Company Culture Check During COVID-19

Jun 11, 2020 | Human Resources, Leadership, Training

The culture of your company is more than just your vision and mission – it’s your values, too. While a time of crisis may leave you feeling overwhelmed with challenges beyond your control, it’s also a good time to conduct a quick “culture audit.” It’s important to ensure that your crisis response is aligned with your company culture.

Let’s look at an example of how 10 popular elements of company culture can be impacted when you’re facing a crisis.

  1. Service. A crisis may change the expectations your customers have of you, but if providing exceptional service was a core value for you before the crisis, you must find ways to exceed expectations now.
  2. Teamwork. Responding and adapting to a crisis requires a unified team effort. Make sure you manage your team like a coach, not a boss.
  3. Trust. Every company’s culture must be built on trust that goes both ways. To see your way through a crisis, your employees have to know they can count on you, and you on them.
  4. Community. Everyone wants to feel like they’re part of something bigger than themselves. When serving your community is part of your culture, there’s nothing like a crisis to present you with ample opportunities to help others.
  5. Training. When your team is faced with unprecedented change, they need direction and training more than ever. You must train on new guidelines for sure, but don’t forget about compliance-related topics as well.
  6. Respect. The adage “You get what you give” is amplified during a crisis. Your workplace environment must be built on a foundation of mutual respect that can handle the stress of a crisis.
  7. Recognition. You may have to ask for more from your staff during a crisis. Showing gratitude for extra efforts can provide ongoing motivation as you continue to adapt.
  8. Employer-of-Choice. Most companies want their company culture to set them apart from other employers. A crisis may require you to think outside the box in terms of what you can offer employees. Flexibility in scheduling or working from home may be just what your employees need during a crisis and beyond.
  9. Connection. When your company, your neighborhood, or your world faces a crisis, people crave and need personal connection. Your company leaders must make an extra effort to maintain connections to employees, between employees, and with customers.
  10. Leadership. As a leader of your company, you are the personification of your company culture. Your team is looking to you for reassurance, focus, and guidance. Lead by example.

Company Culture Evaluation

The values that helped define your company culture before the crisis should still be your values during and after the crisis. That’s not to say a crisis can’t bring about lasting changes to your culture – in fact, it may very well bring out the best in who you are. Your ongoing evaluation of your company culture must be a priority now and when the crisis is behind you.

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