Are you making the most of what you and your staff have learned about how to work well since the pandemic? Learn why now is the perfect time for a cultural reset in your business with this insightful article from HR and recruitment consultant Gemma Hart.
The pandemic forced all of us to take time out and rethink everything, from our lifestyles and relationships to our jobs and how we want to spend our time. It was an unprecedented period that has led to many organisations shifting their priorities and strategies to adapt to new demands and ways of working.
But out of the chaos and difficulties faced since 2020, something positive has emerged. Businesses can take this opportunity to identify challenges and find new solutions and better ways of operating for the benefit of their productivity and the wellbeing of their staff. With all organisations in the same position, there’s never been a better time to get intentional about your strategies and improve the company culture of your business.
Putting employees first
With self-isolating and remote working being a focus since early 2020, communication has been an essential tool for businesses. But it is something that all businesses can improve at and benefit from. When it comes to assessing employee engagement, feedback often indicates that communication within businesses is branded mediocre at best, with definite potential to do more. But now is the ideal time to rethink how you can meet the needs of your employees more effectively and provide better channels of communication throughout the business.
Creating an open dialogue
The voice of employees has never been stronger, and it should remain a core element of any company culture that wants to see greater successes in the future. Whether that’s regular opportunities for staff to put forward their opinions, having open dialogue surrounding wellbeing and staff health, or improving how teams are managed, the more businesses can give staff a platform to express themselves, the better.
Connecting through shared experiences
The world has shared a collective experience and it’s brought many of us closer together, helping us to understand each other better and have more empathy. This is something that company cultures should strive to hold onto and continue to maintain. While the value of team building, fostering relationships and helping one another is still at the forefront of our minds, organisations should take the opportunity to build on this mindset further and preserve the bonds between teams.
Trust plays a big part in any company culture. Employees need to have faith in their organisation and management, and those in leadership roles need to be able to trust their staff, particularly now with the rise of remote working.
The way to achieve this is to set clear objectives, rearticulate the goals of the company and stay true to the mission so that everyone knows what they’re working towards and can work towards a joint purpose. There should be transparency within the organisation and a reward system. Leaders need to encourage innovation and provide a supportive environment where staff feel comfortable to think outside the box without judgement.
Throughout the pandemic, so many businesses have needed to view situations from a new perspective, but it’s something that should remain within company cultures going forward to push the boundaries of what’s possible and step ahead of the competition.
An opportunity for recognition
With businesses in virtually all industries facing difficulties, and staff being pushed to adapt and accommodate continual changes, there’s the perfect chance for leaders to prioritise the recognition of their employees. It’s about more than simply handing out generic praise – creating a culture around recognition requires you to be specific and identify the ways that employees are enhancing the business. Providing appreciation and praise can be done both formally and informally to build a culture of praise and mutual respect.
Learn more: How to give effective feedback to employees
With so many changes thrown our way in such a short space of time, employers have faced some difficult decisions. Now we’re coming out the other side, there’s the chance to take the positives and build on them further to develop a stronger, more effective culture that’s aligned with where your business is now.
It’s easy for a company culture to become stagnant and for things to be viewed as ‘just the way things are done’. But with so much up in the air, now is the ideal time to make changes for the better. From boosting communication and collaboration, to prioritising recognition and giving employees plenty of opportunities to vocalise their views, businesses in all sectors can benefit from reassessing their culture.
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Written by Gemma Hart
Gemma Hart is an independent HR professional working remotely from as many coffee shops as she can find. Gemma has gained experience in a number of HR roles but now turns her focus towards connecting with a wider community and sharing her thoughts and advice on workplace wellness and engagement within companies.