Whether you work from home or office, you’re part of a team. And when working with several individuals over the same project or pursuing the same purpose, you’re paricipating in a work a culture. Or if you’re the lead, then you’re defining that culture or perhaps, setting it up.
In literal terms, company culture refers to the values, norms, and customs of an organization. It shapes the behavioral pattern of employees. And, also gives your businesses its unique, determining traits. For example, if your workplace culture permits frank discussions and exchange of opinions between higher-rank and lower-rank employees, your workplace will be known as a friendly one. To put it precisely, the culture of your workplace is the personality of your business.
Workplace culture is a powerful tool that has a direct relation to the productivity of a company. And as much as it’s powerful, it’s sensitive and crucial too, demanding immediate attention in times of crisis. How and why exactly, let’s explore.
Why Does Workplace Culture During a Crisis Matter?
As mentioned earlier, corporate culture has a great impact on the behavior of employees. Culture dictates how employees react emotionally and behave at the office. Consequently, culture gathers together minds thinking alike and behaving alike. Thus, culure inspires connection and encourages socialization. This, in turn, deepens team bonds, boosting productivity and loyalty towards work.
Research shows that 92% of employees agree that their workplace culture greatly influences their desire to work there. 81% of these employees also confirmed that it motivates them to do better at their job. Such affirmations truly clarify the heavy impact of company culture upon overall performance, productivity, and progress.
What Classifies as Crisis?
Technically, crisis refers to any unexpected situation that can negatively impact a workplace routine and culture. If we look at the usual examples of crises that companies all across the globe face or could face at any given time, then they may include misconduct crisis, corruption crisis, financial loss, massive damage to the workplace (such as theft or spread of fire).
However, the use of the term usual here implies that these situations remain under the management’s consideration as potential risks or threats. And more often than not, companies keep a backup ready to deal with such situations.
But on the contrary, there are other unusual reasons as well. These include natural disasters and rare situations such as that of today, i.e., the COVID-19 pandemic.
The latter has not only taught us to expect the unexpected but also brought forward several enlightening scenarios out on the front. Or more accurately, disastrous situations that left lessons for the future.
Workplace Culture in Times of Crisis
When the future seems to be dark and unpromising, the company culture plays a key role in maintaining the calm. It keeps the employees from panicking and helps everyone stick to the goal, keep striving, and stay united.
Additionally, when the organization actively cares for its employees during times of crisis, it yields better business results in the long run. A company can do so financially, emotionally, and morally caring for its employees on an individual level.
Along the same lines, the current situation happens to be a great learning experience in this regard. COVID-19 forced workers to work from home and also brought great financial damage to most businesses.
Naturally, there was a rising panic and increasing negativity. Some virtual setups saw a rise in toxicity, while some had reduced productivity due to inefficient remote working. Reduced profits had business leads stressing all the time, and irregular pays had employees depressed. In such times, most weak or developing company cultures failed to withstand the damage. Even the most established organizations witnessed a great shake. Let’s see how we can effectively deal with workplace culture during a crisis and make it even better.
How to Protect Company Culture During Crisis?
Broadly, protective measures for company culture remain the same at all times. So, to preserve your set of values and morals under all circumstances, make sure you communicate with your workforce thoroughly and completely. Make the values of your organization known to all. Ensure that your employees know the challenges you face as an organization and how vital they are for you to be successful. It can help you develop a relationship of trust and transparency with your workforce.
Moreover, to encourage the practice of your preferred culture, appreciate your employees for practicing it. Praise their hard work and reward them duly. Also, connect with your employees on an individual level and care for their well-being just as you would care for your well-being.
Incorporate team-building activities and arrange more of formal and informal events to make the working environment fun. Perhaps, arrange an after-work lunch at a good restaurant or gather up together for a movie night! It depends on how close you want all the employees to be.
Memories of good times will keep your workforce striving and united during the crisis. Most of all, do not abandon your employees when they need you the most. If not financially, at least provide them with the moral and social support that they need.
Consider offering employees a knowledge-sharing tool like Givitas that brings them together into a generous digital community.
Keep an eye – all the time!
Well, you now know the importance of workplace culture as well as how it needs even more attention in times of crisis.
So make sure, as a leader or a responsible team member, you contribute as much as you possibly can to hold up the culture even when everything seems to be falling apart.
More importantly, keep an eye out at all times. It’s not always a sudden occurrance that threatens the company culture. Sometimes, negative things building inside break it down eventually.Sometimes, the upcoming danger is evident before its arrival.
So stay on high alert even as you work from home, enjoying the successful survival of your company’s environment during COVID-19.
Remember, anything can happen anytime, and the culture you have is too precious to risk.
About the Author
Shawn Mack is a content writer who offers ghostwriting, copy-writing, and blogging services.His educational background in business and technical field has given him a broad base from which to approach many topics