Engaging in Corporate Culture in time of Crisis

Corporate culture can be defined as the company’s personality. It is the collection of critical behaviours, feelings, beliefs and way of thinking that impacts positively the company’s productivity. As a combination of instinctive repetitive behaviours and emotional responses, corporate culture engages employees and makes them feel good about what they do. It can therefore be translated as an emotional energiser.

Corporate culture is always evolving and renewing itself. Sometimes it does not change at the same pace a company does so it might be hard for leaders to implement new values or a new cultural environment. Indeed, people are creatures of habits and will continue to evolve in a familiar and comfortable setting.

So how can leaders make their employees — who work from home by necessity in time of crisis — engage efforts in corporate culture?

Working from home in time of crisis can make one feel isolated. Thus, regular positive communication is key in making employees connected in times of uncertainty and stress. Leaders should be able to communicate optimistically, provide transparency and show empathy whether it is with clients, employees or partners.

Creating balance is at the upmost importance. Being confined at home for an undefined amount of time might get people to panic about their situation (health, income, work-life balance…). A solution would be to keep people engaged and far away from negative thoughts. Moving ahead with business as usual is the solution as it also means keeping the company’s productivity at its best. To do so corporate culture is important and should be a priority. As we said before, it is a people energiser!

How to keep it up while there is no more face-to-face interaction? Well, we have many digital tools at our disposal that can help. Creating group chats whose sole purpose is to encourage humour and sharing day-to-day life in confinement to boost workers’ moral is one solution. Another one would be for leaders to check from time to time on each employee individually through texts, emails, video chat, etc. Team meetings, virtual coffee breaks, etc. should be held more frequently to update each other to favour business continuity and sanity.

This friendly environment will allow them to be connected and share more easily any issue that might raise either personal (needing to be cheered up, needing to confine in someone) or professional (problem with a client, needing help to face a challenging situation, etc.).

Leaders should not forget praising, giving feedback and valuing their employees work. This will help them rally employees around the company’s values and promote engagement, confidence and trust. Keeping everyone safe, busy and giving them goals will also help. Indeed, this will remind employees that what they do everyday is important and that they are part of a team that will not let them down.

Remote work in time of crisis does not mean being alone and isolated. It is an opportunity for employees to show how adaptable and strong they are but also to strengthen the corporate culture around their sense of commitment and resilience.

Corporate culture in time of crisis is based on a collective effort to stay engaged virtually!

References:

  1. 10 PRINCIPLES OF ORGANIZATIONAL CULTURE, February 2016, strategy+business
  2. Crisis Survival Guide: How 66 CEOs And Executives Are Leading From Home, March 2020, RealLeaders