Good company culture helps keep employees sane during the pandemic
The last five months have definitely felt like a roller coaster. In the beginning of COVID, the top concern was getting employees working safely from home. But now that they’re home, our focus has shifted on how to maintain a strong corporate culture while employees are dispersed.
Here are three ways you can preserve — and in some cases even enhance — your company’s culture and keep employees engaged.
Make collaboration a priority
Collaboration increases in direct proportion to communication. Don’t let the flow of information stop at the board room. At CHG Healthcare, we’ve been successful sharing regular updates through company-wide video chats. This gives our people an opportunity to hear directly from me and the executive team about the status of the business.
In addition, we’ve included employees in the decision-making process. In most companies, the C-suite determines the strategies to stay afloat financially during a crisis. If that’s your only strategy, you may be leaving an untapped source of savings on the table. Instead, ask the people doing the work how processes can be streamlined and where you can tighten your belt. Turning to your team for insight not only sends the message you value and trust their expertise, it’s also a way to make meaningful change that will have a real impact on the bottom line.
Another important part of collaboration is creating a way for employees to share their questions, concerns, and observations. The pandemic is making people feel increasingly isolated, so keeping an open dialogue can help your team feel connected and help leaders keep a pulse on how everyone is doing. One way we do this at CHG is by dedicating a space for employees to submit questions. I then answer as many questions as I can on my blog or have some closer to the answer reach out to the employees directly.
Keep connections strong
Employee engagement was hard enough when everyone was in the same building. Now that most companies have a scattered workforce, keeping employees engaged can feel like a herculean effort. But don’t use distance as an excuse to abandon activities that help your people strengthen the connections they have with their coworkers and their jobs.
Instead, utilize virtual communication tools like Zoom and MS Teams for more than just collaboration and business meetings. Use them to engage employees through team-building activities like a virtual team lunch, a themed meeting where everyone wears their favorite hat, an afterwork virtual happy hour, or a virtual scavenger hunt. There are a variety of virtual team activities you can host to encourage casual conversations and enhance team connection.
Remote, but not forgotten
Now, more than ever, it’s important to let your people know you care. Whether it’s a work anniversary, a birthday, or a personal achievement of some sort, it’s important to celebrate employees in ways that remind them they’re not forgotten.
With employees working remotely, you’ll need to tailor that recognition to fit the new normal we live in. Whether you send a virtual card or a letter in the mail or use a delivery service to drop off a special treat, there are a variety of options that can be done virtually or at a safe social distance. Whatever you choose, it’s important that it’s genuine and personal to the recipient, so it doesn’t feel forced or like a transaction.
The pandemic may have drastically changed how we live and work, but it doesn’t have to destroy your company culture. Keep your culture strong by showing your people they matter, helping them connect with their team, and making collaboration a priority.