blog, I will dive into crucial steps that we as leaders should be taking now, and in the post, COVID era to put people first, create a great organizational culture and ultimately achieve exceptional results.
Commit to Build Trust
Of course, working in the office environment provides your people with the ability to be much more visible. The pandemic has led us to a hybrid way of working where both your people and the leadership team are more distributed and remote than ever before. You need to take this time to work on building trust between the leadership and your team. Attending virtual gatherings, creating online channels that foster water cooler chats, and being virtually present as you onboard new people in the team are some critical ways to build trust in your organization. It will ultimately help encourage a people-oriented culture in your company.
Encourage a ‘People-First’ Culture
As your people continue to work from home in this pandemic, hiring and retaining productive people will be a continuous challenge. According to the reports by the Society of Human Resource Management, one in five Americans considered poor company culture as the main reason to leave a job in the last one year. Organizations that want to become successful in this post-COVID era should make people feel valued, respected, empowered, connected, and supported.
During this tough time, the primary objective of your company should be the health and wellbeing of your people. As you place their well-being first and back this up with clear communication and action, your team will ultimately take care of your customers and business with the same enthusiasm.
Leverage this moment to take another critical look at your company’s benefits, safety at the workplace, and internal communication practices to ensure they are meeting the needs of your people. Harnessing the power of your team’s feedback via surveys, meetings and individual conversations will be critical to ensure your actions are informed and prioritized.
Let Your Organizational Culture be a Differentiator
During this uncertain situation of the COVID-19 pandemic, having a strong corporate culture is very important as organizations work to leverage every competitive advantage they have. According to a Glassdoor study that consisted of 5,000 respondents, company culture is a factor that 77% of people would consider as very crucial before they accept a job offer, and more than 50% consider job satisfaction more important than their salary.
In the virtual world that we now work from, it can be challenging to develop a nurturing culture. You need to identify the unique elements of your company’s culture that encourage a sense of association and then figure out effective ways to recreate them online. Working during the COVID-19 pandemic, your company might have been using different online tools to organize virtual get- togethers, team meetings, etc. like a lot of other companies are doing worldwide. We have been doing the same too. But now at Etech, we are taking it a step further to keep our company’s culture alive. We are virtually recreating the more spontaneous encounters like 15 min pep rallies, water cooler conversations, luncheons, coffee parties, and many more that our team previously enjoyed in the office space. Keep those happy hours going and stay connected.
Reassess Your Company Values
Etech leadership has always believed that company values must extend beyond the words on the website and posters on the wall. The values, beliefs, and behaviors that your company fosters are what should reflect in its culture. You need to ensure that both the values and the day-to-day working environment of your company are aligned well. It’s important to ask for feedback from your people, communicate with the leaders of your company well in advance, and reevaluate yourself to be sure that you are leading by example in your organization.
The Bottom Line
The path forward for any company should revolve around developing a strong people-centric culture. It will help fuel the health, wellness, and productivity of your team. At Etech, we have been nurturing this culture from the inception of our company. People have the ultimate power to make your company’s culture vibrant and enthusiastic for the future. Culture plays a significant role in the long-term success of your business. Building trust among your people, developing a people-first culture, making the culture of your company a differentiator, and revisiting and living your company values will help your business quickly adapt to the emerging new normal.