To continue the conversation about how critical culture is in attracting and retaining top talent, it’s important to discuss post-COVID impacts. Our article on winning the talent game with the right company culture looked at eight definitions and best practices that help business leaders have more productive conversations about culture. Here, we’ll zoom in on the impact of the coronavirus pandemic and what work might look like in a post-pandemic business environment.
How has the pandemic impacted work life?
It’s important for business leaders to keep in mind that the COVID-19 statistics we’ve seen in the news represent real individuals. These are people who have had to completely reinvent the way they manage their lives to be good workers while maintaining decent conditions at home.
On the flip side, the pandemic forced businesses to quickly pivot their approach to remote work in ways that might otherwise have taken years or decades to evolve. These changes included a challenging mix of both employee and customer-facing ways of getting things done.
Adding to the complexity, it was impossible for anyone to predict how severe business interruption might be or how remedial measures might roll out from state to state or region to region. In the meantime, millions have already adapted to the realities of working from home.
What does “coming back” look like?
Despite the hardships and losses our workforce has endured during this crisis, one small silver lining is that the experience has had a unifying effect, bringing remote teams together in a bond of support. Businesses must now face questions about what coming back looks like and what they’re asking their people to come back to.
Common themes like these have emerged when we talk about these questions with our clients and partners.
- Show up with empathy and include everyone in the back-to-office conversation
- Speak transparently about what our new work norms are going to be
- Be clear about how the organization will balance hub, remote, or hybrid work
- Err on the side of over communication about return-to-office plans and policies
- Stay adaptable as vaccination and case conditions continue to evolve
- Continue with cultural practices that worked during “lockdown” periods
- Involve your employees directly in the process of rebuilding company culture
- Plan for the reality that some people may need or want to keep working remotely
In varying terms and contexts, universities, consulting firms and role model businesses keep coming back to a common insight – people’s lives have permanently changed over the past year and a half. In one way or another, they’re saying that business leaders must think more about the essence of what they want to do, rather than trying to force your business back into pre-pandemic social and operational models.
Continuing the culture conversation
We look forward to discussing how culture can contribute to a healthy bottom line. Contact us today to learn about the programs, tools and resources we offer to help guide this process.