How to Navigate the Post-Covid Workplace: The Four H’s of Improving Company Culture
“Company Culture” is a phrase that gets thrown around a lot. But what does it really mean? First, let’s set aside the notion of sanctioned under the desk nap hammocks and afternoon hacky sack. Company culture, particularly in the wake of the pandemic, is about getting everyone on the same page. For a lot of businesses, this means trying to make a cohesive group out of a scattered workforce.
Is it possible to adjust a company culture to this new normal?
Navigating the post-covid workplace is an evolving process. Sharing common goals and workplace values is tough enough when everyone is in the same space. What happens when they aren’t or haven’t been in over 2 years? Couple that with the more “casual” approach to work that many of us shifted to and it’s a lot to navigate.
In many cases, employee attitudes regarding acceptable workplace behavior were dramatically altered after being exposed to the pets, children and home attire of their bosses and co-workers via Zoom. (forbes.com)
Didn’t need to know that your boss drinks coffee from a Mickey Mouse mug at home? Or that a co-worker’s office bookshelves are bursting with romance novels? Well, that genie is out of the bottle now!
All kidding aside, if your company has weathered the Covid storm, that’s a great foundation to build on. Most likely, you have been strategizing how to keep a dispersed group on track in a non-traditional setting for a while now. Let’s dig in and see how you can build on that foundation.
Here are the Four H’s of improving company culture post-covid:
Yep. Simple honest communication is key. In an MIT Sloan Management study of Glassdoor reviews, made during the first 6 months of the pandemic, positive comments about leadership communication doubled those of the previous year. While it’s not great that it may have taken a pandemic to open the lines of communication, it demonstrates that frank discourse is not only appreciated but can be crucial to getting everyone on board.
In the wake of the Great Resignation and the era of quiet quitting, you may have positions to fill. You want applicants who share the same values and goals as your current company culture. However, remember to look for candidates that are a good fit for where you want the company to go post-covid. Most likely, that will include applicants who handled the work upheaval over the last couple of years in positive ways. Resiliency and adaptability are great additions to the company culture toolbox.
If the company has changed, shouldn’t the culture change with it? Figure out what isn’t working for your post-covid workplace and get rid of it. Embrace what works for the current staff and build on it. Don’t be afraid to shift the old model. What better time to reset your company’s goals and social contracts?
Company culture isn’t developed in a vacuum. It also doesn’t work if it’s dictated by management. Help each other out. Everyone needs to work together to define, create and follow through with whatever community building needs to be done.
At the end of the day, company culture is about building community.
Whether face-to-face means in person or on a screen, if you want to build (or rebuild) company culture you need to foster a sense of community. Working towards common values, goals, and strategies is what keeps a business thriving and agile.
Settle, Mark. (2022, Sep 14) Did Covid Kill Company Culture? If So, Can the Downturn Save It?. (forbes.com)
Sull, Donald & Sull, Charles. (2020, Oct 28) How Companies Are Winning On Culture During COVID-19. (mit.edu)
McGovern, Michele. (2020, Dec 29) 6 Keys to Build a Post-Covid-19 Company Culture. (hrmorning.com)