Times of change are formidable moments. They show us who we are today and illuminate how we’d like to be better tomorrow. While the world around us feels strange and uncertain — with teams suddenly dispersed and working virtually more than ever — it’s a crucial time for leaders to double down on company culture and what makes ‘us’, ‘us’.
For leaders, leveraging this time to strengthen company culture is paramount. This may not be the most obvious or easiest thing to do — but it may be one of the smartest.
Here are five focus areas that can help you build and strengthen your company’s culture
Why: Because your employees will be looking to you more than ever for a sense of stability and normalcy. Reinforcing your cultural components at this time will give them the sense of grounding today, while building credibility and community for the future. How:
Why: The way we treat one another is essential to our ability to function well. Showing up as kind, sensitive, thoughtful, transparent, productive, optimistic people will go a long way in motivating others to do the same — and it will long be remembered when you emerge from this challenging time. This is your time to “be the brand” you want to be known for. How:
Why: Culture is always felt, but it’s often a silent presence. By intentionally speaking to it — in stories of real people demonstrating the behaviors that are so key to your culture — you ensure that the positive aspects of it remain top-of-mind. How:
Why: How your organization is structured and how it functions are reflections of your culture. How:
Why: Throughout our lifetimes, the biggest known impact to employee engagement has been the “say/do gap.” These times demand that employees see leaders behaving in a way — and making decisions — that support their words. Think about how you felt when a leader said one thing and his/her behavior or decisions showed something in conflict with that. How:
There are a lot of ways you can strengthen and amplify your company culture. You don’t have to do them all at once, but you should ensure that the “what” of your culture is well articulated.
Your team members will appreciate your effort to reinforce, articulate, and demonstrate what you stand for — especially during times of change.