“This is a go-to-the-pressure moment. People have had their faith shaken intentionally or unintentionally.” — Tim Yeomans, Executive Vice President at FiredUp! Culture
COVID-19 has had a profound impact on nearly every aspect of our lives, including how we run our businesses.
As business owners, we’ve already gone through a lot, but the challenges aren’t yet over. Coming back from a crisis isn’t easy. The question is, how do you rebuild a culture that feels safe, supportive, innovative, and creative when confusion, anxiety, and fear are so close at hand?
Understand There’s No “On” Switch
In any kind of disaster, there’s a natural desire to simply go back to normal. Disruptions make us long for our old, dependable, stable routines. But leaders must recognize that there is no “on” switch. Creating a new normal will take time.
Fortunately, there’s good news:
Rebuilding your organization’s culture offers as many opportunities as it does obstacles.
As COVID restrictions lift, take this time to sit down and rethink the way your business approaches culture. Revisit your values, your norms, and your systems. Ask yourself if there are things you want to change, improve on, or keep. In some cases, COVID might have opened your eyes to new ways of doing things.
For example, if team members successfully did their work remotely, consider adopting a flexible work-from-home policy. Such a policy would reduce annual commuting hours, allow them to spend more time with their families, and improve their quality of life in a way that could significantly benefit retention.
Here are six more tips for bringing your culture back better than ever.
Tips for Rebuilding Culture
- Reestablish positive relationships — Positive relationships are the cornerstone of a great work culture. Pave the way for your post-crisis culture by approaching everything you do with a positive, empathetic, and supportive attitude.
- Acknowledge the harm — Pretending that everything is or has been normal discredits people’s personal experiences. Recognize that things are hard in order to begin rebuilding trust with your teams.
- Extend grace to your employees — Extend abundant grace to employees so they feel trusted and supported as they make the difficult transition into their post-COVID work schedules.
- Practice mindful leadership — Adopt an open mind and reserve judgment until you have all relevant information.
- Maintain positive work-from-home habits — Just because you and your team can go back into the office full-time doesn’t mean you have to. Reflect on the successes of remote work and decide how you can adapt to harness its benefits. For example, allowing employees to work from home two days a week could significantly reduce annual commuting hours and expenses, and would allow them to spend more time with their families.
As you come back to work, don’t be afraid to innovate and experiment. We all have the chance to create something totally new in the months to come. If you struggled with creating your ideal culture before, now is your moment to reset while your organization recovers.
Want to create a culture built to withstand any crisis? Start doing the work of transforming your company culture by downloading our free workbook.
Author, Speaker, and Change Agent.
Chris leads a dynamic team of passionate change agents who are dedicated to partnering with organizational executives to create cultures that inspire, engage and ignite the best in people. Our work is dedicated to harnessing the power of culture to equip leaders, build amazing teams and align operation practices to delighting the customer and drive breakthrough results.