By Carolyn Dorsey | Coordinator | People Factor LLC
Pretty much everyone acknowledges these days that organizational culture plays a significant part in productivity. The question is, what is your culture like, post-lockdown? The new working world is still trying to get its bearings. Is your company fully remote? Have you taken a hybrid approach? Or maybe you’re even attempting to bring everyone back and not sure what may be on the office horizon…
No matter what your particular office situation is, the new standard of virtual meetings, virtual conferences, and even virtual doctor visits, changes how we relate to each other. In terms of your organizational culture, that can change everything. Here are some key factors to focus on as you work to make your culture thrive…
– Fostering Collaboration –
It used to be that we relied on shared experiences that came from shared physical workspaces. Breakroom discussions on the weather, the traffic, or your kids’ sports have gone by the wayside – Perhaps relegated to a few minutes before everyone gets on the call. But we thrive on human interactions and peer support. Providing foundations for peer support, even while remote is critical to the mental health of your employees, their loyalty and commitment to the organization, and their resultant productivity and performance.
Teamwork and collaboration rarely just happen organically. They must be modeled and built with support from above. A key driver for a great organizational culture is fostering and rewarding teamwork. If that was true pre-Covid, it is certainly even more true now. Companies that invest in collaboration platform software (Slack, as an example) provide their employees with a powerful tool to be collaborative and engage with each other more fully, even when not in the same office.
You may already be doing that with your organization’s chosen platform, but are you encouraging and demonstrating collaboration expectations through it? Consider rolling out company supported gatherings for a variety of uses – Collaboration for work, scheduling social gatherings, supporting volunteer work, and meetings for special interest/hobby groups are just a few ideas. And of course, using those platforms as public spaces to call out exceptional performance or give awards is a perfect use.
– Executive Engagement –
Even more importantly on the communication front – are your executives engaged and getting out there to be supportive and transparent with employees? Seeing their CEO or upper management out there and even accessible through direct channels helps employees feel trusted, respected, and a valued member of the team. – Which leads to loyalty and that holy grail – employee engagement.
– Promoting and MODELING Organizational VALUES –
Another front on which to pursue transparency and model behavior is in making your organizational values a part of everything you do. Whatever you’ve defined your values to be (you HAVE defined your values, right?) they should be not only referenced, but exemplified in the interactions and projects your teams are engaged in. When everyone understands the values and pursues them together, you have people with a clear understanding of what the organization stands for and what is expected of them. Clarity leads to understanding, adoption, and success.
Whether your company has embraced remote work or you’re reestablishing in-office connections, following these principles will not only bring employees together, but naturally build a healthy and strong culture.