Redundancies, terminations, stand-downs, lay-offs, mandatory leave . . . . what a workplace shit-storm!
We have had numerous requests in regards to how to maintain, strengthen, or re-create the workplace culture businesses had previously after such significant changes have taken place. All levels within business are affected and have suffered either loss of job, loss of team-mates, loss of income, survivor-guilt, or responsibility stress – just to name a few of the current psychological impacts &/or traumas.
Workplace culture is basically a social construct to establish norms, practices, and acceptable behaviors. It sets the benchmark for “how we do things here."
The first question we should ask ourselves is:
a) “Do I want the old culture back” or
b) “Do I want to take this time to recreate my culture”?
I would bang the drums and state "now is the time to create your best workplace culture!" Why? Because we have been given the opportunity to bring ‘humancy’ into the workplace.
Previously we have been told to park your problems at the door before you step inside the workplace. Now we need to acknowledge that every worker has psychologically brought their family, friends, and stresses into your workplace. So please don’t ignore them, include them and show your team-members you CARE.
It’s ok to ask if they are ok.
It’s ok to provide a 'reality conversation' every morning around the coffee machine which checks in on their stress levels and provides support. Anxieties & stresses can definitely be managed better through discussions, empathy and support.
We are all in the same shit-storm but we are not all in the same boat.
Take the time to find out what each 'boat' looks like in your team. By engaging in the humancy of each team-member you will be increasing their engagement in your business. Your team will feel far more acknowledged and valued which, in turn, increases engagement and productivity.
To ensure you create a thriving workplace culture stick to the following 4 steps:
- Remind your team why your business exists - what is the purpose; has this purpose changed, or is it even more meaningful now?
- Communicate - show your team you care; apply humancy
- Create stability, calmness, and consistency
- Be honest - if you don’t know what next month looks like share that you, too, are taking each week at a time
How do we manage our new culture if most of our team are working remotely?
- Video check-in daily, or twice daily
- Allow each team-member the ability to have their say (when we are heard we feel valued)
- Create virtual lunch-time; virtual coffee-breaks
- Be very clear with your communications and your timelines - do not overclutter in-boxes with irrelevant 'cc' emails
Culture helps guide us during times of change so take this time to concentrate on creating the best culture for your business and your people. An awesome workplace culture provides the best foundation for us all to thrive - and isn’t this just what we need right now?