Eight months into COVID-19 after pivoting, shifting, and transitioning your business and your employees, you may be realizing that the important components of your culture might have been overlooked. In the rush to serve your customers, your shareholders, and your employees, the many in-person rituals and traditions that make our culture special may have been innocent bystanders that were forgotten. Working from home has robbed us of the culture of the workplace as we knew it.
Between trying to keep up with their work, home-schooling children, taking care of neighbors and other loved ones, your employees need to have a sense of connection and belonging more than ever before. Maintaining your company culture in a remote setting should be at the top of your HR strategies.
When thinking about this blog, I immediately thought about a friend of mine, Dr. Fiona Jamison. Fiona is the CEO of Spring International, a full-service research and consulting firm and she asks for employee feedback for a living, so I thought who better to talk to about this topic!
Simply put, Fiona said her best advice to leaders wanting to keep their culture alive is to “continue your traditions”. “Whatever you have done in person before, continue to do that remotely”, she said. She was gracious enough to share some examples. They included some of the below:
Keeping your company culture alive might require a bit of creativity, but it’s worth the effort. Another friend of mine, Marie Becker, actually inspired this blog. Marie, a Senior Vice President and Practice Leader at NFP a national insurance brokerage and consulting firm, shared with me during a recent conversation that it dawned on her that the new employees she hired over the summer were missing some of the cultural components that make NFP so special.
“Employees leave companies when they don’t feel connected. I wanted our new hires to feel a sense of belonging. Because it was summer, I took advantage of hosting outside activities in our office parking lot. In addition to reconnect with our long term employees, the outdoor events allowed us to welcome our new employees and introduce them to NFP.” Becker also provided the new employees with some company branded items such as an NFP backpack, portfolio, and coffee mug.
She went on to say, “We are social beings who thrive on a sense of connection and belonging. While Zoom can be an effective tool, it cannot replace the esprit de corps that is generated when casually socializing in-person with your peers, colleagues, and teammates. In the current COVID environment, it is important to create those opportunities with intention and purpose.”
This new world of work we are all facing creates challenges and vulnerability. Your employees need a sense of belonging and every company’s culture is unique. If you need help in harnessing what makes your organization special, contact unHR today!