How is your culture these days?
Greetings friends and colleagues… I hope this continues to find you healthy and safe…
Most of us are on Day 46 of the Covid-19 shuttering. We’ve learned how to Zoom more effectively, prioritize our day, check in with our employees, determine when the best time is to venture out to the grocery store, and for me, when I need to put on a little make up for a Zoom meeting.
As business leaders, you are doing your very best to keep things afloat operationally and financially … to keep the boat steady for your team. You’ve had to quickly establish solutions so employees can work as effectively as possible from home, at the same time dealing with most everyone being physically separated from their work colleagues. And you are balancing both.
So how is your company’s culture these days? It probably isn’t at the top of the list of things we are thinking about, but my guess is we see it. Organizational culture is what your company says and what it does, its purpose and its values. Some have shared with me that their culture feels stronger than ever. Others have shared that not being physically together has created some uncertainty in living and breathing their culture.
The social aspect often helps to define a company culture. In these times, it can certainly feel like that element is missing. There are a couple of groups that I am a part of that do a 5 pm virtual huddle where we bring our favorite beverage (from a glass of wine, to soda to a bottle of water). It is a great way to stay connected on work topics as well as hearing how everyone is doing. Maybe you are already having video lunches or virtual happy hours. Some organizations are even relying on their party-planning committee to keep things going.
Communication is also key, especially when you can’t poke your head around the corner into someone’s office. Do you find yourself communicating more or less? Are you helping your employees as well as customers understand decisions that are being made? And I know, there are some tough decisions being made.
Making one on one time is also important as many employees now feel just a part of a large herd that comes together to discuss the day to day and make decisions via Zoom, Skype or FaceTime. One on one time allows you, the leader, to really check in and ask how someone is doing. Not every call has to be a business-related call. How about a “how are you doing call?”
And while it is important that we are taking care of others, it is equally important that we are taking care of ourselves. Giving ourselves that needed respite keeps us going and re-charges us. I actually got out of my home office to meet with a coaching client a couple of weeks ago. We met instead of Zooming .. well, because it was the best thing to do. 6 feet apart, open field… and I listened, shared, and listened some more. Providing a different landscape was that welcomed respite. It was supposed to be for her… And it actually ended up being good for both of us.
David Zweig, a professor in organizational behavior in Toronto, Canada said “Culture is the social glue that holds us all together and gives us a sense of identity in our organization,” the Coronavirus could impact the strength of that culture.” I would argue… If your company culture is strong, it is going to take more than a virus to destroy it.
Our culture, our purpose, our values, why we do what we do always matters. They matter now more than ever. God Bless you.