Investing in Culture During Times of Trouble

Companies around the globe are feeling the impact of COVID-19 and are instructing their employees to work from home or even laying off part of their staff. As schools are closing, some through the end of the school year, many remote employees will have to parent their children and support their education as best they can. (Here are some educational resources for working parents during this time).

These changes, combined with some managers having to learn how to manage remote teams for the first time, are creating a situation where it’s easy to lose sight of how your company culture will be changing. Why? Because culture is the sum of our collective behaviors, and when our daily patterns of interaction and activity are fundamentally changed, our behaviors will change as well. Finding ways to maintain these behaviors that drive your success and the identity of your organization might be one of the most important challenges every leader will face over the next year.

Companies often struggle with culture in the best of times. Yet in times of crisis, like we are in with the COVID-19 pandemic, people need more communication, clarity and support. The culture a company creates can significantly impact the ability of an organization to cope with the change brought on by the crisis.

There is plenty of scientific and anecdotal evidence emphasizing the financial impact of culture. Many thought leaders go so far as to say culture is what ultimately sets apart the great companies. Gallup, for example, routinely publishes research demonstrating the powerful impact a purposeful culture can have—including a 10 percent increase in customer ratings and a 20 percent increase in sales, among a multitude of other dramatic effects.

How should leadership confront cultural challenges in a time when people’s working environments have changed so dramatically? How can leaders keep employees focused, motivated and engaged during times when there are many reasons for them not to be?

Download our Company Culture Matters Most During Times of Crisis e-book to learn five strategies you should consider adopting to maintain your company culture.