Refreshing the Culture of Your Business
There are very few businesses that have not been impacted by the events of 2020. For most of us, the way we work and often where we work is different than it was a year ago. The same is true for our employees. Your culture is the foundation of your business, so how is it holding up? Building and maintaining strong relationships is critical to sustaining your customer base. The same is true for retaining employees and keeping them motivated to succeed as the unknown stretches out into 2021.
In these past months there has been a lot of focus on making sure we can keep working, but little focus on creating and supporting a strong culture while we do so. I recognize that resources have been allocated elsewhere in order to keep our businesses open. However, letting the issue languish unaddressed has dire consequences. We are seeing a steady and alarming rise in employee burnout, disengagement, and miscommunication, particularly in virtual workspaces. In many cases, the culture of the organization had been eroding well before the pandemic started. In-person interactions masked this erosion – think of the casual conversations in the break room, or the quick chat with a co-worker that clarified an issue. While we have all (more or less) mastered video calls, we have not replaced these important and effective in-person interactions and informal team-bonding moments that occur around the proverbial water cooler.
An effective first step is to evaluate the culture of the organization and the level of employee engagement with a survey (you can request a free survey here). Once you know the areas of concern the next step is to set priorities and then address the issues head on.
Here are some key action items to rebuild a strong culture for your team:
- Provide your remote workforce opportunities to collaborate. These could be small group meetings, one-to-one calls, or cross-function workshops.
- Have regular, scheduled communications with your team members. Additional, casual contact builds the sense of belonging for the employees.
- Arrange for regular communication among departments. Operations should know what Sales and Finance are doing. Everyone should have the same information, and the same overall objectives.
- Invite innovation. This is more than being open to new ideas – encourage new ways of operating. You’ve built a strong team. Leverage their talents.
- Measure the health of the relationship between employees and the organization. Don’t assume all is well because no one has said anything until you have asked them.
- Check with peers in your industry. Use your network to find out what other teams are doing successfully, then borrow those tactics.
- Embrace the idle chitchat. If informal conversations are occurring before a video meeting really gets going, team bonding is occurring. Sometimes, those ‘unproductive’ moments are exactly what we need to feel refreshed and engaged to get things done afterwards.
Having a strong and suitable organizational culture can minimize the threats of employee turnover, loss of clients, and decreased revenue. It is no longer a question of whether or not we can work remotely or differently. The question is how to do it effectively for the benefit of the employees and the organization.
Need help? Let’s schedule a strategy session. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let’s build a winning culture for a winning business.
Author: Sandy Merritt, Business Coach in Louisville, KY[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section]